Tactical Threat Hunting - What Is It And How Do You Start?

Tactical Threat Hunting

Alert overload takes the security team’s attention away from many other essential aspects of keeping a healthy cyber ecosystem. Many teams cannot define and implement a threat hunting program because of resource shortages or they simply lack the know-how. Complexity in defensive control integrations is also a roadblock, and the lack of integrated workflow makes the process challenging to replicate.

The goal of tactical threat hunting is to dig deeper to find malicious actors in your environment that have slipped past your initial firewall and security defenses. Security teams are riddled with prioritization and response efforts, which oftentimes pushes threat hunting, defense, and detection to the back burner.

However, with the correct security support platform, security teams can better manage their time and focus their priorities on detecting and getting rid of any potential threats.

Where Do You Start?

This is where a Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) and Security Orchestration Automation and Response (SOAR) Platform comes to the rescue. With the powers of threat intelligence, orchestration, and automation, an analyst can use crowd-sourced threat information, workflows, and automated playbooks to hunt for threats that are lurking in their environment. 

Using actionable intelligence allows for analysts in security operation centers (SOC) to defend themselves against attacks and block actors from being able to even launch attacks. This is just one example of threat hunting. Threat hunting is the practice of searching for threats that are lurking undetected in a network and have not yet affected the business. Tactical threat hunting takes it a step further – digging deep to find malicious actors in your environment that have slipped past your initial endpoint and perimeter security defenses.  

Tactical Threat hunting benefits both the Security Operations (SecOps) team and the Threat Intelligence (CTI) team. First, the CTI team collects information about a potential attack and shares it with the SecOps team for further action. They can also automatically escalate findings to an investigation to understand if the attacker was able to gain access. Then the SecOps and CTI team work together to learn more information about the attack and understand if any new Indicators of Compromise (IOC) were found – which shows if the current defensive controls worked or not. Finally, the SecOps team will take corrective actions such as implementing a new control or suggesting policy modifications based on what was learned about the attack to reduce the risk of further similar exploits.

Through threat hunting, analysts can enjoy using a simplified process of finding threats in their network and then they perform a series of workflow steps to determine the significance of their findings and take corrective measures to stop them. This process should be effective, repeatable, and scalable.

How Can ThreatConnect Help?

ThreatConnect’s SOAR and TIP Platforms combine to make one functional Intelligence-Driven Operations platform that helps to quickly discover if a threat is lurking undetected in your network. 

The combination of automated and templatized playbooks and workflows enables teams to incorporate repeatable processes –  making threat hunting as easy as clicking a button.

When using ThreatConnect for Tactical Threat Hunting, you’re able to: 

Improve Decision Making

  • Identify, detect, & respond to the specific types of threats that are targeting your organization to better focus analysis and response efforts
  • Integrating not only with existing infrastructure but leveraging the contextual knowledge of threats and related indicators via CAL makes decision-making easier for analysts during the investigation.

Reduce dwell time and time to respond

  • Define necessary response actions allowing consistency and removing the requirement to recall the step-by-step workflow

Understand Defensive Controls Effectiveness & Take Corrective Action

  • By working together in one platform, security teams learn more information about the attack and understand if any new IOC exists. All team members have clarity on if the defensive controls worked or not and then have to take corrective actions based on their findings. 

Automatically Escalate to Investigation with a single click

  • Once you have worked through the tactical threat hunting exercise, you can automatically escalate to an investigation. The investigation will help you understand whether the attacker gained access and how long the attack has gone undetected

Reduce silos and enable better information sharing

  • TI analysts collect information about a potential attack and share it with the SecOps team for further investigation or remediation
  • SecOps team gains more context about a specific indicator or threat to make more confident decisions

 

With ThreatConnect, you can make threat hunting a regular occurrence and proactively identify security gaps and vulnerabilities. Processes that previously took weeks or months can now be completed in minutes or hours.

Anjali Chauhan
About the Author
Anjali Chauhan

Anjali Chauhan, Content Marketing Specialist at ThreatConnect has 4 years of experience in Marketing, Content Creation, and Digital Marketing. Her passion lies in creating meaningful and impactful content. Some of Anjali's favorite hobbies include listening to music from the 80s and 90s, dancing, and spending time with her younger sister.