As people and technology continue to evolve and become more cyber resilient to attacks, attackers must evolve their strategy to continue to have success with their attacks.

Attackers are doing this in two main ways, targeting specific businesses or individuals within the businesses, or targeting specific parts of systems.

Are you aware of the methods used to carry out targeted attacks?  
Targeted attacks on specific businesses or individuals can be done in a variety of ways. Commonly, this is done by creating a map of the business dynamic and the people within the business, often through open source intelligence (OSINT).

OSINT is intelligence gathered by collecting and analysing publicly available information. This could be from public records, the business’s website or the social media channels of both the business and its employees.

These attacks will be personalised to the target audience, making them more believable and causing a higher risk of susceptibility.  The delivery of this can be a variety of social engineering attempts. Learn more about the common social engineering attempts such as: Spear Phishing, Smishing and Vishing here.

Revealing the Vulnerabilities and Security Risks within Business Networks

Specific systems are often targeted for two main reasons. The first is the data contained on the system, for instance, in an office, the computer containing staff records and payroll information would be more valuable than data on a computer used to display live news in the reception area.

The second reason is the computer has a simple and known exploit method. For example, a computer running an older operating system, such as Windows 7, may be active on the network. This is a prime target as it will no longer receive security updates, leaving easy routes in for an attacker.

An attacker would gain a lot more valuable information from a server that hosts all customer records than from a server that hosts printer configuration and information. Both servers may exist on the same network, but an attacker would be less likely to desire control and target the print server.

Safeguarding Business Networks Amidst Vulnerabilities and Compliance Challenges

Many large business networks have at least one application that requires an older operating system to access/host it or one device that is yet to be updated as it still works well for its intended function. However, these systems can have years’ worth of vulnerabilities, often widely reported and with simple tools to exploit, available to the attackers. Whilst these applications may be critical to the smooth operation of the business, it is important they are used securely and excluded from the main network or they can create an open door into any network, regardless of the security regulations and procedures in place.

Business owners and IT teams should know of any device that is not compliant, through regular maintenance of servers and tools actively enforcing security updates to user devices and reporting devices not compliant with the specified policy.

Stay Cyber Wise

Using our advanced tools and technology, CTRL-S offers automated device monitoring and proactive patching to ensure the security of your systems, protecting them from potential targeted attacks.

In today’s digital landscape, Cyber Criminals show no regard for ethical considerations and view any vulnerability as an open invitation. It is of utmost importance for your business to adopt a Cyber Wise approach. To explore how we can assist you in this endeavour, please contact us today.


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