Why threat hunting should be a security priority for every business
Every IT manager knows the importance of IT security and implements provisions accordingly. Unfortunately, many of these provisions are reactive; processes that are enacted after an attack has taken place.
The problem is that modern cyber attacks may take weeks or months to manifest, as hackers play the long game. The reality is that perimeter security and endpoint detection systems are becoming more effective at identifying and blocking traditional attacks.
So instead of trying to gain network access via brute force attack, cyber criminals now use low-level malware to monitor, steal and extract information from your systems. In some cases you may not realise there is a problem until months after the hackers have finished.
You must be more proactive
Instead of waiting to become a victim, your security strategy needs to go on the offensive. Attacks are becoming increasingly common, more sophisticated and the fall-out more serious too.
The Proactive Threat Hunting research from our managed security partner, Alert Logic found that the rate of security threats has at least doubled in the space of one year– and that the severity has increased by as much as 300%. Based on this trend, the number of advanced and emerging threats will continue to outpace the capabilities and staffing of organizations to handle those threats.
To avoid becoming another statistic, you must begin actively hunting for vulnerabilities, exploits and anomalies – indicators of an in-progress security breach. Proactivity allows you to identify issues earlier, before malware has spread too far. And before sensitive data has been successfully accessed or extracted from the network.
In order to be proactive however, you need access to specialist cybersecurity skills. But as security shoots up the list of corporate priorities, employing suitably experienced specialists is becoming increasingly difficult – and expensive.
Plugging the gap
Alert Logic’s study found that more than half – 60% - of IT professionals believe they lack sufficient in-house cybersecurity skills to face the challenges of the future.
So, unless you’re in the fortunate position of being able to run a fully comprehensive security system, with all the technologies, security tools, threat intelligence, and people that can keep you safe, 24x7 – the only way to guarantee access to the skills and experience you need to combat the latest security threats will be through the use of third-party managed services. Choosing to partner with an external supplier gives you additional resources to hunt threats – and to secure the data before it’s stolen.
Increased proactivity allows you to improve security provisions and your reaction to emerging threats.
How to become more proactive?
To be more proactive with cybersecurity, you need to better use the information available to you. Your network is providing constant updates and alerts – the trouble is that there is simply too much information provided to be manually processed and analyzed by your security team to make appropriate use of it.
Machine-learning technologies are becoming increasingly common as a way to simplify and streamline the monitoring process, allowing for the real-time analysis of network alerts, and the prioritizing of alerts that require further investigation and remedial work. Applied correctly, machine-learning technologies, like those embedded in Alert Logic’s Cloud Defender solution, can transform your security posture into a proactive one and take the burden away from your overran security team.
Commenting on the current state of play, Alert Logic’s Senior Solutions Architect, Dan Pitman said, “Threat hunting is a very effective security practice and is gaining popularity – but there are significant challenges faced by most organizations. One solution is to outsource threat hunting to Security-as-a-Service providers, to get the expertise you need at a cost that won’t break your budget. Mr. Pitman, further noted, “As an added bonus, your team can be redirected to focus on the strategic projects that will drive business success.”