It's not uncommon for apps to ask us for access to our camera, contacts, photos etc. It's so common in fact that most of us don't give a second thought before hitting that 'allow access' button. It puts the job of protecting our information in the hands of companies. With this vast collection of personal data all in one spot, companies are one one of the biggest targets for cyber attacks. Cyber threats are growing every day. Security measures such as firewalls, network monitoring solutions and anti-virus systems are not enough. It's essential that we go on the offensive and combat these attackers before they become a threat.
What is Threat Hunting?
Threat hunting, also known as cyber threat hunting is a process where you search, find and eliminate potential malware and security flaws that bypass automated security systems. These threats can be from someone inside the organisation, such as an employee or someone outside, such as an organised crime syndicate. Currently it usually takes 49- 99 days for before a cyber threat is found, cyber security is a constantly evolving field and it is imperative to companies that they find these flaws quickly and efficiently.
A typical cyber threat hunting process includes the following steps:
- System knowledge: Threat hunting is not possible without sufficient understanding of how data is stored and the methods an outsider might use to gain access to it.
- Find the threat: Every cyber hunting process has the main objective, to find threats and eliminate them. So it is essential to know what your enemies might be after so you are prepared. This strategy enables cyber hunters to focus on the situation to eradicate the potential threat.
- Hunt: Cyber threat hunting is an extended process of probing and system analysis. To make hunting effective, technical and intelligence analysis is a must. Moreover, patience is also in the list of necessary traits for staying on course to reach the end goal.
- Identify and Isolate: Once a threat has been found, it then needs to be isolated, so whatever the objective of the hacker was is now thwarted.
- Eliminate: Successfully eliminate the threat, preventing it from doing it any damage.
- Future Prevention: After the threat has been defeated the final task is backtrack the path of the invader. Find the fault in the system and improve security in that area to prevent future cyber breaches.
Why Threat Hunting?
Even though technology can identify a number of threats, a human brain is still the most powerful detection method. Therefore, it is essential for human intervention in a successful cyber security operations team.
Benefits of threat hunting:
- Decreased exposure to both external and internal threats
- Less time required for containment
- Reduced frequency of malware invasion
- Improved security measures
- Constant adaptation to future threats
- Reduced number of breaches
Cyber threat hunting is an integral part of a cybersecurity system. There is no autonomous system that is entirely safe and without flaws. Cyber threat hunting, alongside these systems, can prevent faults from being exploited and ultimately protect peoples information from falling into the wrong hands.