NewsFebruary 13, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

Threat Hunting Is a Top Security Priority for 2017

Threat hunting has moved to the top of the agenda for security professionals in response to ever-growing security challenges.

A Crowd Research Partners survey of the Information Security Community on LinkedIn revealed that the volume of cyberattacks is rising significantly. It also showed that security operations centers (SOCs) can reduce the threat by deploying sophisticated threat hunting platforms.

The report advocated a proactive approach to hunting threats, which involves searching for and weeding out threats on a network to improve detection speed, increase accuracy and minimize risk.

Threats Are Multiplying

More than 80 percent of the cybersecurity professionals surveyed reported that the number of threats has at least doubled during the past 12 months. Similarly, about four-fifths of respondents predicted that threat hunting will be a top security initiative in 2017.

The research suggested that the range of emerging threats will continue to rise and outpace the ability of organizations to deal with them. The majority of respondents reported low confidence in their company’s capacity to discover advanced threats. In contrast, just 6 percent indicated full confidence.

The results illustrated two key challenges for SOCs: a lack of advanced threat detection capabilities and a shortage of expertise to help reduce risk.

Key Benefits of Threat Hunting

Virtually all survey respondents reported that they want to work in an SOC that makes the most of proactive security capabilities. Additionally, 60 percent indicated that they “have some knowledge or are very knowledgeable” about hunting techniques.

According to the report, the key benefits of threat hunting include better detection of advanced threats, the use of new detection methods and speedier investigation of potential problems. In fact, a threat hunting platform can cut the amount of time it takes to discover a threat in half and accelerate investigation times by 42 percent.

The Need for Action

Holger Schulze, founder of the Information Security Community on LinkedIn, said in a statement that SOCs can identify and resolve threats faster and more reliably by combining human intelligence with next-generation hunting platforms.

The survey, which was produced in partnership with a series of cybersecurity vendors, polled 330 security professionals. It follows research by the SANS Institute last year, which revealed that 86 percent of IT professionals have engaged in threat hunting activity, according to Dark Reading.

These trends have led many experts to predict that threat analysis will go mainstream in 2017.

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Mark Samuels

Tech Journalist

Mark Samuels is an experienced business technology journalist with an outstanding track record in research. He specializes in the role of chief information officers (CIOs) and is adept at helping executives understand the business benefits of complex technologies. Key areas of interest include innovation, digital transformation, cloud computing, mobility, information security, ecommerce and big data. Mark has written articles for national newspapers, including The Guardian, The Times and The Sunday Times. He has also produced features and columns for a range of IT trade publications, such as Computer Weekly, ZDNet, Tech Republic, IT Pro, Channel Pro, CBR and The Register.