How to hunt cyber security threats?

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Hunting threats Cyber ​​security is an effective strategy to combat cyber attacks on networks and IT systems of organizations. Anyone who works in IT security knows that having threat management systems in place is critical to protecting systems, networks, and data, but not everyone knows how to proactively work on it and protect their organization’s data. Firewalls such as an intrusion detection system (IDS) or a security information and event management (SIEM) system can operate after a threat has been detected and are not a good way to proactively prevent vulnerabilities.

Previously, organizations had to worry about malware and viruses that could automatically act as a potential threat to the organization’s systems. But today, this threat is not just a virus malware, but people who intelligently and constantly threaten the systems of an organization. Today, there is no organization that security solutions like Security Operations Center has not implemented according to the dimensions of his organization. But is there any organization that can ensure that there is no external agent in its network?

Organizations should not wait for security mechanisms to create an alert, but they should actively look for threats so that they can respond to security incidents quickly and deal with them with minimal damage.

If an advanced attack on your organization is hidden from the view of security equipment and has been successfully carried out, it is likely that the attacker is still present in the organization’s network and is now considered as a member of the organization’s internal network and continues to operate and all security solutions which exist in the way of incoming traffic, have almost no role in blocking these attackers.

Threat hunting service is an effective solution that can detect existing threats in an organization by analyzing information from a security point of view. In fact, the threat hunting team looks for threats that are already present in your organization.

In a general definition, we can say that threat hunting is the process by which an experienced cyber security analyst proactively uses manual or machine-based techniques to identify security incidents or threats that are currently operating in an organization’s network. Or they use it to prevent a security incident.

The importance of threat hunting

A survey conducted by Domaintools on the effectiveness of using threat hunting showed that:

74% of the survey participants indicated a decrease in attack levels

59% of them experienced faster and more accurate answers

52% found previously undetected threats on their networks.

The global average time to detect a security breach has decreased from 146 days in 2015 to 99 days in 2016. Meanwhile, in 2019, this number decreased to 56 days. There is no doubt that the evolution of the process of hunting threats and more monitoring of users’ systems has greatly contributed to the improvement of these statistics.

Essential skills for threat analysts or hunters

To be successful in threat hunting, analysts must know how to use their tools to find the most dangerous threats. They also need sufficient knowledge of different types of malware, exploits, and network protocols to navigate large volumes of data that include logs, cloud data, and captured data (PCAP). If you’re interested in a career as a threat hunter, there are skills you’ll need:

1. Data analysis

Threat hunters are expected to monitor their enterprise environment, collect data and analyze it comprehensively. This means that an experienced threat hunter must have knowledge of data science and data analysis methods, tools and techniques. They should be able to use data visualization tools to generate graphs that can help them identify patterns that provide insight into the best practices for conducting research and hunting activities.

2. Recognizing and identifying patterns and behaviors

Threat hunters must be able to recognize patterns that match the techniques, tactics, strategies, and procedures of hackers, malware, and anomalous behavior. To recognize these patterns, they must first understand the patterns of normal behavior in the network so that they can recognize and identify any illegal and abnormal activity or behavior.

3. Good communication

Threat hunters must have good communication skills, which makes it easy to convey information about security threats or weaknesses, along with recommended actions to deal with them, to relevant people and managers in that organization.

4. Forensic capabilities on data

A threat hunter needs data forensics skills to analyze new threats and understand how the malware entered the organization’s network, its capabilities, and the damage it may have caused. They don’t have to be forensics experts, but they should know what to look for when inspecting files.

5. How the system works

A threat hunter must have a deep understanding of how systems work in their organization. The emphasis here is on the practice that is based on and derived from comprehensive knowledge about how the organization works and the business process of that organization. Hunters need to know how to look for trouble around the corner. In other words, threat hunters must be skilled enough to look at a situation and immediately understand the implications of what’s going on. Then they should work with the teams and help them improve security.

Types of threat hunting methods

Threat hunters start their work with a hypothesis based on security data or with a trigger. In fact, the hypothesis or stimulus to begin with serves as a launching pad for deeper research into possible risks, and this deeper research is divided into three categories: structured, unstructured, and situational hunting.

  • Research and search based on hypothesis

Hypothesis-driven research is often initiated by a new threat identified through a pool of crowdsourced information, providing insight into the attackers’ latest tactics, techniques, and approaches (TTP). Once a new TTP is identified, threat hunters can look to discover specific attacker behaviors within their organization.

  • Investigation based on known IOC indicators of compromise or attack indicators:

This approach to threat hunting involves using tactical threat intelligence to index Known IOCs and IOAs associated with new threats. These then become triggers that threat hunters use to uncover potential hidden attacks or ongoing malicious activity.

  • Advanced analytics and machine learning research:

The third approach is robust data analysis with machine learning machine learning It combs through massive amounts of data to identify anomalies that may indicate potential malicious activity. These anomalies become hunting clues that are analyzed by skilled analysts to identify hidden threats.

All three mentioned approaches are a combination of human effort with threat intelligence resources that are aided by advanced security technologies. To actively protect the organization’s systems and information.

Threat hunting steps

The process of hunting proactive cyber threats usually includes three steps: trigger, review and analysis, and solutions.


When advanced detection tools like Enterprise Security detect unusual actions that may indicate malicious activity, a trigger directs threat hunters to a specific system or area of ​​the network for further investigation. Often, a hypothesis about a new threat can be a trigger for hunters. For example, a security team might look for advanced threats that use tools like fileless malware to evade existing defenses.


During the investigation phase, a threat hunter uses technologies such as EDR (endpoint detection and response) to identify a compromised system. Investigations continue until either the activity is deemed benign or a complete picture of malicious behavior is established.


This step involves sending information about malicious activity to security teams so they can respond to the incident and mitigate threats. Collected data on malicious and healthy activities can be automated. During this process, cyber threat hunters gather as much information as possible about the attacker’s actions, methods, and intentions. They also analyze collected data to determine trends in the organization’s security environment, eliminate current vulnerabilities, and make predictions for future security enhancements.

Rah Surin Technology Company, in addition to providing appropriate advice on cyber security for your business, is able to professionally implement security software such as Splunk And also selling their license.

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