Sqrrl Blog

Oct 17, 2016 12:40:58 PM

Threats Driving You Nuts? Try Threat Hunting With Sqrrl

By Pamela Cobb
This article originally appeared on the IBM Security Intelligence blog.


Squirrels have many predators and enemies (hawks, snakes and, of course, cars), but Sqrrl shows how the hunted can become the hunter. Sqrrl is a leading threat hunting platform that is deeply integrated with IBM QRadar SIEM.

Visualizing Threats
When the IBM Security App Exchangelaunched in 2015, its primary goal was to enable collaboration among security vendors to provide clients with valuable integration and enhancements. The IBM Security QRadar SIEM integration with Sqrrl is one of those successful partnerships.

Sqrrl is a threat hunting app for IBM QRadar designed to help security analysts detect and investigate unknown threats that have slipped by their other defenses. It does this by fusing IBM QRadar’s data sources into a behavior graph, which is a unique visual environment for analyzing advanced adversarial behaviors.

QRadar users will also benefit from Sqrrl’s kill chain analytics. These analytics, powered by machine learning, can detect the tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) of cybercriminals and complement the types of alerts that QRadar is already producing. Features of the app include:

  • Direct integration with the QRadar dashboard to simplify data ingest into Sqrrl;
  • Visual modeling of adversarial behaviors enriched with QRadar user, asset and event data; and
  • QRadar integration commands for easily launching hunts in Sqrrl.

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Sqrrl Streamlines Threat Hunting

As a threat hunting platform, Sqrrl’s primary value proposition is to help analysts discover new, unknown threats that were neither previously detected nor properly prioritized. It uses powerful machine learning algorithms to detect TTPs, such as lateral movement and data staging. Sqrrl then links these TTPs into larger attack campaigns and attaches risk scores to entities and users to help analysts uncover previously hidden connections across these suspicious behaviors and correlate them with alerts from QRadar.

For customers already engaged in threat hunting, Sqrrl helps them hunt with fewer resources and more junior analysts. Sqrrl’s link analysis visualization allows analysts to more quickly interrogate data without complex, custom queries. As a purpose-built hunting platform, common search paths are predefined and analysts can simply click through the data during a hunt.

In 2015, Sqrrl deployed its threat hunting platform at a global security operations center at a Fortune 20. Today, Sqrrl ingests 80 TB of data a day, has 5 PB of data stored in its system, and enables clients to discover advanced persistent threats and shrink their investigation and analysis time frames by an order of magnitude.

It’s Threat Hunting Season

Sqrrl is the only solution purpose-built for threat hunting, and more organizations realize that threat hunting is a critical additional layer of defense needed within security operations centers. Even organizations with the most sophisticated security systems, such as large financial and government agencies, are vulnerable to attacks.

Security-conscious organizations need a threat hunting capability to proactively look for the threats that evade detection by other defenses. If you have a SIEM solution, a threat hunting capability is a natural extension of that investment. It provides you with additional visualization and analytics capabilities that enable proactive detection.


To learn more about the Sqrrl-IBM QRadar integration, register for the upcoming webinar on October 18th.

Register for Webinar

Topics: Threat Hunting, Sqrrl Integrations