Although the process of threat hunting can be complex and time-consuming, the basic idea is simple: You can take a more proactive and thorough approach to cybersecurity by seeking evidence that a threat has begun to materialize before you have any indications that the threat has become your reality. This approach helps you discover cyberthreats earlier, so that your team is better equipped to mitigate the associated risk.
Why is threat hunting beneficial? Not only are cyberattacks a common and costly threat for today’s companies, but the amount of time that targeted companies typically take to discover an ongoing attack increases their potential harm. In fact, it now takes an average of 280 days before a data breach is detected and contained, according to IBM.
The harder question is whether threat hunting is right for your business or organization. It is certainly not right for every cyberthreat you might face, or even for every company. It is time and resource-intensive, and it requires significant expertise. But, for organizations potentially facing dangers warranting the investment that threat hunting entails, it is a proven, systematic tool for enhanced defense.
So, what is it important for you to know about threat hunting? To answer that question, we recently published our latest guide, Threat Hunting for Effective Cybersecurity: How to Protect Critical Assets Through Systematic, Proactive Threat Intelligence.
Download the threat hunting guide to learn:
What tools and information you need before you can start planning for threat hunting.
How to set priorities and build a threat-hunting road map.
The six steps involved in a threat hunt and how to perform them effectively.
How you can make the most of the information you gather through threat hunting.
Threat hunting and your company or organization
Ultimately, the question of whether threat hunting is a priority for you depends on the risks you face and how much you have to lose. Large, well-funded organizations facing substantial risks – such as banks, insurance companies, financial trading firms, gambling or gaming companies, large healthcare conglomerates, governments, and militaries – may have in-house threat-hunting teams. Smaller, well-funded firms with substantial risks may employ threat hunters as contractors.
While threat hunting is still no simple feat, it is getting more efficient due to the ever-advancing variety of cyberthreat intelligence and cybersecurity tools on the market. Automation has reduced the time, expense, and skills necessary for effective threat hunting – making it viable for many more organizations than in the past. Options including scripting, APIs, SIEM tools, and especially SOAR solutions enable analysts to get more done, faster.
Meanwhile, solutions like Cybersixgill Darkfeed and Investigative Portal give companies and organizations easy access to relevant cyberthreat intel from the deep and dark web – allowing for faster, more comprehensive threat hunts, and relieving them from needing the skills, expertise, and time to maintain and curate dark-web sources.
Whether your company relies on threat hunting on a full-time basis, works with contractors as needed, or does not currently use this approach to cybersecurity at all, it is useful for today’s cybersecurity professionals to understand what threat hunting entails and the benefits it provides. Not only can this information help you decide whether (and when, where, and how) to turn to threat hunting, but it can shed light on the proactive tools you may have at your disposal to protect your company from cyberthreats.
This is the first in a series of posts covering the basics of threat hunting for today’s companies and organizations.