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Cyber threats target every organization’s operational integrity. It’s no longer about how and why but when these digital onslaughts will strike. Learn how threat detection and response can keep you resilient despite the inevitable cybersecurity challenges ahead.

Cybersecurity Definition of Terms

Cyber threat management can be complex and challenging. To cut through the confusion, let’s define some key terms to better understand cybersecurity threat analysis concepts.

Threat Hunting

Threat hunting is a proactive approach where security teams search for signs of malicious activity. They check network logs, analyze endpoint activities, and scrutinize abnormal patterns to uncover potential threats before they escalate.

Threat Detection

Threat detection is more of a reactive or active approach. It relies on automated tools and technologies to identify threats based on predefined patterns, anomalies, or known compromise indicators.

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) tools can continuously monitor endpoints to quickly identify malicious behavior. For instance, it detects malware through unusual patterns.

Threat Response

Threat response is the organized reaction to an identified threat. In response to data breaches, actions may include isolating vulnerable systems, investigating the breach source, and implementing security patches.

These are key elements of effective threat detection and response solutions. Let’s dig deeper into these measures, starting with the core methods of cyber threat prevention.

Warning alert – system hacked 4 Methods of Threat Detection

Effective threat detection methods fall into four major categories, which can be further classified into “environmental” and “threat” domains.

Modeling and Configuration Analysis focuses on understanding and assessing elements within the broader IT environment. Threat Behavior and Indicators use patterns to filter out potential hazards.

Modeling (Environmental)

Modeling normal behavior helps identify anomalies that may indicate or detect threats. Anomalies are any deviation from what’s considered typical or standard. They often happen within your IT setting, such as network traffic, user activities, or system behaviors.

Let’s say a network typically experiences low traffic during non-business hours. A sudden surge in activity during those times might be flagged as an anomaly. Likewise, a user attempting to access sensitive data outside their usual scope is anomalous. Investigating such deviations can help fortify your network security and mitigate potential data breaches.

Configuration Analysis (Environmental)

In this method, security teams compare current configurations against optimal and secure configurations by utilizing automated tools and manual review. Misconfigurations introduce vulnerabilities threat actors may exploit to compromise security.

Implementing a routine schedule for checking firewall configurations is a prime example. This can be done (monthly, quarterly, or according to organizational needs. It helps you close unauthorized access points that serve as attack surfaces for cyber threats.

Threat Behavior (Threat)

Analyzing behavioral analytics that might indicate malicious intent or compromise is a scalable strategy in cyber risk management. Unlike traditional indicators focusing on individual technical elements, threat behaviors concentrate on collective behavior patterns.

Monitoring user behavior, for example, can detect unusual patterns like multiple failed login attempts. It will signal potential brute-force cyber attacks. Thus, allowing you to respond automatically with real-time alerts and temporary account lockouts.

Indicators (Threat)

Think of indicators as warning signs. Some indicate everything is fine (good indicators). Others alert us about potential problems (bad indicators). Analysts derive indicators from existing investigations or analyses.

Assume the multiple failed login attempts in our previous example are from a particular user account. It only attempts to access different systems within a short timeframe. However, you can develop an indicator based on this behavior. This indicator can instantly scan your network and identify other instances where similar suspicious login patterns may occur.

It’s crucial to note that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. How you detect and respond to threats depends on your specific business requirements.

4 Responses to Threats

Successfully threat identification is only half the battle in cybersecurity. Without a clear grasp of how to properly respond to threats, your detection efforts may be futile. Here are four actions your security team could take.

  • Isolation & Containment. Isolate and contain affected systems through a variety of approaches to halt the lateral spread of malicious activities. Examples are network segmentation, access controls, or quarantine protocols.
  • Investigation. Utilize threat monitoring tools and methodologies to investigate the attack’s scope and origin. Examples of such include packet analysis tools, threat Intelligence platforms, and EDR solutions.
  • Remediation. Respond to threats by eliminating vulnerabilities and applying patches to prevent future unauthorized access and secure sensitive information.
  • Proactive Prevention. Continuously monitor for potential threats and learn from incidents to enhance threat detection and response.

Staying ahead of threats requires not only robust response strategies but also efficient measures. Safeguard your digital assets today. Explore how 7tech’s threat detection and response solutions can empower your in-house IT team. Or sign up for our IT Pro’s Playbook: Threat Prevention webinar.