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Think Like a Hacker with MITRE ATT&CK

By Elliot Anderson  |  August 14, 2023

The threat landscape continues to accelerate, with sophisticated attacks becoming more commonplace as ransomware-as-a-service accelerates and legacy security tools fail to keep up. Financially motivated cyber criminals are explicitly targeting small and medium-sized businesses to steal sensitive data. As defenders, we may be asking ourselves questions such as:

  • How effective is my cyber defense
  • Is my cybersecurity keeping pace with adversaries  
  • Can I learn from real-world attackers and their processes

Security analytics such as that from MITRE ATT&CK® enables organizations to apply data to improve your defensive posture and use this threat intelligence to prioritize security strategies and decisions. Better understand your adversaries and further bolster your strengths while identifying weaknesses and mitigate them.


The MITRE Company is a not-for-profit organization whose ATT&CK knowledge base covers over 90 threat actors and almost 300 of their distinctive threat techniques. ATT&CK (Adversarial Tactics, Techniques & Common Knowledge) is a cybersecurity framework that provides organizations with more effective defense, detection, and remediation. Continuously updated, ATT&CK is a useful capability for both public and private sector organizations.

Enhance Your Existing Operations

It is useful to note that ATT&CK does not replace existing frameworks that you may be familiar with or use, such as NIST’s Cyber Security Framework (CSF). It augments data intelligence and ensures defense-in-depth capabilities as organizations enhance their security maturity and adopt proven best practices. You can start simple with ATT&CK adoption and don’t have to embrace all the components and capabilities to benefit from the threat repository.

The Value of MITRE ATT&CK

The ATT&CK framework assists organizations of all sizes to better understand the evolving threat landscape. Your valued customers trust you with their data and reputation. Adopting ATT&CK provides several critical benefits as you continually enhance your security portfolio:

  • Create a common language. ATT&CK provides a common language for threat analysts to use when describing adversary behavior. This approach helps with consistent and clear communication as well as creates context and measuring results, not only in your organization but across global threat-sharing entities.  
  • Add threat insight and context. Threat incidents and alerts to technical teams have skyrocketed as the attack surface has expanded. Alert fatigue for security operations center (SOC) teams is a real challenge. MITRE ATT&CK insights can help you prioritize which threats are most prevalent and distill related tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for follow up.
  • Improve rapid cybersecurity decision making.  When integrated with a security information and event management (SIEM) platform, ATT&CK provides enriched threat context on exact techniques and increased visibility in real-time. ATT&CK is based on confidential real-world data breaches and security incidents, providing context that helps all organizations prioritize a rapid response. Faster response minimizes adversary dwell time, the dangerous time hackers spend in an organization’s infrastructure performing reconnaissance and doing damage.
  • Update adversary knowledge over time. MITRE sees increased implementation of ATT&CK across organizations large and small. Because threat actors are constantly evolving and morphing their approaches, MITRE adds new techniques and information to ATT&CK several times a year, sharing real-world results with defenders across the security community. Now even smaller organizations with finite staff and evolving skills can benefit from the expanding knowledge sharing and repository.

Getting Started with ATT&CK

Understanding and adopting ATT&CK on your own can be complex and time consuming; you may not even know where to begin and how to best harness the data. Netsurion proactively assists partners and end customers with risk mitigation and threat response by building in ATT&CK as a free capability in our threat protection platform, EventTracker. With its native MITRE ATT&CK capability, EventTracker makes it easy to benefit from ATT&CK and investigate what is determined to be a true threat.

Keeping pace with financially-motivated hackers is crucial. Advanced threats require advanced tools. Integrated capabilities like ATT&CK help ensure that businesses are proactive in using real-world tactics in the battle against cyber threats.

Learn more about MITRE ATT&CK’s 

By Elliot Anderson
Think Like a Hacker with MITRE ATT&CK

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