Think Like An Attacker to Learn Uncovered Crucial Network Security Points

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Ugra Narayan Pandey
I am proudly an Indian and Currently working as a Cloud Security Expert with CloudCodes.
It is important to think like an attacker for an individual who is responsible for cloud data security in his or her business. Therefore, here we came with this post to aware users with main points that hackers consider while attempting an attack.

New attacks demand more than the new strategies and products – for this, a Cybersecurity expert has to think like an attacker. There are three major components that attackers mostly use – access, accounts, and code execution. In this post, we are going to take a deep look at how internet attackers can exploit accounts and code execution. Also, we are going to give an overview of how online users prevent their data from leakage or any cyber threat. These guidelines are going to help readers in imagining themselves like an attacker and fortify their defense solutions against emerging attacks in a better manner.

Accounts – Poor Group Infrastructure Is A Huge Advantage for Criminals

When attackers gain target code for execution and successfully establish a foothold in business networks, they feel that they are going to succeed in their task. But, wait for a second! It’s not that simple!!

In the pen testing engagement, we have observed networks where users achieve initial access. But, if cloud computing users have proper Identity and access management solutions in place, they are safe from moving laterally. This type of networks speaks in a defensive manner.

The Bad News – Still there exist other types of networks where no strong account management solutions are used.

The very first thing that organizations should consider is which privileges they provide to their employees while working with business online resources. This can be any type of employee – one who is an administrator with expertise in his or her respective domain, who does not know anything about Cybersecurity, or who has basic knowledge regarding Cybersecurity. The enterprises’ owner has to ensure that he or she provides the administrator access only to the individual who is dedicated to the company’s growth.

Warning – Giving administrator access to a person who is not an admin means he or she can use administrator rights from his / her own system, which is too much risk for office network security.

The presence of one misconfiguration point enables users over the network to gain privileged access. Once the intruder enters into this kind of network, he or she will be successfully able to collect passwords of every privileged person. As illustrated above, tenant set up and permissions are a crucial part for the companies working online. Therefore, users can adopt penetration tests that can help them in understanding whether they have a problem on a particular network point or not. This also helps in determining the impact on already existing cloud security standards. If you are the one who had never ever included tenant management with penetration tests, this scenario is going to be an eye-opening incident for you.

Code Execution – Ignorance of New Server Processes Is Useful for Hackers

Clear your mind of all sorts of worries (if any), and read this particular portion of the post very carefully! Focus your mind to think like an attacker only.

Before an intruder could search for chances to compromise or steal data like finance records or valuable client record – the very first aspect he or she requires is to establish a channel for open communication with the target’s network. The heart of this specific procedure is ‘code execution’. If there is lax application security and web security then, execution of remote exploitation code is simpler for hackers. Whatever code is available on the back-end of the server or program in working mode is the same coding lines that will be executed. Sounds sufficient, isn’t it? Usually, it has been found that many industries are not focusing or dedicating enough time on a detection strategy when an extremely new process begins on their office server. If companies thoroughly understand the concept of code execution in a proper manner, they will spend more time and effort in monitoring any new procedures.

To explain this concept clearly, we are going to consider an example where we are taking a common web application language, i.e., Java. This language allows a website to work. A feature-rich site has a program that enables clients to determine the cost of things and enables them to look for software and sign up for several services. When you think like an attacker, the very first thing you will want to know is the language that powers your online application.

A common language is used by human beings to communicate and understand each other – it is same with web applications. For hackers to enter the code that is supported by the target’s web application and run successfully, it is essential to know the language that is understood by the app. After reading all these statements, you might understand one main point that ‘Network defenders have to pay special attention to this part of the application.’ IT and security executives want to restrict all internet application code execution, but it is not always completely possible. Sometimes other departments of the respective companies request access to web applications because they cannot migrate without code execution to a new one application right away.

In a majority of cases, it has been found that users are unable to address their web application languages and, hence the associated procedures. When hackers exploit a web app, that program must begin a new procedure prior to the time attackers gain full control over the target’s network. This particular new procedure will be the same as the language of the web application. For example – suppose you, as an attacker, exploits a Java coded online application. What will be the language of malicious code be here? You are thinking right – that’s Java! If administrators are familiar with the fact that a web application only utilizes three processes of Java under the normal operating situations, and a fourth Java starts running all of a sudden then they should immediately investigate the reason behind the occurrence of this fourth process. Well, the entire scenario seems simple but, it is rarely in practice in organizations these days. They don’t monitor every code on a regular basis and just ignore the existence of new processes.

Don’t Ignore Small-Small Points Over The Network

Ignorance of monitoring code and employees’ account security are a major threat to companies working online. If we think like an attacker, it is the best opportunity for him or her to attempt the intended threat. But, what about the targeted firm and its reputation in the market? Therefore, we strongly recommend organizations worldwide should be familiar with the operations available on their network. Also, if something new is detected by them, don’t ignore it; investigate it. Awareness regarding the activities carried out over the network is the best Cybersecurity practice for businesses.

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