What Is Threat Hunting?
Cyber threat hunting tools are specialized software programs and systems that actively seek, detect, and address cybersecurity threats. Cyber threat hunting tools collect and analyze data from network traffic, logs, and endpoint behaviors to create a comprehensive cybersecurity landscape. By continuously monitoring the network, these tools discover unknown threat indicators and provide real-time alerts and response mechanisms, empowering security teams to make informed decisions and take prompt action.
In this article, you’ll learn why threat hunting is vital for improving your infrastructure’s security and how threat hunting tools can offer unique advantages compared to other cybersecurity solutions. You’ll also find a guide to top threat hunting solutions in the market.
Why Is Threat Hunting Important?
For many modern organizations, threat hunting serves as a critical front-line defense strategy. Businesses can use tools like security information and event management (SIEM) solutions, endpoint detection and response (EDR), and log management to seek and neutralize malicious activities. This proactive stance bolsters their defenses, shields sensitive data, and ensures a resilient digital environment with a strong security posture.
The CrowdStrike 2023 Threat Hunting Report revealed that the average eCrime breakout time has decreased to 79 minutes, which is down five minutes from 2022. Moreover, some attackers can breach systems in as few as seven minutes. Such statistics highlight the critical need for swift response and proactive threat hunting measures.
Once attackers have breached a system, they can establish a foothold that allows them to return and renew their attack. Organizations must root out persistent intruders who lurk within the system, prevent data compromise, and minimize damage. An inadequate response to cybersecurity breaches can cause organizations to suffer catastrophic data loss, damaged or unavailable systems, and noncompliance with regulations (such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, or the GDPR). This can then lead to financial penalties or losses, the erosion of customer trust, and a damaged business reputation.
How Do SIEM, EDR, and Log Management Tools Augment Your Threat Hunting Capabilities?
SIEM, EDR, and log management tools offer distinct functionalities in the evolving threat landscape. When combined, they create a formidable defense that bolsters threat hunting capabilities.
- Act as an organization’s security infrastructure central nervous system
- Correlate data from multiple sources, providing security teams with a unified view of potential threats across the network
- Identify abnormal patterns and activities to provide comprehensive visibility, early detection, and response to emerging threats
- Offer granular visibility into endpoints, identifying anomalous behaviors, malicious processes, and vulnerabilities
- Swiftly detect threats in distributed work environments to ensure individual device protection
- Enable rapid response and containment, minimizing the risk of breaches spreading within the network
Log management tools
- Ensure the efficient collection, storage, and analysis of log data, fostering a seamless synergy
- Facilitate incident investigations, compliance adherence, and a deep understanding of the scope of security incidents
- Provide crucial information for piecing together the sequence of events during an attack, comprehending threat actor tactics, and mitigating future risks
These tools address the specific threat hunting needs in a complex digital landscape. Organizations gain the ability to detect and respond to sophisticated threats by combining network-wide context from SIEM, endpoint-focused visibility from EDR, and detailed event-based data from log management. This integrated approach detects threats more effectively and enables proactive threat hunting, reducing detection and response times. With this collective approach, organizations can catch critical indicators of compromise, preventing their exposure to potential breaches.
Best Tools to Augment Your Cyber Threat Hunting Capabilities
In this section, we’ll cover top-notch cyber threat hunting solutions currently available and explore their unique offerings.
Falcon Insight XDR by CrowdStrike
Austin, TX | 2011 | www.crowdstrike.com
CrowdStrike is a global cybersecurity leader, providing a cloud-native platform that has redefined modern security. With real-time threat intelligence, automated protection, and rapid deployment, CrowdStrike Falcon® Insight XDR safeguards enterprise endpoints, cloud workloads, and data. CrowdStrike Falcon Insight XDR offers:
- Comprehensive visibility into endpoints, empowering rapid threat investigation and informed decision-making
- AI-powered detection and alert prioritization, curated by top security experts
- Swift response actions, including on-the-fly remote access and integrated CrowdStrike Falcon® Fusion security orchestration automation and response (SOAR) for enhanced efficiency
Falcon LogScale by CrowdStrike
Austin, TX | 2011 | www.crowdstrike.com
CrowdStrike® Falcon LogScale™ is a next-gen SIEM solution and is another core threat hunting product from CrowdStrike. It offers:
- Security logging at petabyte scale for threat hunting, incident response, and compliance
- An extensible query language and custom dashboards for in-depth analysis and real-time threat monitoring
- Fine-grained, role-based access control (RBAC), easy deployment, and a user-friendly interface, ensuring rapid time-to-value and enhanced cybersecurity
- The ability to search across hundreds of gigabytes of data in one second to empower threat hunting teams
Elastic Security by Elastic
Mountain View, CA | 2012 | www.elastic.co
Elastic is a prominent software company known for its Elasticsearch engine, which facilitates rapid real-time data storage and analysis. Elastic Security offers:
- SIEM and security analytics to identify and counter threats in the cloud, regardless of scale
- Endpoint security, which uses a single agent to streamline threat prevention, collection, detection, and response
- Cloud security for organizations to evaluate cloud setup and safeguard their cloud-based workloads
Exabeam Fusion by Exabeam
Foster City, CA | 2013 | www.exabeam.com
Exabeam is a leading cybersecurity company that provides advanced threat detection, investigation, and response solutions. Exabeam Fusion offers:
- Cutting-edge cloud-native SIEM, which combines rapid data ingestion, powerful analytics, and fast query performance
- Unified product capabilities, including cloud-native data storage, behavioral analytics, and automation for streamlined workflows
- Enhanced analyst efficiency through end-to-end workflow automation and improved threat detection, investigation, and response
QRadar by IBM Security
Cambridge, MA | 2015 | www.ibm.com
IBM Security is a renowned leader in the cybersecurity domain, offering a comprehensive range of solutions and services that safeguard organizations against evolving threats. IBM Security QRadar offers:
- Network security visibility that provides a comprehensive network view with event log sources and AWS integrations
- Detection, investigation, and analysis of behaviors and threats, all integrated with threat intelligence
- High-fidelity alerts with magnitude scoring and machine learning analytics to identify anomalous user behavior
Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks
Santa Clara, CA | 2005 | www.paloaltonetworks.com
Palo Alto Networks is a leading cybersecurity company that provides a comprehensive security platform. Cortex XDR offers:
- Comprehensive endpoint protection, defending against advanced threats with a robust security stack, AI-driven analysis, and threat-blocking capabilities
- Accurate threat detection, pinpointing evasive threats with patented behavioral analytics and cutting-edge machine learning
- Fast investigation and response to incidents through an intuitive incident management system and root cause analysis
Singularity by SentinelOne
Mountain View, CA | 2013 | www.sentinelone.com
SentinelOne is a pioneering cybersecurity platform that defends organizations against evolving threats. The SentinelOne Singularity platform offers:
- Comprehensive endpoint protection for prevention, detection, response, and hunting capabilities
- Streamlined security for containers and virtual machines across diverse locations, ensuring agility, compliance, and protection
- Elevated threat detection and response for identity-based surfaces
Splunk Enterprise Security by Splunk
San Francisco, CA | 2003 | www.splunk.com
Splunk is a leading data analytics platform, transforming raw data into actionable insights. With powerful analytics and machine learning capabilities, Splunk helps businesses gain valuable perspectives on operations, security, and customer interactions. Splunk Enterprise Security offers:
- Advanced threat detection with 1,400+ out-of-the-box detection frameworks and an open, extensible data monitoring platform
- Risk-based alerting architecture and integrated intelligence enrichment
- Rapid and responsive security updates and flexible deployment options
XDR by Trend Micro
Shibuya City, Tokyo | 2005 | www.trendmicro.com
Trend Micro is a prominent cybersecurity company that provides comprehensive solutions to safeguard businesses and individuals against evolving digital threats. Trend Micro XDR offers:
- Early, precise threat detection by integrating data for improved speed and accuracy, reducing false positives
- Rapid threat investigation and response, with interactive graphs, MITRE ATT&CK® mapping, and centralized actions
- Advanced threat correlation, connecting comprehensive activity data across security vectors and enhancing analytics and detection models.
Carbon Black by VMware
Palo Alto, CA | 1998 | www.vmware.com
VMware is a notable company specializing in virtualization and cloud computing solutions. VMware Carbon Black offers:
- Modernized endpoint protection that enhances detection and prevention capabilities for comprehensive endpoint security
- A simplified security stack that unifies endpoint and container security via a single agent and console, reducing downtime and optimizing resource usage
- Enhanced environment confidence that provides a clear understanding of your environment and empowers confident decision-making in complex modern setups
- Increased container visibility, enabling faster and more effective remediation by providing improved context into container processes