What Is a Network Attack?
A network attack is an attempt to gain unauthorized access to a company’s network to steal data or engage in other harmful activities. The following are the two types of network assaults:
- Passive: Attackers get access to a network and can monitor or steal sensitive information, but they don’t change the data.
- Active: Attackers not only get unauthorized access to data, but they alter it by deleting, encrypting, or otherwise harming it.
Several types of attacks are distinguished from network attacks:
- Endpoint attacks – occur when hackers obtain unauthorized access to a user’s computer, server, or another endpoint, usually by infecting them with malware.
- Malware attacks– entail infecting IT resources with malware, which allows attackers to gain access to systems, steal data, and cause damage. Ransomware attacks are also included.
- Vulnerabilities, exploits, and attacks— These are the attacks that take advantage of flaws in company software to obtain unauthorized access, compromise, or sabotage systems.
- Advanced persistent threats (APTs)– They are multilayered threats that encompass network attacks as well as other sorts of attacks.
The goal of a network attack is to breach the corporate network perimeter and obtain access to internal systems. Once inside, attackers frequently mix many sorts of attacks, such as compromising an endpoint, spreading malware, or exploiting a weakness in a network system.
A virus is computer software that can replicate and spread to other machines in a network. The full form of the Virus is ”Vital Information Resources under Seize”. It is one of the most common network security risks that security experts encounter daily.
They can destroy your computer’s data and files, steal crucial information such as passwords, and make the computer or network useless. A virus can be distributed as an email attachment or as a program that users download and install on the computer from the internet. Antivirus software should be installed on all networked devices and systems to prevent these viruses from infecting and propagating on the system.
A Trojan horse is a harmful computer application that is disguised as a legitimate program to fool users into installing it. Trojans, along with viruses, are the most frequent network security risks that a hacker might exploit to compromise a computer network.
Spyware is a malicious application that gathers confidential and sensitive information about a person or organization, posing a common network security issue. Once installed in the network of computers, spyware will collect this sensitive information and communicate it to a third party without the users’ knowledge or consent.
Anyone with access to the device could obtain access and install spyware without your awareness. Keyloggers, which capture personal information such as email addresses, passwords, and even credit card numbers, are frequently found in spyware.
Rootkits are a sort of program that operates invisibly on the computer while also masking certain current programs and processes from detection by standard detection methods. It poses a significant network security risk because it allows an attacker to remotely manipulate and execute code on an infected device.
It can be incredibly difficult to eliminate once infected due to the level of stealth with which it runs. It comes with several tools that can be used to do harmful operations such as key logging, password theft, and deactivating antivirus protection. It waits for the hacker to activate it remotely and get privileged access once it has been installed in the system.
One of the most frequent network security dangers that attackers use regularly to obtain unauthorized access to the network is social engineering. It occurs when a hacker uses psychological manipulation to persuade a user or company employee to divulge sensitive information such as usernames and passwords.
An employee, for example, may receive a call from someone claiming to be a member of the new tech support staff. To “perform some changes” on the back end, he requests the employee’s account and password. The unsuspecting employee willingly turns over their credentials, which the hacker then uses to obtain unauthorized access to a network and carry out destructive acts that may result in data loss.
DoS & DDoS
Denial of Service, or DoS, occurs when an attacker floods a server with more requests than it can handle in a short period. The goal of this typical network security threat is to overwhelm the server, cripple it, and render it inaccessible for a short period.
It can result in significant revenue loss, especially if the company runs an online product store or provide online services because the customers will be unable to reach them. DDoS, or distributed denial of service, is a type of DoS attack in which a server is bombarded with requests from several locations. This is accomplished by utilizing a botnet, which is a collection of computers that have been infected with software.
When several machines are utilized to launch a DoS attack, identifying and blocking the guilty machine can be challenging because there could be thousands of them at once. Implementing a powerful and effective firewall, on the other hand, will allow companies to intercept, filter, and discard faulty requests from these zombie drones before they reach the networked device in question. It could be an excellent solution to guard against this prevalent network security vulnerability.
Phishing is an email fraud in which an attacker sends customers a false but legitimate-looking email in the hopes of tricking people into giving over critical personal information. Phishing is an increasingly widespread danger to network security that is exploited to steal credit card information and user passwords, according to CPO magazine.
It might be an email from your bank requesting that the user log in and update the information for security reasons. When users click the login link, they will be transported to a page that appears precisely like the banks.
When users enter the credentials and attempt to log in, all of the information is taken since the attacker receives the login credentials instead of the bank. As a network security specialists, it is our responsibility to protect the organization’s network from these typical network security threats.
Network Protection Best Practices
- Segregate Your Network
The division of a network into zones based on security requirements is a fundamental aspect of avoiding network security problems. This can be accomplished by employing subnets inside the same network or by dividing the network into Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs), each of which acts as a separate network. Attackers must take specific precautions to enter and obtain access to other network zones because segmentation limits the possible impact of an assault on one zone.
- Regulate Access to the Internet via Proxy Server
Allowing network users unrestricted access to the Internet is not a good idea. All requests should be routed through a transparent proxy, which can be used to regulate and monitor user behavior. Ascertain that outbound connections are made by a human rather than a bot or other automated system. Whitelist domains to ensure that corporate users may only access websites that may have given them specific permission to visit.
- Place Security Devices Correctly
Not only at the network edge, but at every intersection of network zones, a firewall should be installed. Use the built-in firewall capabilities of the switches and routers if the company can’t implement full-fledged firewalls everywhere. At the network edge, deploy anti-DDoS devices or cloud services. Evaluate where users want to put strategic devices like load balancers because they won’t be protected by your network security system if they’re outside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
- Use Network Address Translation
Internal IP addresses can be translated into addresses that can be used on public networks using Network Address Translation (NAT). It allows the user to access a single IP address to connect many computers to the Internet. This adds an added degree of security because all inbound and outbound traffic must pass via a NAT device, and there are fewer IP addresses, making it more difficult for attackers to figure out which host they’re talking to.
- Monitor Network Traffic
Ensure users have total visibility of all incoming, outgoing, and internal network traffic, as well as the ability to detect and understand hazards automatically. Combine data from several security tools to gain a clear picture of what’s going on on the network, keeping in mind that many attacks are spread over multiple IT systems, user accounts, and threat vectors.
- Use Deception Technology
No network security solution is 100 percent effective, and attackers will ultimately break into the network. Recognize this and implement deception technology, which places decoys throughout your network, luring attackers to “attack” them while allowing users to watch their strategies and tactics. Threats can be detected using decoys at any stage of the attack lifecycle, including data files, passwords, and network connections. Cynet 360 is an integrated security solution with built-in deception technology that offers both off-the-shelf decoy files and the flexibility to customize decoys to match the individual security requirements, all while taking into account the security needs of the environment.