Most Common Attack Vectors

Most Common Attack VectorsRansomware attacks have become a more significant concern for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the US. With the addition of ransomware as a service (RaaS) and its harmful possibilities, businesses should be aware of the most common attack vectors and how they are compromised. Data shows ransomware attacks leveled off in 2022 but are on the rise again in 2023 as attack vectors continue to evolve and criminals adopt more automated tactics.

The vulnerability that is exploited most often, resulting in a ransomware attack, is public-facing applications that can be compromised. Criminals discover a critical flaw in an enterprise-level piece of software and are able to access a business network and steal data. Businesses can defend against this attack vector by regularly patching and updating systems on a recommended schedule and when manufacturers publish critical updates. Many of the large ransomware attacks that make the news and affect thousands of users can be traced back to a known critical patch that was not followed by the business.

The use of compromised credentials is the next most often exploited vulnerability. Phishing can compromise credentials, but the more common issues are leaked or bought breached data and password re-use. Criminals can buy passwords from other data breaches, and if your employees re-use passwords on numerous services, they may have access to business credentials even if your data was not stolen. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) and passwordless logins that use systems like passkey can both help to fight against compromised credentials. MFA is the easiest short-term solution and can be enabled on most enterprise-level systems.

Malicious email attacks still retain third place in the most common attack vectors; even with employee training and sophisticated email filtering, malicious emails are still getting through and still being clicked on. Employees should be aware of the common attack vectors and understand phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated and targeted to individual users.

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Posted by Charles Wright