How to Catch Intruders That Steal or Compromise Your Network Accounts

Have you ever wondered how companies and/or high-profile, C-level executives fall victim to hackers? Although the answer isn’t crystal clear, there are signs that indicate how these criminals develop their plan of attack.

In today’s fast-paced world, our internet use has increased at a higher rate than ever before. Whether at home or on the go, more people are logging onto their computers, Smartphones, tablets, and more. As convenient as instant internet access has become, it has also blossomed into a hacker’s paradise. Here are a few key details about how cybercriminals are able to sidestep network defenses and successfully access personal information.

Targeted Attacks: What You Should Know

Targeting a specific account is one of the most popular attack strategies, also known as, spear phishing because it attacks a specific person or position with the organization. Targeted attacks are considered to be manual, creative, and incredibly anomalous. As a result, they are the most difficult aspect of security monitoring and risk management. One of the most prominent ways for someone to gain access into personal or professional data is through the use of stolen credentials. Chip Witt, Head of Product Security at SpyCloud, did a presentation breaking targeted attacks down into five key stages:

  1. Focus on Specific Companies and Individuals: this includes C-level executives, company employees, departments within companies, and more.
  2. Research: attackers usually do intense research into a person or organization to find an entry point.
  3. Use of Sophisticated and Varied Technologies: once an entry point has been identified, hackers begin to plan and execute their attack through the use of various technological tools—usually high-level.
  4. Escalation is Common: hackers cover their tracks by elevating privilege in a network where access was gained via active directory.
  5. Exploit Stolen Accounts: achieving targeted objectives, which may include high-value monetization.

The important thing to keep in mind is that the quicker you recognize that an attack has occurred and respond to malicious events occurring within your network, the greater chance you’ll have of stopping the attack’s progression.