Article review: Methods employed Cyber Threat Hunt Operations
Threat hunting refers to the process through which the organization’s infrastructure is actively monitored to identify threats using other means that reveals organization system security and operations has been compromised. Organizations that handle sensitive information are subject to cyber intrusion. More so cybersecurity analysis asserts cyber threat hunting are alternative techniques that on rely on signature-based security solutions to counter system attacks. The article authored by Michael Long on “Scalable methods for conducting cyber threat hunt operations” focus on organization security measures to prevent cyber-attacks. The author, Michael Long argues organizations require money, time and workforce to establish secure infrastructure but lack techniques to identify and respond to cyber-attacks. Precisely, the article describes efficacious practices and methods that can be employed to plan and conduct cyber threat operation within the organization. Finally, writers disapprove traditional signature-based security solutions that are inefficient to detect and respond to cyber intrusion from evolved threats.
According to Long (2016), enterprises with powerful information security systems require cyber threat hunt techniques that will enable the infrastructure to identify adversaries to the organizations’ networks. Additionally, cybersecurity experts recognize that threat hunting approach associates intrusion with malicious human activities. Nevertheless, the organizations continue to experience challenges in integrating threat hunting as the accepted information security program (Long, 2016). Additionally, it is unfortunate to note threat hunting can be less effective and inconsistent if not verified and tested using a repeatable methodology.
Most companies have integrated threat hunting technique in their security programs to ensure a high level of awareness that other approaches may not reach. Supporting the author’s arguments, the organization seek to set up threat hunting architecture that is highly effective in protecting sensitive infrastructure from cyber-attacks and suspicious activities. More so, threat hunting operates through networks to detect abnormal behavior caused by intrusions. According to Long (2016), Scalable method of Threat Hunting provides additional visibility to risks that business company security operations may not have.
Creating a Hypothesis
The hypothesis supporting Methods employed by the organization in Cyber Threat Hunt Operations is grounded on analysis of the threat intelligence, evaluation of threat and vulnerabilities of the security infrastructure (Long, 2016). When formulating a hypothesis, one needs to take cognizance of aspects such as foundation built on threat intelligence that define a feature of threat hunting. Regarding issues related to companies cyber-attacks, some questions need to consider in the order generated a cogent argument. Firstly, while formulating the hypothesis, one must identify threats that are likely to be experienced in a specific organization. Further, knowledge of the system security risks helps to evaluate the vulnerability of the installed security program. Having in-depth knowledge of potential threats make it easier to analyze the threat intelligence that could be useful to protect the organization from external attacks or intrusions. Additionally, the author asserts understanding how adversary infiltrate the company’s security system is critical to device a useful framework to address future threats. The objectives are aligned to the hypothesis; thus threat hunter will be able to formulate realistic assumptions supporting the claim.
The efficacious hypothesis must be testable. For instance, the proposition must demonstrate to top-level management on elevated risks which can result in negative implications if intruders access organization sensitive information such as trade secret (Long 2016). The hypothesis identifies potential evidence of threats which compromises the company’s operations. Additionally, it worth noting hypothesis provide systems, specific individual and methods that must be exploited to achieve the ultimate objective of hunting threats. Finally, threat hunters must formulate educated guess that can provide specific guidance on best strategies for conducting threat hunting operations within the organizations.
Investigate via Tools and Techniques
According to Long (2016), threat hunters focus on finding a solution for the hypothesis by investigating tools and techniques that can effectively address the intrusion issue. When dealing with threat hunting issues, the hypothesis must be examined through tools and methodologies linked data and visualization (Long, 2016). Regarding scalable methods and practices, there three analytical techniques which are performed synergistically and concurrently (Long, 2016). The methods include network analysis, log analysis and host analysis (Long, 2016). Firstly, Network Analysis focus on threat hunter through monitoring and analyzing the network challenges due to encryption, storage, and bandwidth. Network threat hunter concentrates on a different set of network operations related to network flow, network IDS or IPS and network device logs. Further, threat hunter evaluates four main network features: duration of the connection, data exchanged, the frequency of connections and outbound network connections. Secondly, Host Analysis evaluates configuration and the behavior of the host system architecture. The threat hunter in this case closely follow-up and evaluate the activities of the end user. For instance, the threat hunter focus on observing deviations from expected users’ behaviors. Thirdly, Log Analysis focus on a host and network hunters activities. Also, log analysis helps in follow-up during an investigation by host hunter and network. Additionally, log analysis allows the threat hunter to identify an indicator that compromise object access and log integrity.
Uncover New Patterns and Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs)
Regarding threat hunting aimed at preventing organizations intrusion, there are various tools and methods employed to reveal malicious patterns, adversary and behaviors. The threat hunting experts focus on detecting primary indicators that are known to compromise IP address, malicious hashes and files systems. The Attack Tree Analysis is a risk assessment tool designed to identify security risks. Additionally, in-depth knowledge attack tree process allow the threat hunter to assess intrusions on the system and formulate mechanisms that can be put in place to prevent cyber-attacks. Moreover, hunters focus on uncovering TTPs that reflects intruders’ behaviors, but it may require investment and time to change.
The threat hunters detect and respond to attacks by operating directly on adversary behavior rather than interacting with tools used to intrude into the system security. Further, the ability to uncover new pattern and TTPs allows the treat hunters to change their information security process as well as a techniques designed to assist in threat hunting operations. However, when the hunter uncovers new Patterns and Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) incorporate data visualization, machine learning techniques and threat intelligence that enable them to stay steps ahead of the intruders.
Pattern and TTPs discovery is a critical element in the threat hunting cycle. The best example could be investigations that reveal user account is behaving abnormally when network detect sending of an unusual of traffic. Additionally, the threat hunter focus on tracking malicious IP or adversary TTPs. Reflecting on attack tree, adversary actions uses techniques, tactics, and procedures to attack the security systems.
Inform and Enrich Analytics
The successful hunt for security threats necessitates critical analysis and identification characteristics cyber threats to form grounds for enriching automated analysis. When threat hunter identifies new and effective strategies for detecting adversary TTPs, they must come up with an automatic and cross-cutting solution to avert implication of TTPs attack on the company’s network. Additionally, investing in practical solutions can be achieved in various ways which include; working on new analytic tools such as Apache Spark, python or R. More so, the solutions can provide feedback to the instructed machine that learns algorithm to confirm the detection of the patterns that are malicious. The implementation of such analytics tools allows the threat hunter to operate and identify new adversary TTPs.
Furthermore, it’s worth to note threat hunter support body of threat intelligence through defining characteristic of cyber-attacks. Inform, and analytic enables the hunter to assess and discover new adversary TTPs then enter the new finding into the organization’s system. Moreover, process of discerning new threats continues where the hunter method and practices mature beyond the assumption-driven hunt to hunt grounded on threat intelligence. The strategy has proved to be more efficient to ensure organizational security
Advantages and Disadvantages of Methodology for Conducting Hunt Operating
Investigate Via Tools and Techniques
The methodology assists in breaking down the threat to operations through three effective techniques which include Log Analysis, Network Analysis, And Host Analysis. Additionally, log Analysis has been applied as the best opportunity for threat hunters to efficiently detect indicators that compromise system security using Log Integrity. Tools and techniques allow the hunter to identify and react to an adversary in the network. Hunter uses the method to visualize and identify an anomalous host in the organization’s system. Nonetheless, the log analysis necessitates balancing of the log generation, quantity and retention limitation.
Uncover New Patterns and TTPs
Uncovering new patterns and TTPs allows the threat hunter to operate directly on adversary behaviors rather than focusing on adversary toolsets. Additionally, when the hunter reveals the new pattern and TTPs, incorporate data visualization, and machine learning technique enables threat hunter to be ahead of attackers’ tricks and techniques. However, the method of uncovering a new pattern and TTPs is complicated and may require substantial investments to maintain a secure system in organizations. More so, the dealing with the attack tree model is ineffective for the hunter to identify information gaps and best investigative techniques.
Inform and Enrich Analytic
Inform and Enrich analytic enable hunters to conduct processes for uncovering adversary TTPs. Additionally, the threat hunter manages to discover the best techniques and method detecting adversary TPPs using an automated solution to counter TTPs that may interfere with the company operations. The threat of intelligence assists monitoring systems in revealing new TTPs. Conversely, Inform and Enrich analytic may become to the organization due processes require to analyze threat intelligence.
The preferred method of Cyber Threat Hunt Operations
Investigating via tools and techniques:
Regarding techniques employed such host analysis, network analysis, and log analysis, this method proves to be efficacious to counter cyber-attacks that negative implication on organization confidentiality. For instance, the Log Analysis allows the organizations to get details of events occurring in their connectivity and security infrastructure. Secondly, Log Analysis technique creates a starting point where investigation on intrusion and follow up by host hunter (Long, 2016). Additionally, Network Analysis technique allows the threat hunters to detect compromised hosts and Adversary interfering with their network.
In summary, Threat hunting refers to the process through which an organization’s infrastructure is actively monitored to identify evidence of undetected threats using other means that reveals the organization has been compromised. The article on “Scalable methods for conducting cyber threat hunt operations” focus on organization security measures to prevent cyber-attacks. Cybersecurity experts recognize that threat hunting approach is associates intrusion with malicious human activities. Further, hypothesis supporting Methods employed by the organization in Cyber Threat Hunt Operations is grounded on an analysis of the threat intelligence and evaluation of threat and vulnerabilities of the security infrastructure. The efficacious hypothesis must be testable. For instance, the proposition must prove to top-level management on elevated risks which can result in negative implication if intruders access organization sensitive information such as trade secret. When dealing with threat hunting issues, the hypothesis must be investigated through tools and techniques such as linked data and visualization. Regarding threat hunting aimed at preventing organizations intrusion, there are various tools and technique employed to uncover malicious patterns, adversary and behaviors. The successful hunt for security threats necessitates critical analysis and identification characteristics cyber threats to form the ground for enriching automated analysis. Regarding the techniques employed such host analysis, network analysis, and log analysis, this method proves to be efficacious to counter cyber-attacks that negative implication on organization confidentiality. For instance, the log analysis allows the organizations to get details of events occurring in their connectivity and security infrastructure.
Long, M. (2016). Scalable Methods for Conducting Cyber Threat Hunt Operations.