All About Threat Hunting and the Skills You Need to Become One

Comprehensive threat management solutions are an absolute must for every IT professional's toolkit when it comes to the protection of systems, networks, and data; nevertheless, not everyone is aware of how to take preemptive actions against potential threats. When a potential threat has been recognized, a firewall, such as an intrusion detection system (IDS) or a security information and event management (SIEM) system, may start to carry out its duties.

You will need to develop and execute a threat-hunting plan in order to provide enough protection for the information technology infrastructure of your company from malicious cyber actors. According to the findings of a study that was carried out by Domaintools, threat hunting is effective because,

  • Seventy-four percent of those who responded reported reduced assault surfaces.

  • 59% reported an improvement in both their response time and their precision.

  • The investigation revealed that fifty percent of the companies had concealed vulnerabilities in their information security systems.

Basics of Threat Hunting

What Is Threat Hunting?

The phrase "threat hunting" refers to a specific kind of security inquiry that seeks to unearth possible risks that have evaded detection up to this point. The goal of this kind of research is to uncover prospective threats.

Who Is a Threat Hunter?

Someone who is well-versed in their profession and has an insatiable appetite for learning more about potential dangers is qualified to be called a danger hunter. They choose to disregard warnings sent by security systems and make no attempt to patch vulnerabilities that have been identified. Instead, they are employed by the firm as analysts, where they put their knowledge of the intricacies of the business and the nature of the dangers they face to use in directing the company's inquiry and leading the company to the information that is most important.

Why They Hunt?

There was a time when companies were worried about automated forms of malware and viruses that may compromise their information technology infrastructure. The enemy is no longer just armful software like a computer virus; it is today actual people who pose threats to your systems in unique and persistent ways. The median time it took for the world to find a security vulnerability decreased from 146 days in 2015 to 99 days in 2016. This change occurred between 2015 and 2016. Nevertheless, you still need to be cautious for the next hundred and ninety-nine days.It is better not to wait for security tools to produce alerts but rather to actively hunt for hazards so that you can respond quickly and minimize as much damage as possible. If you wait for security tools to issue alerts, you may miss out on potential threats.

What Does a Threat Hunter Do?

A practitioner in information technology (IT) security specializing in locating information system vulnerabilities is known as a threat hunter. They can examine the full picture of the system's endpoints, such as phones, IP addresses, and computers, and advise IT departments on how to make the greatest use of the resources they have at their disposal to detect and neutralize any security problems. Because they use the same methods, hackers are familiar with the best practices for networking and have an in-depth grasp of how data travels throughout a network.

After performing an investigation into the systems or endpoints of the network to look for patterns or signs of compromise, it is the analyst's responsibility to analyze the situation and report their findings. The confluence of technologies, such as email and instant messaging, has led to the development of biometrics as a method for controlling security vulnerabilities. They first notify the security officer or the SOC about possible threats and then work with the senior management to find solutions to these problems.

Acquiring the Ability to Recognize and Avoid Potential Risks

Consider the following information if you currently have these skills or feel you can quickly learn them and are interested in becoming a risk hunter.

  • Learn everything you can about your area of interest and develop a voracious desire for information.

  • Learn about cutting-edge resources that can help you identify possible threats.

  • Acquire the ability to utilize your "sixth sense" to recognize potential threats.

  • Make clever predictions.

  • Acquire the Skills Necessary to Recognize a Situation, Gain Perspective, Make a Call, and Act on It (OODA).

  • Prepare yourself for the possible moves that your opponent may make.

Training should take precedence above anything else. Learning about information technology security is possible via the use of many helpful tools, such as the Simplilearn CompTIA Security+ Certification course. In addition to gaining a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals of network security and risk management, which are covered in considerable detail throughout this course, participants will also gain hands-on experience with threat analysis and the process of responding with appropriate mitigation measures.

Working in the field of cyber security might result in a financially beneficial career choice due to the increased need for skilled individuals in this sector. One may do a wide variety of tasks in this industry, but one of the options that jump out as particularly fascinating is becoming a hazard hunter.

Required Skills for threat hunting

To pursue a career as a threat hunter, you must possess the following skills

Data Analytics

To be successful in one's role as a danger hunter, one must maintain a state of continual awareness, gather pertinent data, and then examine that data in great detail. Because of this, a capable threat hunter needs to have a solid understanding of the analytics, tools, and methods that are utilized in data science. They need to be able to use data visualization tools to create charts and diagrams that will assist them in discovering patterns that will take them to the perfect next steps for their hunting investigations and endeavors. They also need to know how to use these tools properly.

Pattern Recognition

It is crucial for threat hunters to have the capacity to recognize patterns that are suggestive of hacking, malware, and other odd behavior. They will first need to identify patterns of this kind if they will be able to detect any undesirable activity or transaction taking place on the network.

Good Communication

Hunters of danger need to have great communication skills to explain their findings to management and the heads of security teams, along with their proposals for reducing the vulnerabilities they found.

Data Forensic Capabilities

The capacity to investigate new threats, including the method of deployment, the capabilities of the malware, and the potential damage, requires the expertise of data forensics, which a threat hunter can only provide. A person evaluating files does not need to be an expert in data forensics if they know what to look for and where to search. For example, a Trojan horse virus may take control of the Netcat command and make it look as though the system is working normally while, in reality, it has been infected. This would constitute deceptive behavior on the part of the virus.

Understand How the System Works

To be an effective threat hunter, you must thoroughly understand how everything interacts with one another. The emphasis is placed on the knowledge that can be used, which may be gathered through an in-depth acquaintance with one's own organization and the procedures it uses. You will need to acquire the skill of predicting challenges. That is to say; threat hunters need to have the ability to look at a circumstance and immediately comprehend what it signifies. After that, they must collaborate with other teams and lend a hand to improve the level of security.


Those interested in transitioning to threat hunting can teach themselves many of the necessary skills, especially if they already have a background in technology or information technology. This is true for other types of cybersecurity positions as well. Certifications such as CompTIA Security+, GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN), and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), amongst others, are available for individuals who are interested in pursuing careers as threat hunters. These certifications can help individuals stand out in the field.