Network Vulnerabilities: Networks provide many different advantages. However networks also have several characteristics that make them vulnerable to attacks by Cyber Criminals.
–Anonymity: in a networked environment an attacker does not need to be in physical contact with an information system in order to attack. The attacker could be physically anywhere on the globe can still mount an attack on a network from outside the network.
–Points of attack: a networked environment can potentially expose many different points of attack. From a security perspective a network is only as strong as its weakest link and weak access controls on a single node can expose the entire network to risks.
–Resource and Workload sharing: Although networks allow computational resource and workload to be shared; this also means more users have access to computational assets thus exposing those assets to a greater risk.
-System Complexity: computer security expert and columnist Mikko Hyppönen once said complexity is enemy of security. In big organizations Network architecture is often complex. Since networks are intrinsically more complex than standalone systems there is a greater chance that security vulnerability will be overlooked in a networked environment
–Unknown Boundary: Networks often have unknown boundaries. Since the boundary of a network can change dynamically, it is often difficult to ensure that the entire network is secure. This is especially true in wireless networks where unknown nodes can join and leave the network on an ad-hoc basis.
A network attack is an attempt to gain unauthorized access to an organization’s network, with the objective of stealing data or perform other malicious activity. There are two main types of network attacks:
- Passive: Attackers gain access to a network and can monitor or steal sensitive information, but without making any change to the data, leaving it intact.
- Active: Attackers not only gain unauthorized access but also modify data, deleting, encrypting or otherwise harming it.
Types of attacks:
- Endpoint attacks—gaining unauthorized access to user devices, servers or other endpoints, typically compromising them by infecting them with malware.
- Malware attacks—infecting IT resources with malware, allowing attackers to compromise systems, steal data and do damage. These also include Ransomware attacks.
- Vulnerabilities, exploits and attacks—exploiting vulnerabilities in software used in the organization, to gain unauthorized access, compromise or sabotage systems.
- Advanced persistent threats—these are complex multilayered threats, which include network attacks but also other attack types.