To access corporate networks and spread ransomware payloads, threat actors employ a variety of strategies. In this article, we examine four of the most used methods for attacking networks now. To safeguard their networks (or the networks of their clients), MSPs, RMM Software providers and IT administrators must first understand where threats are coming from. Only then can they decide where to concentrate their efforts.
From Which Platforms Do Most Network Threats Come From?
The most popular methods threat actors employ to access our systems. These comprised:
- Social engineering
Social engineering assaults like phishing remain one of the most common—and efficient—ways for large ransomware gangs to introduce malware into an organization. When unknowing users receive emails containing documents like corrupted Word, Excel, or PDF files, the bad guys can gain access to the company’s network and open a back door.
- Identity theft fraud
This is where threat actors build a fake website, like one for Microsoft, to entice users to log in with their Windows account information. As a result, we’re also seen an increase in call back phishing, in which a user receives an email or SMS claiming to have a critical security issue with their device and that they need to get a call back to fix it. The bad guys will try to convince the victim to download remote access software during that call, and this is how the virus will be deployed. The bad guys can benefit greatly from this even though it requires a bit more work on their part.
Also Read: Microsoft 365 Lighthouse Overview
- Exploiting Vulnerabilities
Any system that is accessible to the public can quickly be checked for known vulnerabilities that haven’t been fixed before being chosen for exploitation. While we unavoidably make a big deal out of zero-day vulnerabilities, Dr. Rasthofer drew attention to a more alarming truth, noting that the bulk of exploits he is seeing are to systems with non-zero-day vulnerabilities, for which a patch is already available. These well-known flaws are frequently used by threat actors to obtain access and download their payload. There is also a variation of this that targets external remote services like RDP using brute force attacks. If your RDP is made public, you should carefully consider whether this is genuinely necessary.
- Starting Access Brokerage
Here, threat actors (either teams or lone players) gather corporate log-in information to access systems. They don’t attempt to roam around the network once they have access; instead, they sell that access to other threat actors and ransomware gangs, who will then proceed and carry out an assault. These credentials are typically inexpensive for large corporations, costing on average $4600, and easily accessible on several Dark Web markets. RDP credentials that have been compromised can be bought in bulk for as little as a few bucks.
Solutions and Security Measures to Protect Against Network Compromises
Despite not being an exhaustive list, these tactics do represent the threat actors’ more typical attack routes. The Mitre ATT&CK framework has a more extensive description of the strategies, methods, and practices employed by threat actors. However, being aware of the can assist direct you to some of the best ways to secure your network, including but not limited to:
- Email security to prevent the delivery of phishing emails.
- Security awareness training is necessary so that individuals can recognize a phishing attempt and know what to do.
- Monitoring the dark web to find out if your login information has been hacked and is for sale.
- To stop connectivity with C2 servers and block spoof or malicious websites, use DNS filtering and web protection.
- Processes for managing vulnerabilities that are documented and auditable and that incorporate timely OS and application patches and updates.
- Monitoring for unsuccessful remote login attempts as well as local login attempts on workstations and servers. Again.
Importantly, you must also have a reliable backup and recovery solution in place so that, in the event of an incident, you can swiftly restore your systems to operation and minimize any resulting disruption to your business.
When it comes to managing and negotiating cyber insurance, having systems and solutions in place to safeguard your networks from attack, notably trustworthy backup, and recovery, is essential.
Also Read: A Brief History of Azure Rights Management
Network attacks are more frequent and advanced than ever in the linked world of today. Cybercriminals use several techniques to break into networks and steal sensitive data. To maintain the security and integrity of networks, it is essential to comprehend these attack techniques and put effective defense measures into place. This article examines some of the most popular network attack techniques and offers information on efficient countermeasures.
1. Phishing Attacks:
Phishing attacks utilize false emails, websites, or messages to deceive people into disclosing personal information or downloading malicious software. Users should be trained to spot shady emails, websites, and requests for personal information to guard against phishing assaults. Phishing attack risk can be considerably decreased by implementing email filters, multi-factor authentication, and secure browsing habits.
2. Malware and Ransomware:
Ransomware is just one type of malware that poses a serious risk to network security. These harmful programs are made to penetrate computer systems, stop business activities, and extort money from unwitting users. The danger of malware attacks can be reduced by upgrading and patching software often, utilizing reliable antivirus software, and adhering to strict backup procedures. In addition, limiting administrative powers and user awareness training helps stop unwanted access.
3. Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks:
DoS attacks are designed to overload network resources, making them unavailable to authorized users. DoS assaults can be detected and minimized with the use of effective load balancers, intrusion detection systems, and firewalls. Increased network resilience against such assaults can also be achieved by putting rate limiting mechanisms into place, keeping track of network traffic, and utilizing content delivery networks (CDNs).
4. Social Engineering:
Social engineering uses psychological tricks to trick others into giving out private information or allowing unwanted access. The network’s resistance against social engineering attacks can be strengthened by educating staff members about social engineering techniques, implementing stringent password requirements, and holding frequent security awareness training sessions.
5. Insider Threats:
Attacks launched by those who have been granted permission to enter the network are referred to as insider threats. Strict access controls, routine audits, and user activity monitoring can all aid in identifying and reducing insider risks. Insider assaults can be prevented by fostering a culture of trust, encouraging employee feedback, and assuring their pleasure.
Using a multi-layered strategy that incorporates technical solutions, user awareness, and strong policies is necessary to protect networks from cyber threats. Organizations can greatly improve their network security posture by comprehending the main attack techniques and putting in place effective defense mechanisms. To keep up with growing cyber dangers, regular upgrades, reliable authentication methods, personnel training, and ongoing attention are necessary. Organizations can protect their data, preserve their reputation, and maintain a secure online environment for their users by putting network security first.
Fazal Hussain is a digital marketer working in the field since 2015. He has worked in different niches of digital marketing, be it SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, PPC, or content marketing. He loves writing about industry trends in technology and entrepreneurship, evaluating them from the different perspectives of industry leaders in the niches. In his leisure time, he loves to hang out with friends, watch movies, and explore new places.