SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Gary Audin
Gary Audin is the President of Delphi, Inc. He has more than 40 years of computer, communications and security...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Gary Audin | April 28, 2017 |

 
   

Hunting for Security Threats

Hunting for Security Threats Threat hunting, a human-centric approach to cyber security, can detect threats where automated machine-centric approaches fail.

Threat hunting, a human-centric approach to cyber security, can detect threats where automated machine-centric approaches fail.

You need to protect your information resources. You install firewalls and session border controllers to block intrusions. You perform analysis of the behavior of people and systems to determine if breaches have occurred. These are all important measures to take, but have you ever considered hunting for threats rather than trying to deal with them as they occur?

The global median time for a security breach to be discovered has reduced from 146 days in 2015 to 99 days 2016 -- a major improvement. But this still leaves 99 days of vulnerability. A recent report on cyber attack trends from Mandiant, a FireEye company, covers threats to various industries on a global scale. One portion of the report that I found particularly interesting is a discussion of threat intelligence.

Threat Intelligence
Defensive detection and incident response are necessary for security. A business has to assume that a breach will occur in its infrastructure and/or the organization itself. Businesses need to focus on hunting threats and developing accurate and factual answers to whether a breach as occurred. Threat intelligence is another element that provides a proactive security condition that supports threat hunting. Threat intelligence offers organizations a means to develop and maintain a baseline of threat profiles. A threat profile is a data-driven technique that alerts organizations and their security teams to who, what, where, when, and how attacks will most likely occur.

Migrating from Reactive to Proactive Defenses
Cyber threat intelligence (CTI) is starting to emerge and take a prominent role within security operations. CTI is being leveraged through analysis of malicious network trends, analysis of threats affecting an organization's vertical market, organizations operating in similar global locations and/or carrying similar assets, or a hybrid of all of these. The threat analysis enables more efficient tactical operations in terms of hunting, identifying, prioritizing, and responding to threats. The graphic below from the report outlines the intelligence flow.

portable


Threat Profile -- This is the baseline of the relevant threats received by an organization, which includes what activities are occurring, the access targeted, and visibility into the operations.

Threat Modeling -- This is understanding the attacker's capabilities relative to your organization. The idea is to increase the measures that can be taken to improve the defensive posture as it is linked to the organization's concerns. This leads into the defense planning.

Tactical Prioritization Schemes -- The threat profile provides a clear picture of the threats with the highest impact. This leads into three areas: automated workflows, responsive efficiency, and hunt planning.

Threat Hunting
At this time, threat hunting is a human-focused process where security staff searches through data to locate evidence of a breach. Threat hunting is different than alert-driven investigations. A human, not an automated system, generates the breach leads to pursue.

The Mandiant report attributes the increase in hunting operations taking place at organizations to three things: the evolution of opportunistic attacks, enhanced security operation center visibility, and a collective experience increase amongst practitioners.

Threat actors are humans and exhibit behavioral patterns that can be used to identify the origin of the breach, identify the attacker, and determine the motivations, methods, or toolset used. Through these correlations, actionable data that can be used to identify, respond to, and prevent future attacks.

Attacker Evolution
Attacker techniques can be hard to identify because of their reliance on compromising legitimate user accounts. These techniques are focused on gaining entry and avoiding the use of malware. Traditional detection mechanisms that are typically performed by computers can easily fail at detecting these techniques. Unfortunately there can be a number of false positive alerts, so a human-centric approach is required.

Threat hunting offers the capability to detect these scenarios. Threat analysts can perform manual searches and aggregations comparing data to known normal activities in order to locate intruders based on attributes such as the time of day or the expected user behavior -- for example, if the user logs into multiple machines at an unusual hour. Advanced security organizations should invest in threat hunting. Traditional machine-centric detection tools don't work effectively when these scenarios occur.

Increasing Skills
Threat hunting has become accessible to less experienced analysts as training and tools have become available. The report observed "an increase in the number of talent acquisition requests for threat hunting expertise from security mature organizations." More resumes now claim to have threat hunting experience. Threat hunting is a skill where the training and education markets are meeting this demand.





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

September 20, 2017

Customer experience can make or break your business. But how do you achieve outstanding customer service when you're dealing with outdated organizational structure, lagging technology, dated proces

August 16, 2017

Contact centers have long been at the leading edge of innovation in communications technology, given their promise of measurable ROI and the continual need to optimize customer interactions and sta

July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.