Online security is now as crucial as everyday operations for businesses throughout the world. With the rising cases of cybersecurity breach, it is essential for companies whether large or small to understand the stages of intrusion and what they can do to protect themselves.
Cyber attackers are nothing like they used to be in the past. They now have access to a wide range of tools, programs, and technologies that could result in severe problems for businesses. As a result, the traditionally used prevention-centric strategies are now not as enough as they used to be.
In this modern world of cyber intrusions, companies should instead focus on strategies which are based on threat detection and response. Thus, for every business concerned about online security should certainly know about the stages of online attacks to remain prepared and most importantly, be proactive.
These are the five basic stages of online attacks-
- Reconnaissance or Recon
This is the stage when attackers are only analysing their targets. They gather as much information about a company as available to work on an attack plan. From accessing source information to examining the email lists, they try to understand the network fully.
In most of the cases, the goal behind the attack is financial gains. However, a lot of attacks are also made for accessing sensitive information or damaging a brand.
- The Stage of Intrusion
Once the attacker knows his/her target well, the second step is to gain a presence in the company’s environment. They might phish credentials of a company employee to gain access to the company’s online infrastructure.
They can then use a host of tools to spread their presence in the environment. In the majority of the cases, this is untraceable.
- Expanding Foothold
When the attackers are about a few weeks from the attack and have gained access to an online network, they spend plenty of time on increasing their foothold. This is mostly done by compromising user accounts or additional systems. This helps them thoroughly understand the systems which accommodate the target data.
As attackers often impersonate authorised users, it is still challenging to detect them during this phase as well.
- Exfiltration of Data
Once they’ve spread themselves across the network and have deep access, they then start removing data. While most of the data is encrypted there are several ways to decrypt them in most cases. However, this is still a time-consuming process.
When they succeed they get access to their target data. And if they were able to reach this stage, there is a major possibility that they’d achieve their target. Your mail servers, customer data, and document management systems stand compromised.
- Removing their Footprints
In a lot of cases, the attackers try to remove their footprints before leaving the network. However, if they do not mind the hack getting detected, they merely disconnect themselves from the network.
Once the footprints are gone, they’ve achieved their goal and can now exploit the data in many ways.
How Can Companies Protect Themselves?
As the attackers are getting more sophisticated, it is imperative for every business to have a cyber safety plan in place. One of the best ways to do this is to hire cyber security advisors. The advisors can help businesses develop online security plans for detecting such threats and respond to them in an effective and time-efficient manner.
Cyber-attacks are now widespread and could result in significant losses for a company. Thus, it is vital for every company to strengthen their online infrastructure and be able to detect such threats readily. Irrespective of whether or not you have a security plan in place, hire online security advisors to create or examine your security plan for maximum safety.