Your cyber security needs to be better than just antivirus software. Without multi-layered security solutions, your network is vulnerable to a potentially damaging cyberattack. Hackers now use exploit kits to easily sneak into networks and can hide for a long time while devising an upcoming attack. Here are some things you should know about a rising cybercrime:
Why Should You Care About Exploit Kits?
The reason you must take cybercrime more seriously is because it’s getting easier for unskilled hackers to launch devastating attacks. All they need is a cheap exploit kit, which is software that exploits vulnerabilities, particularly in older computer systems. It’s simply a piece of code designed to unleash malware through open channels that can be used to execute various unwanted commands. Exploit kits, which trace back to 2006, can perform three main functions:
- Scan a network for vulnerabilities
- Download malicious code to exploit vulnerabilities
- Install malware on your device
The set of commands that exploit kits provide are designed to create a wide variety of disruptive activity that affects hardware, software or other electronic elements in a computer system. Just because you cannot detect it in your system doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Attackers can redirect your browser to a site where the kit is hosted and instantly scan your browser for vulnerabilities, then inject it with malicious code. From there it can collect credit card numbers, banking passwords, and login information. The “Angler” exploit kit has been among the most dangerous, since it can spread through “malvertising” (infected banner ads).
How Businesses Can Block Exploits Kits
One of your initial steps to preventing an attack from an exploit kit is to make sure your cyber security team is well informed about the latest types of cyber security breaches. As a first countermeasure it’s essential to protect user credentials with multi-factor authentication (MFA), which involves using tools that verify user identity.
A secondary countermeasure against malware involves hiding applications by restricting “east-west” traffic, which moves from server to server. Your IT team will need to segment applications, which is a technique to limit full access to an entire suite of programs. Only certain groups are allowed to have access to specific resources. Using encrypted connections will help hide interior traffic from hackers.
Another stage of the second countermeasure is hardening each application, meaning making it more secure. This layer may involve the following strategies:
- Keeping security patches updated
- Installing a firewall
- Closing server ports
- Preventing file sharing between programs
- Installing antivirus software
- Disabling cookies
- Using strong, periodically-changing passwords and encryption
- Avoiding opening unknown email attachments
You will also benefit from assigning each application to its own dedicated virtual network. Finally, you need to make sure IT monitors your enterprise network and virtually application networks constantly to identify and block cyber threats.
Every cyber security professional must be aware that anyone interested in pursuing a life of cybercrime can purchase an exploit kit for as little as $20 from a Cybercrime-as-a-Service criminal in the underground internet world. If you feel you need to work with a more advanced IT team due to security concerns, contact us at Idealstor. We provide high-quality security solutions so that you can focus on what you do best— running and developing your business.