Elevate your SOC: Key Steps to Kickstart Threat Hunting

In today’s rapidly evolving cyber landscape, the traditional, reactive approach to security just doesn’t cut it anymore. For cyber professionals seeking to shift paradigms, proactive threat hunting represents a pivotal strategy. But what is threat hunting, and how can you start weaving it into your cybersecurity strategy effectively? This piece aims to demystify threat hunting and provide you with a roadmap to kickstart your journey towards a more secure cyber environment.

What Exactly is Threat Hunting?

At its core, threat hunting is not about passively waiting for alarms to go off; it transcends the traditional wait-and-respond approach. It’s the cybersecurity equivalent of going on the offensive, actively searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack—or more aptly, a specific needle in a massive haystack. It’s driven by hypotheses, essentially educated guesses, that guide your exploration in the vast data expanse of your network to unearth hidden threats.

Benefits of Threat Hunting

  1. Early Detection: Identifies threats before they cause significant damage.
  2. Enhanced Security Posture: Improves overall security by continuously adapting to new threats and tactics.
  3. Reduced Incident Response Time: Enables quicker response to threats, minimizing potential impact.
  4. Increased Understanding of Threat Landscape: Builds knowledge of current threat actors and methodologies, enhancing defence strategies.
  5. Proactive Risk Management: Identifies vulnerabilities and security gaps, allowing for preemptive remediation.

How to Start Threat Hunting

  1. Define Objectives: Establish clear goals based on your organization’s threat model and risk appetite.
  2. Leverage Threat Intelligence: Use external and internal threat intelligence to guide hunting hypotheses.
  3. Utilize the Right Tools and Technologies: Invest in a robust security stack that includes SIEM (Security Information and Event Management), EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response), and advanced analytics.
  4. Develop and Refine Hypotheses: Regularly update your hunting hypotheses based on the latest security trends.
  5. Operationalize Findings: Integrate threat-hunting insights into existing security operations to enhance automation and response strategies.

Thumb Rule of Threat Hunting

Adopt the mindset that your network is already compromised. This seemingly cautious stance is a strategic advantage in uncovering hidden threats by methodically disproving or confirming their presence.

Aim to automate responses once a threat is identified, converting the discovery into a streamlined, repeatable process. This enhances your team’s efficiency in neutralizing future threats.

Two Golden Nuggets of Wisdom

  1. Past Incidents are Goldmines: When crafting new hypotheses, don’t reinvent the wheel. Leverage past incidents, especially SOC alerts that were confirmed as true positives. This historical insight can provide valuable clues for future hunts.
  2. Tie SOC Monitoring to Threat Hunting: Automation is your friend. By analyzing the type of incidents that are frequently triggered in your environment, you can build tailored hypotheses for threat hunting. This symbiotic relationship between SOC monitoring and threat hunting not only streamlines the process but also enhances the overall security posture.

From Concept to Action: Launching Your Threat Hunting Initiative

Success in threat hunting requires foundational strength in incident detection and a high-functioning SOC. It’s vital to:

  1. Solidify Your Incident Detection and SOC Foundations: Before diving into threat hunting, ensure your incident detection capabilities are robust and your SOC is functional and efficient. This foundational step is crucial for a successful threat-hunting program.
  2. Tailor Hypothesis to Your Environment: Stay informed about the global threat landscape, but tailor your threat-hunting activities to the specific needs and characteristics of your organization.
  3. Continuous Learning and Evolution: The cyber threat landscape is always changing, and so should your threat-hunting strategies. Regularly review and refine your tactics based on new information and trends in cybersecurity.


Embarking on a threat-hunting journey is a significant step towards bolstering your cybersecurity defences. It’s about shifting from a defensive to an offensive posture, proactively identifying and mitigating threats before they can cause harm. By following these guidelines and continuously refining your approach, you can unlock the full potential of threat hunting and transform your cybersecurity strategy from reactive to proactive.

Remember, the key to effective threat hunting is not just about having the right tools or processes in place; it’s also about fostering a culture of curiosity, persistence, and continuous improvement within your team. So, start your threat-hunting journey today and take a proactive stand against cyber threats.


  • Sujay Mendon

    Sujay Mendon is a distinguished cybersecurity leader, embodying a philosophy that cybersecurity is not just about defense but a strategic enabler for business resilience and growth. With over 12 years of experience in both defensive and offensive security, he currently leads global cybersecurity operations with a focus on Managed Detection & Response. His key focus is on ensuring strategic client management, operations, and driving business growth through service excellence. He excels in orchestrating delivery-led growth strategies, financial management, and leading cross-functional teams worldwide.

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