4 Emerging Cyber Threat Hunting Trends
Cyberattacks are being launched every day across the globe. The frequency of attacks are continuously growing and the threat of sensitive corporate and personal data being compromised lingers everywhere. As technology evolves, so do bad actors. Cyberattacks are the fastest growing crime in the world, and for every new development aimed at increasing security, there is a hacker looking to break through for their own personal motives.
Cybersecurity has become one of the most critical priorities for businesses and is a fast-moving industry. While it is imperative to make sure your assets and information are protected, there are many other factors that go into managing an efficient and well-rounded security strategy.
Here are 4 key cybersecurity trends all network security teams should be aware of.
1. Expanding Attack Surfaces
After the impacts of the 2020 pandemic and the subsequent actions organizations across the globe took to continue operating, industry has experienced a substantial shift in the way the world “goes to work.” In the U.S., approximately 46% of employees have at least a hybrid work experience, and even that figure is a couple percentage points below the global average.
As businesses move to more remote or hybrid work schedules, this has increased cybersecurity risks. While the flexibility favors the worker, there must be emphasis on extra security measures for BYOD devices on at-home networks.
This cultural shift has expanded attack surfaces for cyber criminals to find ground. Advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile devices has extended the reach of hackers beyond the confines of your work or home office.
Especially with IoT devices being more vulnerable to attacks, organizations need to fine-tune their security strategies to assure devices not subscribed to the corporate firewall will not affect their infrastructure.
2. Geo-targeted Phishing Attacks
Now that we have covered how remote work and expanding attack surfaces could influence security measures, let’s give an example to what type of attacks are most likely to occur.
Phishing attacks are links sent by hackers misdirecting users to websites posing as a familiar site. The user is then typically prompted for login or other private information. Phishing attacks can typically appears in the form of a browser pop-up window or within an email.
Phishing is not a new hacking technique by any means, but cyber criminals are heavily trending towards reliance on geolocation to make their phishing attacks more convincing to innocent users. These tactics can range from the more technical method of collecting IP address data or language settings in your device, to simpler ways such as tracing back the country’s extension for an email address.
Whatever way it is achieved, it is worth repeating the golden rule of business email practices: if an email or website redirect looks suspicious, do not engage and inform your IT team.
3. Low Value Traffic Driving Up Visibility Costs
When SecOps teams are threat hunting, the goal is to search for anomalies in the immense amount of managed traffic flows. One big challenge is to overcome the massive rise in network traffic that provides little value to threat detection tools.
Maximizing visibility is essential to cyber threat hunting but it comes at a cost. If security teams can intelligently reduce traffic into expensive monitoring tools without sacrificing visibility, organizatons can save valuable budget dollars.
Here are a couple examples of traffic that may be considered lower value for threat hunters:
- Encrypted traffic – With the invent of more robust encryption algorithms (TLS 1.3, QUIC), decryption is not an option for larger network monitoring applications. If you can’t access the payload information, you are at risk of spending capital on analyzing data you getting no value out of. Many organizations are looking for ways to reduce the amount of encrypted traffic forwarded to tools and only forward initial handshakes or metadata that can be leveraged for threat hunting.
- Streaming Video – Popular video streaming service like NetFlix, Disney+ or Hulu are rarely considered risky and are constantly creating massive data flows. Utilizing compute and storage resources on these traffic types would be wasteful. Many threat hunting teams are looking for ways to reliably drop streaming video traffic prior to their valued analytics tools.
4. Machine Learning
A popular trend in cybersecurity to combat nonstop cyber threats is Machine Learning.
Machine Learning is the use and development of analytics tools that can pick up common patterns in their functionality and adapt to those patterns for future purposes. A branch off of artificial intelligence (AI), applying machine learning to threat hunting tools helps refine your security fabric in real time.
As we have said ad nauseam, attacks are occurring every day and they come in a variety of forms each with their own unique characteristics. Apply Machine Learning techniques creates a proactive approach to threat hunting, as this allows tools to adapt to emerging attack vectors and better prepare for future attacks.
The cybersecurity industry is vast and fast paced. There are plenty of other concerns to look out for in the coming future, these are just some of the trends that are crucial to how SecOps teams move forward.
To protect individual, private, corporate, and government information systems and prevent increasingly sophisticated threats from penetrating mission-critical information, organizations should opt for flexible and intelligent cybersecurity technologies.