An attack vector is a path or means by which an attacker can gain access to a computer system or network. Enabling them to steal data and wreak havoc on a target system. These vectors are typically divided into two categories: local and remote. Local attack vectors are usually exploited by physically accessing the target system, while remote attack vectors are executed over a network connection.
Common Types of Attack Vectors
There are many different types of attack vectors, each with its own set of risks and rewards for an attacker. Some of the more common attack vectors include:
Weak and stolen credentials
This type of attack vector relies on the fact that many people choose weak passwords or use the same password for multiple accounts. This can be exploited by using brute force methods to guess passwords, or by using dictionary-based attacks. They can also obtain password lists from data breaches or by using phishing techniques to trick people into revealing their login details.
Social engineering relies on human interaction in order to trick people into revealing information that can be used to gain access to systems or networks. Threat actors often pose as someone else in order to gain the trust of their victim and then use this trust to obtain sensitive information. Common social engineering techniques include phishing and spear phishing.
Phishing and spear-phishing
Phishing is a type of social engineering attack that relies on email or other forms of communication in order to trick people into revealing sensitive information. Spear phishing is a more targeted form of phishing, where the attacker will tailor their message to seem like it is coming from a trusted source. Assessing your phishing risk is an important part of protecting your organization from this common type of attack.
This type of attack vector happens when someone who already has access to a system or network uses their privileges to perform unauthorized actions. This could be something as simple as downloading sensitive information or planting malware on a system.
Drive-by downloads happen when someone visits a website that has been compromised by an attacker. The attacker can then use vulnerabilities in the web browser or plugins to install malware on the victim’s computer.
A zero-day exploit is an attack that takes advantage of a previously unknown vulnerability. These types of attacks can be very difficult to defend against, as there is often no patch available for the vulnerability. Zero-day exploits are typically only used by very sophisticated attackers.
How to Protect Against Attack Vectors?
There are different ways to protect against attack vectors, and the best defense will vary depending on the type of vector being used. Some general tips for protecting against attack vectors include:
- Educating users about social engineering attacks and teaching them how to spot suspicious emails or messages.
Aurora provides a Phishing Simulation Risk Assessment to measure an organization’s current level of susceptibility for a phishing attack
- Using strong passwords and password management tools to help prevent brute force and dictionary-based attacks. 2-Factor Authentication is an effective tool that ensures enhanced security against such attacks.
- Restricting access to systems and networks using role-based access controls and implementing a zero trust architecture.
- Biometrics as a security measure is an effective form of cybersecurity against threat actors.
Aurora’s parent company Plurilock, offers DEFENDTM a biometric solution that detects compromised sessions and credentials in real-time.
- Keeping systems and software updated with the latest security patches and conducting a cybersecurity risk assessment.
- Using firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, and other forms of security monitoring to help detect and block attacks. A CASB is an effective strategy to keep data safe while utilizing a cloud service.
- Backing up data regularly to minimize the impact of data loss in the event of an attack.
- Working with a reputable security vendor to help identify and protect against new and emerging threats.
- Implementing a comprehensive security strategy that covers all aspects of your organization’s IT infrastructure.
Attack vectors are a constantly evolving threat, and it is important to stay updated on the latest security threats and defenses. By following the tips provided in this article, you can help protect your organization from the most common attack vectors. However, attackers are always devising new and sophisticated methods to bypass security. It may therefore be necessary to engage the services of a trusted cybersecurity partner that has the capability of providing round-the-clock security at all levels.
Aurora is a cybersecurity consulting firm that provides a wide range of cybersecurity solutions that can be customized to fit the needs of your organization. Our team of experts can help you assess your current security posture and develop a comprehensive security strategy that will help to protect your organization from attack vectors.
For more information about our services, contact us today!
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- SearchSecurity. (2021, March 1). What is an attack vector? Definition from WhatIs.com. Retrieved April 18, 2022, from https://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/attack-vector
- What is an attack vector? 16 common attack vectors in 2022: Upguard. RSS. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2022, from https://www.upguard.com/blog/attack-vector