Securing IT Infrastructure from Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attacks

IT Infrastructure

Cybercriminals are exploring opportunities to infiltrate the IT infrastructure through an open and less secured Wi-Fi router to execute a full-blown man-in-the-middle attack.

Business mobility and the surge in the use of open Wi-Fi have exposed the enterprise tech stack to various vulnerabilities. Malicious actors are leveraging Man in the middle attack to steal confidential data and login credentials. Moreover, MitM attacks can be a vector used to deploy malware on the business network. An increase in the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the reasons for the surge of MitM attacks on enterprises.

CISOs should consider implementing effective security policies and tools to protect their infrastructure from various man-in-the-middle attacks.

Following are a few ways to secure a business network from a full-blown MitM attack:

Set stringent and secure communication protocols

Almost all businesses use Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), and Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols to secure their communication. Malicious threats leverage the MitM approach like HTTPS spoofing, and only HTTPS encryption will not be able to secure the network alone. CISOs should also consider implementing HTTP strict transport security (HSTS) policies to mandate the use of SSL in all the subdomains. Configuring HSTS protocols will enable enterprises to restrict access to all the unsecured connections. This approach is one of the most significant ways to stop SSL stripping. SecOps teams can implement DNS over HTTPS to protect domain name servers from being hijacked by encrypting DNS requests. Implementing secure communication protocols will help businesses to minimize the risks of man-in-the-middle attacks.

Integrate Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) into the security postures

Implementing HTTPS assists enterprises in encrypting between browser and web server. Integrating VPNs into the security tech stack will ensure that the entire traffic flowing between the business network and VPN servers is encrypted. The ability of virtual private networks to secure the users’ privacy helps enterprises to be less vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks.

Also Read: Encrypted Traffic Visibility: Meeting the Enterprise need for Better Security

Set robust security tools and policies

The SecOps teams need to ensure there are robust security tools and policies implemented in the security posture to identify and mitigate MitM attacks. Intrusion detection and prevention tools enable businesses to inspect the entire incoming and outgoing traffic to identify suspicious-looking payloads. CISOs can adopt Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) into their workflows to limit access to critical servers and applications. Embracing firewalls into the security postures will act as gatekeepers to the business network. Moreover, it is crucial to implement antivirus and anti-malware on all the devices on the network to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks on the IT infrastructure.

Implement advanced patch management tools

Threat actors are looking out for enterprises and users that do not have their systems updated. It is crucial for businesses to have an effective patch management solution to patch all the known vulnerabilities. As the modern enterprise tech stack includes multiple applications, tools, servers, and devices seamlessly integrated, a robust patch management tool is a necessity to minimize the risks of man-in-the-middle attacks.

Also Read: Maintaining IT Infrastructure and Application Security in A Dynamic Environment

Train the workforce to be vigilant about the man-in-the-middle attacks

One of the most significant reasons behind the exponential growth of MitM attacks is the sheer negligence of security. Implementing effective security protocols and training the workforce on how to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks is essential for every enterprise. Restricting the employees from using unknown, insecure, or public Wi-Fi networks will help to minimize the MitM attack risks.

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