25 Essential Threat Hunting Tools for Your Arsenal in 2024

25 Essential Threat Hunting Tools for Your Arsenal in 2023

Threat hunting tools are an integral part of the cyber security landscape. These invaluable resources play a crucial role in proactive defense strategies, bolstering our ability to detect, analyze, and counteract potential threats before they become critical. 

This comprehensive guide offers an in-depth look at some of the top tools across diverse categories, including Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), Network Detection and Response (NDR), Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), Threat Intelligence, User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA), and Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) tools.

Each category is explored with a clear focus on how these tools aid in threat hunting and enhance overall cyber security proficiency. Whether you're a newcomer diving into the field or a veteran looking to bolster your toolkit, these tools can be your aid in navigating the complex landscape of modern cyber threats. 

Let's begin our look through these powerful and versatile threat hunting tools.

Essential Threat Hunting Tools

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)

In threat hunting, EDR tools act as the first line of defense. They are continually on guard, scanning endpoint activities for abnormalities, thus enabling early threat detection and proactive response, which is essential for any effective threat hunting strategy.

Carbon Black

Carbon Black
Image from https://www.vmware.com/

Carbon Black is a leading Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solution. Powered by VMware, it provides advanced threat hunting capabilities, using predictive models to detect malicious behavior and providing comprehensive visibility across endpoints.

Availability

Paid - Tiered; free trial.

Why we like it

It stands out for its predictive security, which uses machine learning to identify threats before they can cause damage.

Unique features:

  • Cloud-native endpoint protection platform
  • Extensive visibility across numerous endpoints
  • Preventative security through machine learning models

Learn more about it here: VMware

CrowdStrike Falcon

CrowdStrike Falcon
Image from https://www.crowdstrike.com/

CrowdStrike Falcon is a family of cloud-native endpoint security solutions that combine antivirus, endpoint detection and response (EDR) and managed threat hunting capabilities into a single, lightweight agent. It uses advanced AI algorithms to detect and prevent threats in real time.

Availability

Paid - Tiered; free trial.

Why we like it

Its AI-enhanced, real-time threat detection and lightweight design stand out among its peers, ensuring minimal impact on system performance while providing comprehensive security coverage.

Unique features:

  • Cloud-native endpoint security platform
  • AI-enhanced, real-time threat detection and prevention
  • Lightweight design ensures minimal impact on system performance

Learn more about it here: CrowdStrike

Symantec Endpoint Detection and Response

Symantec Endpoint Detection and Response
Image from https://www.broadcom.com/

Symantec Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) is a comprehensive security solution that provides multi-layered defense, advanced threat hunting, and remediation capabilities. It offers a detailed attack analysis, helping organizations understand, prioritize, and manage security events.

Availability

Paid - Tiered; free trial.

Why we like it

We appreciate Symantec EDR for its advanced threat hunting capabilities, which include machine learning and behavioral analysis techniques to detect subtle, complex threats.

Unique features:

  • Multi-layered defense against a variety of threats
  • Advanced threat hunting capabilities with machine learning and behavioral analysis
  • Insights into the entire attack lifecycle

Learn more about it here: Broadcom

Microsoft Defender For Endpoint

Microsoft Defender For Endpoint
Image from https://www.microsoft.com/

Microsoft Defender For Endpoint is a unified, cloud-based endpoint security solution with automated investigation and response capabilities. It uses advanced behavioral analytics and machine learning for proactive threat hunting and post-breach investigations.

Availability

Paid - Tiered; free trial.

Why we like it

We appreciate the extensive integration of Microsoft Defender For Endpoint with other Microsoft products, allowing for a seamless and comprehensive security posture across an organization's Microsoft ecosystem.

Unique features:

  • Unified, cloud-based endpoint security platform
  • Automated investigation and remediation capabilities
  • Seamless integration with the Microsoft ecosystem

Learn more about it here: Microsoft

Network Detection and Response (NDR)

NDR solutions serve as vigilant watchers in threat hunting. By analyzing network traffic for suspicious patterns and activities, they empower threat hunters with the ability to spot, investigate, and neutralize threats before they can impact network health.

Vectra AI

Vectra AI
Image from https://www.vectra.ai/

Vectra AI is a leading network detection and response platform using artificial intelligence to detect, hunt, and respond to threats in real-time. It provides continuous monitoring and proactive threat hunting to detect hidden and unknown attackers before they cause harm.

Availability

Paid - Tiered.

Why we like it

Vectra AI offers comprehensive visibility across your network, utilizing advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to detect anomalous behaviors indicative of a cyber attack.

Unique features:

  • Continuous monitoring and proactive threat hunting
  • Utilizes AI and machine learning to detect anomalous behaviors
  • Real-time threat response capabilities

Learn more about it here: Vectra AI

Cisco Secure Network Analytics

Cisco Secure Network Analytics
Image from https://www.cisco.com/

Cisco Secure Network Analytics is a robust network traffic analysis solution that leverages telemetry from your existing infrastructure to detect advanced threats. It offers visibility into every corner of your network and uses advanced security analytics to detect abnormal behavior and potential threats.

Availability

Paid - Scalable.

Why we like it

Cisco Secure Network Analytics impresses us with its ability to use existing network telemetry to detect threats, helping to identify potential threats and anomalies that other tools might miss.

Unique features:

  • Deep network visibility
  • Advanced security analytics
  • Leverages existing network telemetry for threat detection

Learn more about it here: Cisco

Fidelis Elevate

Fidelis Elevate
Image from https://fidelissecurity.com/

Fidelis Elevate is a comprehensive cyber security platform providing network and endpoint detection, response, deception, and analytics. It allows for proactive threat hunting by offering visibility across the network and endpoints and utilizes automated detection to identify threats in real-time.

Availability

Paid - Scalable.

Why we like it

Fidelis Elevate stands out for its all-in-one approach to cyber security, combining network and endpoint detection and response with deception and analytics.

Unique features:

  • Combined network and endpoint detection and response
  • Deception and analytics capabilities
  • Real-time automated threat detection

Learn more about it here: Fidelis Security

Darktrace

Darktrace
Image from https://www.darktrace.com/

Darktrace, a world-leading AI company for cyber defense, offers a self-learning AI platform that mimics the human immune system to detect and neutralize cyber threats. It protects critical systems, data, and digital infrastructure from novel attacks and insider threats.

Availability

Paid - Scalable.

Why we like it

Darktrace's self-learning AI adapts to understand normal 'patterns of life' for every user and device in a network and can detect and respond to anomalies in real-time.

Unique features:

  • Self-learning AI that adapts to detect anomalies
  • Real-time threat detection and response
  • Protection against novel attacks and insider threats

Learn more about it here: Darktrace

If you want to establish a baseline of your network or generate other intelligence about it, consider reading Nmap vs Wireshark: Comparing The Two Popular Network Tools for more information.

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

SIEM systems are the nerve center for threat hunting, centralizing various data sources. Through correlation and sophisticated analysis, SIEM platforms help threat hunters identify potential threats, facilitating quick and informed decision-making.

IBM QRadar

IBM QRadar
Image from https://www.ibm.com/

IBM QRadar is a consolidated Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platform designed to correlate data across a network and facilitate threat detection and response. It ingests data from various sources, analyzes it for signs of threats, and prioritizes alerts for further investigation.

Availability

Paid - Tiered; free community edition.

Why we like it

QRadar’s capabilities for ingesting and correlating data from numerous sources and its analytics-driven approach to threat detection make it an outstanding tool for threat hunting.

Unique features:

  • Advanced threat detection and prioritization
  • Integrated risk management
  • Ability to ingest and correlate data from multiple sources

Learn more about it here: IBM

LogRhythm

LogRhythm
Image from https://logrhythm.com/

LogRhythm is a robust Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platform that integrates log management, compliance reporting, and User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) to deliver comprehensive threat visibility and response capabilities. It aims to reduce the time to detect and respond to threats, minimizing potential damage.

Availability

Paid - Scalable.

Why we like it

LogRhythm excels at combining many functions, including advanced threat detection, compliance management, and automated incident response, into a single, efficient tool for threat hunting.

Unique features:

  • Unified view of threat activity
  • Integrated UEBA for enhanced threat detection
  • Automated incident response capabilities

Learn more about it here: LogRhythm

Fortinet FortiSIEM

Fortinet FortiSIEM
Image from https://www.fortinet.com/

Fortinet FortiSIEM is a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tool that provides real-time visibility across networks, hardware, and applications, helping organizations swiftly identify and respond to security incidents. It combines a unified platform with threat detection, incident response, and compliance management.

Availability

Paid - Scalable.

Why we like it

Fortinet FortiSIEM brings a multi-dimensional approach to providing real-time visibility and correlation of events across network devices, applications, and infrastructure.

Unique features:

  • Real-time visibility across networks and applications
  • Unified platform for threat detection, incident response, and compliance management
  • Effective event correlation for enhanced threat detection

Learn more about it here: Fortinet

OSSIM

OSSIM
Image from https://cyber security.att.com/

AlienVault OSSIM (Open Source SIEM) is a unified platform offering security information and event management, intrusion detection, and network visibility. Developed by AlienVault (now AT&T cyber security), it integrates a selection of powerful open-source security tools into a comprehensive security management console. It is worth noting that this open-source solution is only deployable on a single server; the paid USM Anywhere is needed to expand the capability.

Availability

Free and open-source.

Why we like it

The strength of AlienVault OSSIM lies in its integration of some of the best open-source security tools into one platform. This simplifies and enhances the threat hunting process, making it a valuable asset to security analysts.

Unique features:

  • Integration of various open-source security tools
  • Comprehensive security management console
  • Ideal for learning more about SIEM and network security operations

Download it here: AT&T

If you want to incorporate a SIEM into your SOC, check our article The Ultimate Kali Purple Guide: Everything You Need to Know to learn more about how this distribution of Kali might help.

Threat Intelligence

For a threat hunter, threat intelligence platforms are akin to an intelligence agency. They identify potential threats and provide context-rich insights, helping threat hunters anticipate attacks, understand threat actors, and, thus, devise better defenses.

ThreatConnect

ThreatConnect
Image from https://threatconnect.com/

ThreatConnect is a comprehensive threat intelligence platform that allows organizations to aggregate, analyze, and act upon threat data. It supports a broad range of functions, from threat data ingestion and analysis to orchestration and automation of security operations.

Availability

Paid - Scalable; free ISAC/ISAO version.

Why we like it

What sets ThreatConnect apart is its ability to bring together threat data, evidence-based knowledge, and efficient security operations, enabling organizations to improve their security posture and effectively hunt for threats.

Unique features:

  • Comprehensive threat data aggregation and analysis
  • Orchestration and automation of security operations
  • Collaborative environment for threat analysis and mitigation

Learn more about it here: ThreatConnect

Recorded Future

Recorded Future
Image from https://www.recordedfuture.com/

Recorded Future is a leading threat intelligence platform that provides real-time threat intelligence to organizations. Leveraging machine learning and natural language processing, it scans online sources to detect emerging threats, providing actionable insights to organizations for proactive defense.

Availability

Paid - Scalable.

Why we like it

We appreciate Recorded Future's emphasis on real-time threat intelligence, which can provide organizations with an early warning of emerging threats. Its use of machine learning to analyze vast amounts of data also allows for more accurate and comprehensive threat detection.

Unique features:

  • Real-time threat intelligence
  • Use of machine learning for threat detection
  • Early warning system for emerging threats

Learn more about it here: Recorded Future

Threatstream

Threatstream
Image from https://www.anomali.com/

Anomali ThreatStream is a threat intelligence platform that integrates threat data from multiple sources to provide comprehensive, actionable insights. It is an integral part of the Anomali suite, improving an organization's ability to quickly identify and respond to emerging threats.

Availability

Paid - Scalable; free STIX product on roadmap.

Why we like it

By consolidating data from multiple sources, we appreciate the depth of threat intelligence that Anomali ThreatStream offers. The platform's capabilities to operationalize and integrate threat intelligence into security controls make it a valuable tool for threat hunting.

Unique features:

  • Consolidation of threat data from multiple sources
  • Operationalization of threat intelligence
  • Integration into existing security controls

Learn more about it here: Anomali

Cortex

Cortex
Image from https://www.paloaltonetworks.com/

The Cortex Threat Intelligence Cloud from Palo Alto Networks is a cloud-based platform that provides real-time threat intelligence. Integrating with existing Palo Alto Networks products provides an additional layer of security by preventing and responding to cyber-attacks. Highly reputable Unit 42 security researchers support this solution.

Availability

Paid - Scalable.

Why we like it

We appreciate Palo Alto Networks Threat Intelligence Cloud's ability to seamlessly integrate with other Palo Alto Networks products allows for a streamlined and robust defense mechanism.

Unique features:

  • Real-time threat intelligence
  • Integration with Palo Alto Networks product suite
  • Robust defensive capabilities

Learn more about it here: Palo Alto

User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA)

UEBA tools, with their behavior-based approach, are indispensable for insider threat hunting. They monitor and detect anomalous user and entity behavior, providing vital leads to threat hunters looking to prevent data breaches or unauthorized access.

Securonix

Securonix
Image from https://www.securonix.com/

Securonix is a comprehensive platform for User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) that employs machine learning and advanced analytics to detect and respond to security threats. It's especially adept at spotting anomalous behavior that may signify an internal threat or cyber attack.

Availability

Paid - Scalable.

Why we like it

Securonix's use of machine learning and advanced analytics capability enhances threat hunting by detecting subtle deviations in user behavior that may indicate a potential security incident.

Unique features:

  • Machine learning for detecting anomalous behaviors
  • Advanced analytics capability
  • Robust threat detection and response features

Learn more about it here: Securonix

Gurucul

Gurucul
Image from https://cyber security-excellence-awards.com/

Gurucul is a security platform that combines User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) and Identity Access Management (IAM) to provide comprehensive security insights. Using machine learning, it can detect and respond to a wide range of threats, especially insider threats and other security risks.

Availability

Paid - Scalable.

Why we like it

The blend of UEBA and IAM in Gurucul is particularly impressive, offering a robust and comprehensive tool for threat hunting.

Unique features:

  • Combined UEBA and IAM capabilities
  • Advanced machine learning for threat detection
  • Special emphasis on detecting insider threats

Learn more about it here: Gurucul

Varonis

Varonis
Image from https://www.varonis.com/

Varonis is a data security platform offering User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) and data protection capabilities. It provides real-time alerts and insights into data activity and user behavior, helping organizations identify and respond to security threats.

Availability

Paid - Scalable.

Why we like it

Varonis has comprehensive data security and governance capabilities and robust UEBA. Its focus on real-time alerts and in-depth insights into user behaviors makes it a valuable asset for any threat hunting arsenal.

Unique features:

  • Combined UEBA and data protection
  • Real-time alerts and insights into user behavior
  • Extensive data security and governance capabilities

Learn more about it here: Varonis

Exabeam

Exabeam
Image from https://www.exabeam.com/

Exabeam is a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platform that leverages user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) and machine learning to help organizations identify and respond to cyber security threats. Its advanced analytics capabilities help detect anomalous behavior and sophisticated threats that may go unnoticed.

Availability

Paid - Scalable.

Why we like it

Exabeam excels at detecting sophisticated threats and anomalous behaviors, leveraging the power of machine learning to create a more holistic security environment.

Unique features:

  • Advanced analytics powered by UEBA and machine learning
  • Detects sophisticated threats and anomalous behaviors
  • Can integrate with existing security tools and infrastructure

Learn more about it here: Exabeam

OSINT

OSINT tools enrich the arsenal of threat hunters by collecting data from publicly available sources. These tools enhance threat hunting efforts by revealing potential threats lurking in the open web, aiding in proactive defense building.

Shodan

Shodan

Shodan, often called the "search engine for the Internet of Things," is an invaluable tool for cyber security professionals. This platform allows users to discover which devices are connected to the internet, where they're located, and who's using them. Learn How to Use Shodan for Pentesting here.

Availability

Free; paid plans available.

Why we like it

We appreciate Shodan's unique ability to explore the IoT and uncover insecure devices, allowing threat hunters to gain insights into their network's security posture and uncover potential vulnerabilities.

Unique features:

  • Powerful search engine for IoT devices
  • Provides extensive data about connected devices
  • Can discover devices' geolocation and users

Access it here: Shodan

Maltego

Maltego

Maltego is an open-source intelligence (OSINT) and graphical link analysis tool for gathering and connecting information for investigative tasks. It's known for its unique ability to visualize complex networks and relationships in gathered data.

Availability

Free community version; paid versions.

Why we like it

We like Maltego for its powerful data-gathering and linkage capabilities. Its graphing feature provides a visual, easy-to-understand representation of connections and relationships in the data, which can be critical in threat hunting.

Unique features:

  • Robust data gathering and linkage capabilities
  • Provides visual representations of connections and relationships
  • Can integrate with other tools and data sources

Maltego comes pre-installed on Kali Linux and Kali Purple.

For other OS, download it here: Maltego

TheHarvester

TheHarvester

TheHarvester is an effective OSINT tool that gathers data from public sources. It can discover subdomains, email addresses, usernames, and other information related to a specific target, aiding in the reconnaissance phase of threat hunting.

Availability

Free (Open-source)

Why we like it

TheHarvester shines in its ability to rapidly collect a wide array of useful information from various sources. The breadth of its data collection makes it an indispensable tool for an initial reconnaissance phase.

Unique features:

  • Rapid data gathering from public sources
  • Can discover subdomains, email addresses, usernames, and more
  • Ideal for the reconnaissance phase of threat hunting

TheHarvester comes pre-installed on Kali Linux and Kali Purple.

For other OS, download it here: TheHarvester

Recon-ng

25. Recon-ng

Recon-ng is a powerful OSINT tool that adopts a framework similar to Metasploit. It's organized into independent modules, making it easy to extend with new functions. Recon-ng gathers information from a wide variety of sources, helping to facilitate the reconnaissance phase of an investigation.

Availability

Free (Open-source)

Why we like it

We like Recon-ng for its ability to gather comprehensive data from many sources. Its design allows users to extend its capabilities and makes it a versatile tool in the OSINT arsenal.

Unique features:

  • Organized into independent modules for easy functionality extension
  • Comprehensive data gathering from multiple sources
  • User-friendly interface makes it easy to operate

Recon-ng comes pre-installed on Kali Linux and Kali Purple.

For other OS, download here: Recon-ng

SpiderFoot

SpiderFoot

SpiderFoot is an open-source intelligence (OSINT) tool that automates the process of gathering intelligence about a given target. It integrates with almost every data source available and utilizes a range of methods for data analysis, making it incredibly flexible and adaptable for various threat hunting scenarios.

Availability

Free (Open-source); Paid options for SpiderFoot HX.

Why we like it

SpiderFoot's robust integration with a vast array of data sources and its flexibility in data analysis are standout features. This makes it highly effective in automating the OSINT gathering process, providing a comprehensive view of a target.

Unique features:

  • Robust integration with a vast array of data sources
  • Flexible and adaptable data analysis methods
  • Automates the process of gathering OSINT

SpiderFoot is pre-installed on Kali Linux and Kali Purple. 

For other OS, download it here: SpiderFoot

For more helpful tools to beef up your defense, check out our article Top 25 Linux Security Tools to Boost Cyber Defense.

Conclusion

As we conclude our overview of these various threat hunting tools, it's clear how pivotal they are in maintaining a secure and robust cyber environment. Each tool in Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), Network Detection and Response (NDR), Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), Threat Intelligence, User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA), and Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) categories, brings its own unique capabilities, making it a potential asset in the toolkit of every cyber security professional.

By understanding these tools, both newcomers and seasoned professionals can enhance their threat hunting efforts, elevating their ability to identify, investigate, and mitigate threats effectively. The exploration doesn't stop here, and we encourage you to continue learning and growing in your cyber security journey by taking one of these courses:

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  • Andrew DeVito

    Andrew is a Content Writer at StationX. He comes from a multi-discipline professional background with over 20 years of combined experience in healthcare compliance, financial cyber security regulations, wireless and mobile security, and threat modeling. He is dedicated to translating complex technical concepts into an easily understandable language to help you successfully navigate the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats.

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