Hackers of all shapes and sizes use brute force attacks to gain access into accounts and infrastructures, but do you know how they work and what your business can do to protect against them? Failing to understand brute force attacks could put sensitive information in the crosshairs of hackers, and leave it vulnerable to ongoing attacks.
What Are Brute Force Attacks?
A brute force attack consists of a hacker repeatedly assaulting a login form with credentials at an incredible rate, hoping to crack the code and gain access without knowing the password to the account or system login. Most brute force attacks are performed by an algorithm that’s designed to rapidly input thousands upon thousands of credentials every second, hence the term “brute force.” Since it takes a more deliberate and frontal assault, rather than using a discrete or intellectual path, it’s considered more straightforward and forceful. Though there are many types of brute force attacks, one of the most common is called a dictionary attack, where password attempts are systematically generated with popular words pulled from the dictionary in order to access the system.
Why They’re a Problem
McAfee Security reports that in 2015, brute force attacks accounted for about 25 percent of all online hacks, second only to Denial of Service attacks. Perhaps this is due to how straightforward these attacks are, since they are deliberate attacks that don’t require skirting around security measures. Those behind brute force attacks know that they will be caught, which makes them particularly dangerous, since all caution is thrown to the wind and forgotten. These types of attacks are used to access accounts or system infrastructures in order to steal credentials like credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and other data.
Plus, brute force attacks can be used to install a rootkit on a device, or turn a PC into a zombie bot. It’s not uncommon for brute force attacks to be used as a jumping-off point for other major threats.
What to Do
A security solution that can lock out users based on IP location or failed login attempts is one way to protect your business from brute force attacks, but if the attacker is executing the campaign with a botnet, these measures will be limited in their ability to protect you. Botnets consist of several infected computers with various IP addresses, acting as individual users, thus rendering your security measures useless.
One other technology that can be effective at eliminating brute force attacks is two-factor authentication. In addition to your password, two-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security. Basically, if hackers don’t have access to your physical device or a secondary email account, they won’t be able to get the second code required to access your account or infrastructure. Two-factor authentication is a great asset in general, so it’s worth taking into consideration regardless of what type of business you’re running.
Your business should be equipped to handle all types of online threats, particularly those which are dangerous and present a significant threat. DatCom, LLC can help your business integrate solutions designed to maximize your organization’s security and continuity. To learn more, give us a call at (903) 842-2220.