What and Why: Threat Hunting

What and Why: Threat Hunting

In the ever-evolving realm of cybersecurity, where the digital landscape undergoes constant transformations, the significance of cyberthreat hunting cannot be overstated. Threat hunting represents a proactive strategy that goes beyond traditional reactive security measures, involving the active search and mitigation of potential threats within a network. In this blog, we explain the essence of threat hunting, exploring why it is crucial in today’s dynamic digital environment, the tools and technologies that assist in this pursuit, and the hidden risks an organization faces when it neglects threat hunting techniques.

Why Is Threat Hunting Important?

The digital landscape is a breeding ground for innovative opportunities but also harbors an expanded attack surface for sophisticated threats. Traditional, reactive defensive measures are no longer sufficient. Threat hunting becomes a necessity to actively anticipate and mitigate potential threats.

In the face of the ever-evolving tactics of cyber adversaries, the practice of threat hunting becomes instrumental in keeping organizations ahead of potential threats, allowing for their timely identification and neutralization before they escalate into critical incidents. NETSCOUT Omnis Cyber Intelligence (OCI) stands at the forefront of this proactive cybersecurity approach, providing organizations with real-time visibility achieved through scalable deep-packet inspection. The platform seamlessly integrates advanced threat intelligence, utilizing sources such as NETSCOUT’s ATLAS Intelligence Feed and third-party threat intelligence via STIX/TAXII integration. Additionally, OCI showcases scalability with its patented Smart Data techniques, reinforcing its role as a proactive guardian and empowering organizations to strengthen their cybersecurity defenses effectively.

Tools and Technologies in Threat Hunting

As the digital environment grows in complexity, so do the tools and technologies employed in threat hunting. Signature-based detection, behavior-based detection, and threat intelligence are pivotal components. NETSCOUT's OCI takes threat hunting to the next level by integrating advanced technologies such as machine learning (ML). OCI’s Omnis CyberStream probes provide comprehensive packet-level visibility across diverse network infrastructures, enabling the monitoring of both north-south and east-west traffic. Its ML algorithms sift through abundant packet data, identifying patterns and anomalies that signify potential threats. OCI’s emphasis on integration and collaboration with external cybersecurity tools such as security information and event management (SIEM) and security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) technologies streamlines workflows, reducing the time between threat detection and response.

Hidden Risks of Neglecting Threat Hunting

Neglecting threat hunting techniques poses significant risks to organizations, primarily stemming from a reactive approach and reliance on outdated security systems. Reactive measures are inherently insufficient in the face of sophisticated cyberthreats that continually evolve. Without proactive threat hunting, organizations may fall victim to attacks that exploit vulnerabilities in their systems, potentially resulting in data breaches, financial losses, and reputational damage.

Scalability issues often arise when organizations rely solely on reactive security measures, hindering the ability to effectively monitor and respond to the growing volume and complexity of cyberthreats. Manual investigations, which can be time-consuming, may lead to delayed threat identification and response, allowing adversaries to exploit weaknesses during this crucial time gap. Additionally, dependency on expertise can create a bottleneck, with organizations that rely on a few skilled individuals struggling to keep pace with the ever-changing threat landscape.

Crucially, without proactive threat hunting, organizations risk overlooking critical threats hidden within the vast volume of digital data traversing their networks. This oversight can result in undetected malicious activities, providing adversaries with the opportunity to execute attacks undetected. The constant evolution of cyber adversaries, employing tactics such as zero-day exploits and ransomware, necessitates adaptive and predictive cybersecurity measures—precisely what threat hunting delivers. In summary, neglecting threat hunting exposes organizations to heightened cybersecurity risks, jeopardizing their overall security posture and resilience against modern cyberthreats.


NETSCOUT’s OCI significantly enhances threat hunting capabilities by providing real-time and historical visibility via deep-packet inspection. With comprehensive coverage across various traffic types, including north-south, east-west, on-premises, hybrid cloud environments, and encrypted traffic, OCI ensures proactive threat identification. Omnis CyberStream, a component of OCI, extends this capability by storing packets and metadata for long periods. This feature enables ad hoc, historical investigations, allowing organizations to delve into past network activities and swiftly identify and address potential threats.

The platform seamlessly integrates advanced threat intelligence from sources such as ATLAS Intelligence Feed and third-party feeds via STIX/TAXII integration. This contextual insight equips organizations to defend against evolving threats by aligning their defenses with the latest threat landscapes. OCI’s collaboration features, including integration with SIEM and SOAR systems, streamline workflows, fostering efficient threat detection and response. OCI is a valuable ally for organizations seeking a proactive approach to identify and neutralize potential threats swiftly.

Learn more about Omnis Cyber Intelligence 
Learn more about Threat Hunting