Three Benefits of Deception Technology: The Ultimate Trap
By: Brittany Demendi, Corporate Communications Manager
Like a worm dangling on a fishhook or the cheddar cheese waiting on a mouse trap, deception technology baits cybercriminals in the same way. The technology works as a cybersecurity defense, deploying realistic decoys (apps, files, credentials, files, databases, etc.) in a network alongside real assets acting as lures. Cybercriminals waste their time attempting to infiltrate a worthless network with useless assets, only to be tracked by the organization.
Immediately when a cybercriminal touches a decoy, intel is gathered, and alerts are generated, speeding up incident response time. Deception technology gives organizations a leg up in protecting their IT environment by identifying an activity before it completes the attack mission.
As organizations’ cyber awareness has increased in the past few years, their security and deception technology are taking the spotlight. This blog details three benefits of implementing deception technology, how it works, and where to start.
Benefit 1: Business Risk Awareness
When an organization’s business plans and strategies evolve, so should its security. Deception technology gives insight into the different tactics used by cybercriminals specific to your network, allowing concentrated solutions to be built.
In addition, most antivirus programs or security controls are unaware if your organization is going through a merger or if there was a spike in ransomware attacks within your industry. The benefit of deception technology is that it allows deception measures to be created around that merger or industry-specific risks to lure cybercriminals. This aligns security with business strategy and tightens up perceived risk.
Benefit 2: Decrease in Attack Dwell Time
Deception technology can be key for closing the time gap between the breadcrumbs cybercriminals leave and when the actual attack occurs. And with intellectual property and finances at risk, time to detect and respond are critical. When yet, many solutions do not trigger an alert until an attacker makes key moves, or they cannot provide crucial details like what warning signs they should’ve looked for from the beginning.
Decoys allow security teams to track cybercriminal behavior, identify when there is an attacker within their environment, and learn what goes on within every phase of an attack. In turn, malicious behavior can be recognized and detected before they disrupt an organization’s virtual environment.
Benefit 3: Increase Threat Detection
Cybercriminals get a false sense of accomplishment when they infiltrate a decoy network. In reality, they are providing metrics and behavior analytics to an organization, ultimately increasing security and making it harder on themselves. Deception technology can cover almost any attack vector and detect virtually any attack, including ransomware, lateral movement, social engineering, man-in-the-middle attacks, and more, in real-time.
Once a cybercriminal is detected within a decoy network, a security team can manipulate the environment based on their knowledge of the attack. For example, they can create situations that force attackers to disclose information about where they are from or what ransomware group they are part of. A security team can also cloud or distort the cybercriminal’s environment by implementing hijacking tools.
Honeypots: The Ultimate Trick and Trap
Like a moth to a flame, cybercriminals cannot resist the perfect decoy network to attack. There are many different deception technologies, but a good intruder trap to get started with is honeypots. Honeypots can help make the most out of catching a cybercriminal attacking your network. They are modeled after any organization’s digital assets, like servers, networks, or software applications.
Once the cybercriminal is inside, security teams track their movements to understand their motivations and methods better. It is vital for honeypots to contain vulnerabilities, but not too many that are blatantly obvious. Security teams must be strategic because many cybercriminals are advanced in their tactics. If they know they are in a honeypot, some will provide misinformation manipulating the environment, thus reducing efficiency.
A Complement to Threat Hunting
Deception technology, specifically honeypots, is integral to a comprehensive security strategy and plan. Their main goal is to expose vulnerabilities and lure a cybercriminal away from the legitimate target. Organizations also gather essential data and analytics about tactics from inside the decoy. It’s the perfect complement to threat hunting. Threat intelligence professionals proactively search for suspicious activity indicating network or malicious compromise. It is a manual process backed by existing collected network data correlation and automated searches. Deception technology and threat hunting are pieces within an overall comprehensive security strategy. Both take the proactive approach going beyond consistently sitting on the defense. Used in isolation, these pieces will not solely protect an organization, but when a part of a Security Operations Platform, they can further risk prevention for an organization.
Deception technology is a valuable asset for organizations in their cybersecurity defense. It allows organizations to gain insight into the tactics used by cybercriminals, detect malicious behavior early, create traps and lures, and gather vital data and analytics. Honeypots are an excellent intruder trap while being the perfect complement to threat hunting. When used as part of a comprehensive security strategy, organizations can command security and cyber risk visibility by taking a proactive approach.