Cyber-attack Vectors that CISOs need to be Wary of


The attack surface area of businesses of every type, size, and industry has evolved exponentially and become much bigger. Cybercriminals are exploring new opportunities to leverage cyber-attack vectors to infiltrate the business network and move laterally into critical assets to accomplish their malicious intents.

According to a recent report by Trend Micro published in 2021 titled “Global Risk Research,” nearly 62% of the respondents said that they have blind spots in their business network. SecOps teams of every organization need to be aware of their entire IT infrastructure and all the potential attack surface areas that can be exploited by the attackers. Designing and implementing a cybersecurity posture based on it will help organizations secure critical infrastructure from sophisticated cyber threats and risks.

Here are a few cyber-attack vectors that cybercriminals can leverage to deploy ransomware and other malicious files into the business network.

Also Read: Ways to Minimize the Financial Impact of Cyber-Attacks

Stolen Credentials

Stolen usernames and passwords are one of the most common types of attack vectors that many cybercriminals utilize to infiltrate the business network.

Malicious actors are looking for privileged account credentials to get admin access to control the IT infrastructure and disrupt business operations. As credentials are easily available on underground networks, criminals can buy them to get access to any business network they wish to infiltrate. Even if the admin credentials are not available on the underground portals, there is a tremendous possibility that the users might fall prey to them and reveal their credentials themselves. It is crucial for the CISOs to design and enforce stringent password policy management policies to encourage users to set difficult passwords. Educating the entire workforce on how to identify and mitigate phishing attacks will reduce the risks of employees giving away credentials unintentionally.

Island hopping

Cybercriminals leverage Island hopping to move from an external environment into the business network. There is a surge in the successful supply chain software attack due to the sophistication of Kaseya, Log4j, and SolarWinds. The attackers are able to be successful because the initial attack vector stays hidden in the data distribution services (DDS), applications, and open-source code system management tools of the third part vendors integrated into the supply chain network. CISOs need to develop a stringent cybersecurity posture to keep the supply chain network secured from all the potential risks and threats exposed by third-party vendors. SecOps teams need to identify which suppliers and third-party vendors need access to what part of the business network to define vigilant governance policies.

Also Read: Key Strategies for Enterprise Cybersecurity in 2023

Compromised Devices

With the surge in the adoption of hybrid and remote work modules, businesses have started using Virtual Private Networks to ensure connectivity from anywhere and on every device. However, this has exposed the IT infrastructure to various new cyber threats and risks, which can have a disastrous impact on business operations. Cybercriminals prowl on looking for a weak VPN network that allows access to the entire business network and accomplishes their malicious goals. Remote workers might have access to only authorized work applications. However, other unsecured devices on the VPN network can spread malware in the entire IT infrastructure. SecOps teams need to maintain an inventory of all the devices on the IT infrastructure to monitor the security of each asset and keep infiltrators away from the network. It is crucial to update the security posture, firewalls, and antiviruses regularly to keep the IT infrastructure secure.

Moreover, there are even more cyber-attack vectors that attackers can leverage to enter critical infrastructure. CISOs need to be aware of all the vectors that the threats can be utilized by cybercriminals to develop a security posture accordingly.

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