Threat hunting is vitally important to organisations of all sizes and varieties, as advanced threats can slip past automated cybersecurity. Also, if the hackers have sufficient time and resources, they can break into any given network and avoid detection for a significant amount of time, where they will steal data and obtain login credentials. Successful threat hunting reacts early, lessening the time from encroachment to detection, decreasing the extent of the damage done by the attackers.
The number and sophistication of attacks is increasing year-on-year and the costs to businesses are also rising rapidly. According to a Help Net Security study, there has been an 11% increase in attacks every year since 2020. The average cost of a breach for organisations is approximately R82 million (25k+ employees) or R39 million (<500 employees), according to a Canalys forecast.
Attack techniques are constantly evolving and increasingly avoiding detection by using the complexity of the targeted victim’s surroundings, making use of authorised mechanisms and camouflaging attackers’ movements in regular network traffic.
Adding to this is also a shortage of qualified staff to investigate and remedy cyberattacks, along with the danger of alert fatigue. There is no way to correlate and prioritise alerts and indicators that focus on what threats are most pressing. Speed is of utmost importance – responding to threats as quickly as possible is very important.
It is therefore essential that threat hunting is incorporated into the organisation’s overall cybersecurity strategy. It delves deep into the network to locate malicious actors that have been able to circumvent traditional defense measures – essentially, threat hunting is the only way that they can be located and overcome.
Threat hunting in contrast to threat detection
Cybersecurity personnel must comprehend the difference between threat detection and threat hunting when cultivating an all-inclusive IT security framework. In a typical threat detection strategy, an IT security unit will deploy the appropriate detection content, then the automated system will receive alerts when the conditions match the prescribed conditions. The alerts will then be triaged, and an alert will be responded to according to its severity.
A threat hunting strategy differs in that the IT security unit will formulate a hypothesis according to what a breach would look like and then search for signs of such an attack, located inside their network framework. In the case where the hypothesis is proven, the attack scope is expanded and the relevant responses are initiated. New detection tools are put in place so that future threats can be rapidly detected down the line.
Threat hunting entails a proactive approach, ensuring extra visibility across the whole organisation and initiating proactive threat hunting procedures. Threat detection programmes should run alongside threat hunting efforts and to be effective, they should entail a certain amount of human interaction.
The main advantage of threat hunting
There is a long-held assumption that keeping IT infrastructures secure is a complex process. However, unlike an attacker who has to disguise all evidence of access, the IT security team simply has to locate a single trace to find the entry point and commence the neutralisation procedure.
A well-designed threat hunting blueprint can significantly improve an organisation’s overarching security posture. Recognising attempts by cybercriminals before they action their planned attack can prevent unwanted intrusions and assist in avoiding substantial reputational and financial catastrophes.
Panda Adaptive Defense & Adaptive Defense 360 both include a managed Threat Hunting service, that proactively discovers new hacking and evasion techniques. The Threat Hunting Service is based on a set of threat hunting rules created by Panda’s cybersecurity specialists that are automatically processed against all the gathered data.
Contact Dolos to arrange a demonstration or a complementary cybersecurity assessment.