Threat Hunting Tools
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Phishing Catcher is an open source threat hunting tool that allows a user to proactively search for potential phishing domains based on issued TLS certifications.
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YARA is an open source threat hunting tool that identifies and classifies malware software.
Clearnetwork is a platform that monitors, detects, and acts on threats within a network. It also utilizes log management and security information and event management to track malware events within a network.
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What are Threat Hunting tools?
Threat hunting, also sometimes referred to as cyberthreat hunting, is the process of analyzing a network to identify and preemptively neutralize unknown threats within the network. Threat hunting tools allow security professionals to quickly handle threats in an organization’s digital landscape before those threats have a chance to do harm to the organization. These tools can include advanced analytical input and output, security monitoring, integrated security information and event management (), security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) systems, and managed detection and response () systems.
When a bad actor breaches a network, they can remain undetected for weeks or even months. Malware, or malicious software, can cause vast amounts of damage by siphoning off sensitive information from the organization or the organization’s clients. This is where the concept of threat hunting comes in. Using data gathered by security analytics and threat intelligence software, security professionals can proactively scan, identify, log, nullify, and monitor the network for new potential threats. Threat hunting tools can be complementary to an organization's established security measures, and serve as an additional layer of security for the organization's network.
Threat hunting tools are closely related to threat intelligence, but the two aim to accomplish different goals. Threat intelligence is the process of using analytics to collect information on a specific threat which can be useful for identifying similar threats in the future. Threat hunting is the process of using data analytics to scan a network and act on any instances of threats that are discovered. In many cases, threat intelligence plays an active role in threat hunting.
There are three different types of threat hunting: structured hunting, unstructured hunting, and situational or entity driven hunting. Structured hunting is driven by traits of an attacker such as indicators of attack and techniques and procedures. Unstructured hunting is guided by triggers, or events that alert hunters to threat patterns found within the network. Finally, situational or entity driven hunting is defined by a situational hypothesis or an entity-aligned lead which guides where the threat hunter should look in the network.
Threat Hunting Platforms Features & Capabilities
Threat hunting requires a wide range of features and functions. These typically include:
- Machine learning
- Artificial intelligence
- Statistical analytics
- Intelligence analytics
- Behavioral analytics
- Security monitoring and analytics
- Integrated SIEM systems
- Integrated SOAR systems
- Integrated MDR systems
- Threat intelligence
Threat Hunting Platform Comparison
The platform’s integrations, security and reporting, and threat intelligence are crucial to the successful identification and termination of threats within a network. Some organizations may also find tools that allow for additional reporting and logging of threat patterns, which could provide insight for preventing them in the future. To better compare threat hunting tools, consider the following:
Analytics: A good tool should be able to use analytics and insights to identify threats, and then provide information about the threat afterwards. Threat hunting tools use analytics to establish patterns of behavior based on each threat’s tactics and techniques. This allows an organization to adjust their security landscape and better prepare for threats using similar patterns. Look for a tool that values the information that can be gathered from hunting a threat and then shares the information in as much detail as possible.
Features: When comparing threat hunting tools, keep in mind that some tools offer different features. These could range from specific functionality that a tool specializes in, such as MDR, to a suite of features that include a variety of different services. Features can add to the overall scope of your organization, or it could be that you may have such systems in place already. In either case, it would be important to consider how additional features could play a role in your existing network systems.
Open Source vs. Paid Products: Pricing is another important aspect of threat hunting tools to consider. It should be noted that many of the products in the free range are open source, which means they will require a certain degree of technical knowledge to implement effectively. The trade off is that a user can fully customize open software to their needs. Open source threat hunting tools will cost less upfront but require more set up initially, while closed source threat hunting tools may cost more but come with dedicated teams to handle most of the setup work.
There is a range of pricing options available for threat hunting tools ranging from free to enterprise level packages which can cost upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
For users who feel more comfortable with downloading and installing program files, open source solutions may be a better choice. These solutions offer users the ability to customize and personalize the threat hunting tools specifically to their needs. However, if scalability is a concern, you may want to consider closed-source solutions.
Closed-source solutions, or paid solutions, are typically billed on a monthly basis per endpoint that is protected. For users looking for threat hunting tools and services that are already packaged together and scalable with business needs, a paid option might be the way to go. Most of these solutions offer services to scan, monitor, and handle threats within a network, and sometimes include a dedicated team of analysts to manage your network activity.