Indicators of Compromise (IoC)

Secure your business with CyberHoot Today!!!

Indicators of Compromise (IoC) are pieces of forensic evidence, called IoCs for short, which show potential intrusions on a computer system or network. Cybersecurity professionals search for IoCs to detect and confirm intrusions or other malicious activities conducted by hackers. Security researchers use IOCs to better analyze a particular malware’s techniques and behaviors.

IOCs also provide threat intelligence that can be shared within the security community to help organizations defend themselves, prepare incident response plans, and remediation strategies. Efforts are being made by groups like OpenIOC, STIX, and TAXII (among others) to standardize IOC documentation and reporting.

Examples of an IOC include unusual network traffic, suspicious administrative user account activity, time-of-day login anomalies, suspicious file changes, unusual DNS requests, and Web traffic showing bot behavior. These and other unusual activities allow security teams monitoring the systems and networks to spot malicious actors earlier in the intrusion detection process.

What does this mean for an SMB or MSP?

Individual SMB employees don’t need to know about IoCs as it’s not a part of their daily job duties. However, IT staff should be very familiar with IoCs as they are likely the first to spot them. In addition to keeping a watchful eye on IoCs, your IT staff should also take the following steps to improve your company’s security stance, preparedness, and cyber-resilience. 

CyberHoot’s Minimum Essential Cybersecurity Recommendations

The following recommendations will help you and your business stay secure with the various threats you may face on a day-to-day basis. All of the suggestions listed below can be gained by hiring CyberHoot’s vCISO Program development services.

  1. Govern employees with policies and procedures. You need a password policy, an acceptable use policy, an information handling policy, and a written information security program (WISP) at a minimum.
  2. Train employees on how to spot and avoid phishing attacks. Adopt a Learning Management system like CyberHoot to teach employees the skills they need to be more confident, productive, and secure.
  3. Test employees with Phishing attacks to practice. CyberHoot’s Phish testing allows businesses to test employees with believable phishing attacks and put those that fail into remedial phish training.
  4. Deploy critical cybersecurity technology including two-factor authentication on all critical accounts. Enable email SPAM filtering, validate backups, and deploy DNS protection, antivirus, and anti-malware on all your endpoints.
  5. In the modern Work-from-Home era, make sure you’re managing personal devices connecting to your network by validating their security (patching, antivirus, DNS protections) or prohibiting their use entirely.
  6. If you haven’t had a risk assessment by a 3rd party in the last 2 years, you should have one now. Establishing a risk management framework in your organization is critical to addressing your most egregious risks with your finite time and money.
  7. Buy Cyber-Insurance to protect you in a catastrophic failure situation. Cyber-Insurance is no different than Car, Fire, Flood, or Life insurance. It’s there when you need it most.

Each of these recommendations, except cyber-insurance, is built into CyberHoot’s product and virtual Chief Information Security Officer services. With CyberHoot you can govern, train, assess, and test your employees. Visit and sign up for our services today. At the very least continue to learn by enrolling in our monthly Cybersecurity newsletters to stay on top of current cybersecurity updates.

To learn more about IoCs, watch this short 2-minute video:




Additional Reading:

Incident Response Guide

Related Terms:

Incident Response

CyberHoot does have some other resources available for your use. Below are links to all of our resources, feel free to check them out whenever you like: 

Note: If you’d like to subscribe to our newsletter, visit any link above (besides infographics) and enter your email address on the right-hand side of the page, and click ‘Send Me Newsletters’.

Share this on your social networks. Help Friends, Family, and Colleagues become more aware and secure.