Active threat hunting puts you in control, allowing you to find cyber threats lingering in your network before an attack. With CyberMaxx’s MaxxMDR service, you’ll have what you need to avoid costly incidents with proactive defense measures.

Understanding Threat Hunting

Threat hunting lets your business stay on the offensive. Rather than waiting for a cyber attack to come to you, threat hunting proactively searches for adversaries to squash them in their place. It can include scanning indicators of compromise, malicious activity, intrusions, or other network anomalies to initiate a swift response.

Threat hunting combats sophisticated threat actors. How? By providing a modern cybersecurity solution to spot and mitigate threats before they can damage your network. And while you can get proactive, offensive services via third-party tools, CyberMaxx’s Maxx MDR solution has threat hunting built-in. The result: You get end-to-end detection and response capabilities all in one provider.

The Importance of Threat Research

Robust threat research powers threat hunting. Consider how you obtain “intelligence” on a business competitor or industry to make sound decisions. Threat research is similar but for cybersecurity. It involves analyzing cyber threat trends — letting you know exactly what to look for in your network.
You might, for example, study emerging attacks, common network vulnerabilities for your industry, and evolving tactics actors are using. From there, you’ll have a solid foundation for indicators of compromise. In other words, there are things to look for and anticipate during threat-hunting activity.
Staying ahead of known cyber attacks is easy. But combating emerging threats? That’s a different story. One where the “hero” is a threat research program powering your algorithms with insights on what tomorrow’s attack might bring.

How Offensive Security Services Strengthen Defenses

You’ve created your network with defense measures. So, how or where will a cyber threat actor exploit it to deliver an attack? Offensive security solutions answer that question. It lets you proactively identify vulnerabilities (or even actual threats) for remediation. While we already discussed threat hunting, there are other ways to deploy offensive security:

  • Penetration testing: Simulating attacks against your network to see what’s most vulnerable or likely to be compromised. It lets you strengthen defenses by finding weak points that need additional controls before an adversary.
  • Red teaming: Using professional, ethical hackers to deliver real cyber attacks against your network through common adversarial tactics. It helps you fortify against the most likely attacks by detecting  security flaws.
  • Purple teaming: Applying offensive (red team) and defensive (blue team) cyber attack simulations in a collaborative environment. It lets you advance security by providing insights into prevention and detection measures.

Offensive security is proactive by default. You can use these tactics to stay ahead of threat actors by knowing where you’re most vulnerable. With those insights, you can close security gaps, beef up controls, or patch whatever weaknesses an attacker might exploit.

For example, maybe you ran a red team exercise and found you’re heavily susceptible to email phishing. Unknown addresses are getting through, and users are falling for the scam. Now you know to add security controls for your email server and provide employee awareness training.

Integration of Threat Hunting, Research, and Offensive Services in MaxxMDR

Nothing illustrates our “offense fuels defense” approach better than the CyberMaxx MaxxMDR service. It puts a nuanced spin on traditional MDR, incorporating methods that keep us ahead of adversaries. Threat research teams gain insights into emerging tactics, tools, and vulnerabilities. Based on those insights, threat hunters seek out indicators of compromise in your network for swift detection and response.

This coordinated effort, combined with powerful machine learning (ML) algorithms and automated analysis tools, is a game-changer. We can get deeper insights into (current and emerging) threat landscapes and provide end-to-end detection and response capabilities. The result: Our SOC team constantly learns and adapts to new attacks so you can deploy stronger defenses.
Jeremy Wiedner, our principal SOC analyst, explains it best:

“The proactive, human-led pursuit, guided by threat intelligence that seeks to discover adversary activity that has evaded existing security controls. Its goals are to reduce dwell time, minimize the negative impact to the business, of security incidents, reduce the attack surface, and improve overall security posture.”

Key Strategies and Techniques in Threat Hunting and Research

Effective threat hunting is nearly impossible without solid research. If you don’t know where you’re vulnerable or what emerging attack trends are, how will you know what to look for in your network? It’s a never-ending process demanding collaboration between SOC personnel, security analysts, and offensive security teams.

Concrete threat hunting and research also rely on data analysis. What do we mean?

  • Intelligence on threats making their way into your industry
  • Insights on adversarial tactics and tools
  • Event information from network traffic and system logs
  • Activity tracking to spot suspicious and anomalous activity

You can continuously update defense mechanisms if all these techniques are in place. And we don’t just mean with robust security controls. These strategies can help you adopt measures that even an adversary can’t anticipate.

Threat Hunting and Research: A Pathway to a Secure Future

Protecting yourself from yesterday’s cyber attacks won’t do you much good. Only through comprehensive threat hunting, research, and offensive services can you reliably adapt to emerging cyber-attacks. And by staying ahead, you’ll get the peace of mind you deserve — knowing you’re equipped with the most robust defensive measures.