In recent years, we’ve likely to hear more about cybersecurity problems affecting all sorts and scales of businesses. This year, remote employment played a big role in the breach and the average cost was USD 1.07 million in which compromised credentials were the most prevalent first attack vector – accounting for 20% of breaches with an average cost of USD 4.37 million.
Global cybercrime expenses which are expected to reach USD 10.5 trillion annually by 2025 up from USD 3 trillion in 2015 include – Theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, fraud, post-attack disruption to the regular run of business, forensic investigation, restoration and deletion of hacked data and systems, and reputational damages are all costs associated with cybercrime.
A cyberattack can shut down a city’s, state’s, or even our entire country’s economy. In this blog, we’ll look at what is attack vectors and how cybercriminals utilize these attack vectors to exploit IT security flaws and execute their methods. We’ll also go over some basic security precautions for your firm to protect from these types of attacks.
An attack vector is a technique used by cybercriminals to gain unauthorized network access to launch a cyber-attack and get access to sensitive data, personally identifiable information (PII), and other valuable information by exploiting system flaws.
Cybercriminals can be former employees, politically motivated organized groups, hacktivists, professional hacking groups, or state-sponsored groups who always seem to find a way to overcome a strong cybersecurity perimeter by using increasingly complex attack vectors. Malware, viruses, email attachments, web pages, pop-ups, instant chats, text messages, and social engineering are all common attack vectors they use. Firewalls and antivirus software can help to block attack vectors to some extent. However, no security system is completely impenetrable to attack.
Hackers are continually upgrading attack vectors and seek to exploit unpatched vulnerabilities published on CVE and the dark web to get unauthorized access to computers and servers, thus a protection approach might quickly become obsolete. Because cybercriminals are becoming more adept, antivirus software is no longer sufficient as a primary security measure.
Attack Vector : An attack vector is a tool that cybercriminals use to gain unauthorized access to a network or computer system.
Attack Surface : Attack surface is any broken links on a company’s network where an attack vector can be used to launch an attack. Surface grows as the number of endpoints, servers, switches, software applications, or other IT assets increases in the network.
Weak and Compromised Credentials: Users revealing their user IDs and passwords knowingly or accidentally remains the most frequent sort of credential access. This is typically triggered by phishing victims – exposing their login information to an attacker by entering it on a spoofed website. Attackers can also use stolen or lost credentials to gain access to user accounts and organization systems without being detected, and then elevate their access level within a network. Cybercriminals utilize brute-force attacks to target weak or easily guessed user IDs and passwords.
Employees must use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication to limit the chances of an attacker stealing their credentials and also should be taught how to create a secure password or invest in a password manager.
Malicious employees: Some security breaches occur within the firm when unhappy or disgruntled employees with access to sensitive information and networks disclose confidential information to hackers.
Organizations should keep an eye on network access for odd behavior, such as users accessing files or systems they wouldn’t usually access, as this could indicate insider risk.
Poor Encryption: Encryption prevents cybercriminals from stealing sensitive information by ensuring that the data within a transmission cannot be read by an unauthorized person and sensitive data is transmitted in plaintext when encryption is missing, inadequate, or weak.
To avoid this, users should utilize strong encryption methods such as Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) or Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) and ensure that sensitive data is protected at all times, including when at rest, in processing, and transit.
Misconfiguration: Company software and hardware security can be misconfigured, leaving them open to hackers. As businesses rely more and more on internet-of-things (IoT) devices to do their duties, a hardware breach might also open the door for cybercriminals.
To avoid misconfiguration, automate configuration management whenever possible.
Phishing: Phishing is a social engineering method in which hackers pretend to be a real colleague or known person to target employees via email, phone, or text message to disclose sensitive data, credentials, or personally identifiable information (PII).
To reduce the risk of phishing, teach your employees about the importance of cybersecurity and how to avoid email spoofing and typosquatting.
Malware: Malware stands for malicious software that allows cybercriminals to gain access to computers and networks and steal data or do significant damage. Once the authorized users lose access, cybercriminals threaten to leak data or disable access until a ransom is paid. Viruses, trojan horses, worms, spyware, adware, rootkits, and ransomware are some of the malware attackers use.
Understanding the process of an attack, such as phishing techniques that ask users to disclose sensitive information is crucial to avoiding infection. Technology such as sandboxing, firewalls, antivirus, and anti-malware software that detect and stop possible assaults are required to protect against malware.
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS): In DDoS attacks, hackers use botnets to flood a server with internet traffic, preventing users from accessing services and perhaps crashing the organization’s website.
The deployment of firewalls to filter and prevent unwanted traffic can help minimize a DDoS attack. Regular risk assessments, traffic differentiation to spread traffic and avoid a targeted attack, and rate-limiting to limit the number of requests a server may accept are some more protection methods.
Trust Relationships: Users and systems have a particular level of trust in each other, which is referred to as a trust relationship. Because trust connections link two domains, a user only needs to log in once to access resources. If credentials that are cached on a trusted client are hacked, then It’s easy for an attacker to breach.
Managing trust connections and passwords can assist you in limiting or eliminating the impact of the damage.
Clear Infosec helps organizations secure their networks and control internal and external attack vectors. We also enable them to encrypt data securely to keep it out of the hands of malicious hackers, even if they try.
Please contact us to learn more about our services and the cutting-edge security technologies we can provide for your organization.