Strategies to Minimize the Instance and Impact of Credential Theft

Strategies to Minimize the Instance and Impact of Credential Theft

Monitoring and fixing cybersecurity bugs through digital enterprise environments can be a challenging task and is becoming more complex.

As the cybercrime industry becomes increasingly sophisticated, they are on the prowl to look for security flaws and bank on them to accomplish their malicious goals. Credential theft is one of the easiest ways cybercriminals can leverage to compromise the system and move laterally in the business network. Cybersecurity business leaders must implement the best strategies to stay secure from various threats and risks that may arise due to credential theft.

As world password day approaches, security teams need to evaluate their password management policies and make strategic changes to avoid being a victim of credential theft. Malicious actors constantly innovate their approaches and utilize multiple vectors in the wild, like stealing domain passwords from the local cache and extracting encrypted service accounts.

CISOs Should Enforce Multifaceted Security Approach

Cybercriminals today are exploring all the opportunities that they can seize to steal credentials and accomplish their malicious activities. Following are a few ways that security decision-makers can consider to minimize the instance and impact of credential theft. 

Integrate AI-enabled Credential Theft Security Solutions

It will be a difficult challenge for cybercriminals to fool machines compared to humans. Various robust solutions like email security and resilience tools can help stop credential theft at its source.

The best security scanning tools have integrated machine learning and advanced computer vision frameworks to identify suspicious activities in the branding, login, or payment. These tools evaluate the incoming traffic to detect phishing emails and web pages. The best cybersecurity tools will help users identify the difference between safe and malicious websites to restrict the suspicious ones.

Based on the calculated risk potential, the system will notify users of the issue or restrict access to that page. As the best tools have machine learning capabilities, the decisions get better at detection because of their cognitive learning ability.

Enforce and Fund Awareness Training to Identify Suspicious User Behaviors

Malicious actors that are on the prowl to harvest credentials rely on human weaknesses, like system vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals fool resources by sending them malicious links which ask them to enter their credentials.

Such malicious links imitate a legitimate business or web page, which makes it challenging for the users to determine the difference between original websites and spoofed sites. A sophisticated cybercriminal might even imitate one of the trusted third-party vendors and get access to the user credentials.

Once the user clicks on the malicious links and enters their credentials, the malicious actors will deploy credential-stealing malware on the business network. CISOs, along with the training, need to evaluate the readiness of the resources to identify credential theft attacks and de-weaponize versions of them to stay secure.

Every enterprise must have effective awareness and training around password hygiene. Organizations must ensure that the users use different passwords across multiple applications.

Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

One of the most efficient ways to minimize credential theft is to implement MFA. This security approach adds a security layer by demanding that users provide multiple forms of authentication before granting access to a system.

MFAs can include something the user knows, like a password, or something the user has, like a security token or biometric data. MFA is an effective strategy because it makes it much more challenging for attackers to get unauthorized access even if they obtain a user’s password.

Use Strong Passwords and Enforce Password Policies

Enforcing strong password policies can also help to reduce credential theft. Passwords should be long and complex, including a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, special characters, and symbols.

Users should change passwords frequently and be discouraged from using the same password across multiple systems. CISOs can implement tools to enforce these policies and educate users on the importance of strong passwords.

Monitor for Suspicious Activity

Monitoring for suspicious activity can help CISOs detect and respond to credential theft quickly. The monitoring can be for failed login attempts, unusual login patterns, and unauthorized access to sensitive data. By monitoring these indicators, CISOs can detect credential theft early and take action to prevent further damage.

Integrate Password Managers

SecOps teams should use password managers to help employees create and store strong, unique passwords for each account. This approach reduces the risk of employees reusing passwords across different accounts, a common mistake that can lead to credential theft.

Have an Incident Response Plan

Despite taking all necessary precautions, credential theft may still occur. CISOs should have an incident response plan to minimize the damage and quickly respond to breaches.

Regularly update software and systems: CISOs should keep their software and systems up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates to minimize the risk of attackers exploiting known vulnerabilities.

Also Read: Towards a Password Less Future: Better Security Alternatives to Password

Regular Security Audits

Security teams should conduct regular security audits to identify potential system and process weaknesses. Regular security audits can help them avoid potential attacks and minimize the impact of credential theft incidents.

As cyberattacks become more sophisticated and frequent, protecting user credentials has become increasingly challenging. Cyber attackers leverage credential theft as one of the most common attack vectors to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data. Cybercriminals target a variety of credentials, including usernames, passwords, and security tokens.

As a CISO, it’s important to develop strategies to minimize the risk of credential theft and ensure the safety of the organization’s data. Organizations of sizes, types, and industries can implement the best strategies to identify and mitigate all credentials theft instances.

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