This is the third installment in a three-part series on threat hunting by Dr. Eric Cole published on the IBM SecurityIntelligence blog. Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2 for more information.

The purveyors of modern threats are not trying to simply deface your website or own your web server. These advanced attackers are attempting to siphon critical and sensitive data from your network over long periods of time, and do so undetected.

Where Is Your Data?

When threat hunting, at a minimum, you should know where your critical data is stored and how an attacker might try to compromise those systems. Taking it a step further, you should identify which systems, users and devices are connected to those critical assets. These are your attack vectors, which could be under threat by external and internal sources.

Insiders are responsible for the vast majority of damage caused by breaches. While the source of most attacks is external, the cause of damage is internal. Insiders who purposefully perform malicious activity should be identified immediately. But there are also those who, through negligence or lack of awareness, compromise the network’s security unintentionally. These individuals must be properly secured. It is far more common to come across a user who falls victim to phishing or social engineering than a user with the skills and intent to damage your network.

A Baseline for Proactive Security

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