Ways Businesses Can Prevent ARP Poisoning

Ways Businesses Can Prevent ARP Poisoning

Address resolution protocol (ARP) poisoning is a cyber-attack over a local area network (LAN). It lets hackers send malicious ARP packets to a default gateway on a LAN and disguise their IP addresses’ location to target the devices for malicious activities.

Since these attacks hide the hacker’s IP addresses, it becomes challenging for organizations to detect malicious activities. Moreover, the ARP protocol was designed for efficiency and not security; hence, ARP attacks are easy to conduct as the hacker controls the machine connected to the LAN.

Here are a few ways how businesses can prevent ARP poisoning attacks.

Set Static ARP Tables

Businesses can statically map all the media access control (MAC) addresses in their network across appropriate addresses. It prevents ARP poisoning attacks but adds to the massive admin burden.

Any network change necessitates manual ARP table updates across all hosts, rendering static ARP tables unsuitable for most large organizations. In cases where security is vital, businesses can carve a separate network segment where ARP static tables can help secure sensitive information.

Physical Security

Controlling physical access can help prevent ARP poisoning attacks. Since ARP messages cannot reach beyond the boundaries of the local network, the cyber-attackers might hide within physical proximity to the victim’s network or who already has machine control of the network.

Businesses must remember that in wireless networks, hackers can hack the extending signals sufficiently to conduct this attack. Companies must ensure that only trusted or managed devices can connect to the wireless or wired network.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a cost-effective defense but is generally unsuitable for larger organizations. Even if the user makes a potentially dangerous connection, a VPN encrypts all the data between the exit server and the client. It keeps users’ data safe since cyber-attackers can only view the cipher text.

VPN is not a robust organizational solution since businesses must place it between each computer and server. This setup is complex and challenging to maintain. Moreover, decrypting and encrypting might hinder the network’s performance.


While encryption prevents solely won’t prevent an ARP attack, it can mitigate the potential damage. Hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) and Secure Shell (SSH) protocols help minimize the chances of a successful ARP poisoning attack.

At the same time, using safe sockets layer/ transport layer security (SSL/TLS) encryptions and conducting man-in-the-middle (MiTM) attacks have become challenging for hackers. Encryption enables threat actors to intercept traffic; however, they cannot use the data since it is encrypted.

Network Isolation and Packet Filters

Because ARP messages never leave the local subnet, a segmented network is less vulnerable to ARP cache poisoning. It is because an attack in a single subnet cannot affect the other devices. Setting up essential resources in a secure network segment eliminates the potential impact of ARP poisoning.

The packet filters analyze every packet that travels across a network. These filters monitor and block malicious packets and other questionable IP addresses. The filters can also detect the packets claiming to come from an internal source while originating externally, substantially reducing the chances of a successful attack.

Conduct a Spoofing Check

With the help of IT and security teams, businesses must mount a spoofing attack to validate the efficiency of the current defenses. If the attack succeeds, companies can determine the vulnerabilities in the defensive measures and remediate them.

Assess Malware Monitoring Settings

The malware and antivirus tools offer minimal recourse against ARP spoofing. As a result, businesses must evaluate malware monitoring settings and look for categories that collect and analyze unusual ARP data from endpoints.

Businesses must stop endpoint processes that send suspicious ARP traffic and enable ARP spoofing prevention options. Even though companies increase the protection against ARP poisoning with efficient malware tools, they must also use other detection techniques.

These additional detection techniques will restrict the hacker from circumventing the malware tools and infiltrating the data.

Deploy an Identification Tool

Even with ARP knowledge and techniques, detecting a spoofing attack’s not always possible. Instead of strictly focusing on prevention, businesses must ensure that they have a detection method. Using a third-party detection tool allows companies to track when a spoofing attack might happen. Multiple third-party tools help detect ARP poisoning.

Prevent Trust Relationships

Systems rely on IP trust relationships that connect to other devices to share and transmit information automatically. It becomes easy for cyber-attackers to spoof the ARP when the devices use IP addresses only to verify another user’s identity. Therefore, businesses must not rely entirely on IP trust relationships. Another method is to rely on private passwords and logins for user identification.

Also Read: A Closer Look at Emerging Application Security Drifts in 2023

Switch Security

Most Ethernet switches mitigate ARP poisoning attacks. The Dynamic ARP Inspection (DAI) functionality verifies each ARP message’s correctness and discards suspicious or malicious packets.

Businesses can configure DAI to constrain the rate at which ARP messages travel through the switch, preventing DoS attacks. Companies must avoid enabling DAI on the ports connected to other switches.

While enabling port security helps businesses mitigate ARP Cache Poisoning attacks, configured port security allows a single MAC address on a switch port. It minimizes the hackers’ malicious chance to consume multiple network identities.


Businesses must integrate robust prevention and detection tools to secure the network from ARP poisoning. While some prevention methods and tools have flaws, deploying powerful detection tools helps businesses identify ARP poisoning as early as possible. It allows them to shut down these attacks before any further damage.

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