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Four components of effective threat hunting

June 01, 2020

Four components of effective threat hunting

Serious cybersecurity companies understand the value of offering comprehensive solutions that guard a client’s entire system infrastructure. But there’s a newer solution that most companies don’t offer—threat hunting. Instead of waiting for threats to materialize, threat hunting is an active way to protect clients and gives cybersecurity firms a way to stand out from the competition. Let’s look at four key components of threat hunting:

  1. Assembling the team
    Effective threat hunting starts with talent, which can prove challenging since the particular combination of skills and knowledge necessary isn’t that common. A typical threat hunting team isn’t big (at least initially) and leans on security operations center (SOC) analysts able to understand threat levels and act on the most severe items first. Being able to act quickly on important items is key; every second counts with threat hunting. Having team members who know network infrastructure is also a plus.

  2. Taking in security data
    Threat hunting acts as a boost to an existing comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. The data generated and analyzed by the security services providers must be available to the threat hunters. Initially, a new hunting team will zero in on automated notifications, but when the operation grows in scope, more complex internal information should be analyzed. This information could include security information and event management (SIEM), as well as intrusion or prevention alerts.

  3. Creating a roadmap
    All the talent and information in the world doesn’t mean anything if the team isn’t pursuing specific objectives. Successful threat hunters will understand exactly what the parameters of each mission are while also knowing what they are looking to discover. This is necessary to solidify the approach and procedures of the team, and to understand what data is necessary to complete each specific subtask in support of larger threat-hunting goals.
    It’s important to establish the most important assets for each client and also create an outline of threats that may possibly be uncovered during the hunt. Once this is done, the team can organize each asset by order of importance, then start searching through the most important assets in the areas threats are most likely to occur.

  4. Gathering sophisticated tools
    The beginning of any hunt will center on the most important sources of data. Only after the program starts to grow will the hunters require more advanced tools and methods to uncover more complex threats and analyze bigger and bigger data sets. Advanced threat hunting will use some forms of artificial intelligence (AI), statistical analysis and machine learning. By doing this, many of the lower-level tasks can be left to the machines, which frees up the team to focus on big picture items and creating innovations that can detect those larger threats.

Any comprehensive security services provider’s ultimate goal is to protect data infrastructure while uncovering attacks or breeches before they cause major damage. Yet every year, threats or attacks occur without anyone’s knowledge, and many times are only discovered after the damage has been done. Those security firms looking to stand out should consider adding premium services like threat hunting to their repertoire.

For more information on how security services could benefit your customers, contact the experts at Ingram Micro.