As the use of mobile devices continues to grow exponentially, so do the risk of attacks on enterprise networks. According to a 2018 report by the Ponemon Institute, 50% of organizations experienced security incidents due to the use of mobile devices.
This article will discuss the real-world risks to enterprise security posed by Mobile Attack Chains. We will explore the different types of attacks and how IT teams can protect their organizations from them.
What is an attack chain?
An attack chain is a series of steps that threat actors use to breach an organization’s IT environment. These steps, known as the kill chain, usually involve surveying systems and devices, creating malicious content (viruses and malware), and leveraging social engineering techniques to steal the credentials of unsuspecting users. Attack chains can also be advanced methods for creating backdoors or gaining root-level access to a system. Attack chains can have multiple steps, varying from simple attacks that take only minutes to sophisticated multi-stage campaigns that span months.
Attack chains provide attackers with deep access, allowing them to search for weak points in a system or network. Attackers may use tools acquired on the dark web along with custom software tools to create complex attack chains that cover several stages, progress quickly through the kill chain, and exploit multiple vulnerabilities – each step making it harder for defenders to detect an attack in progress and prevent it before it succeeds. In most cases, these attack chains are tailored toward particular targets or industries so they can further avoid detection by security teams.
Mobile attackers are notorious for their ability to use attack chains because mobile phone networks are the least secure computer networks available today due to heterogeneous systems present in mobile devices from suppliers like Apple and Android branded device manufacturers all having different operating systems (OS). On top of this challenge attackers leverage encryption technology for their malicious payloads thus masking the legibility of their activities as they move through different stages in a network’s kill chain so that defenders may be oblivious until after an attack has been successful.
What are the real-world risks to enterprise security?
The number of threats to the security of any enterprise can be daunting. Such risks range from the internal (data leakage, espionage) to external (cyberattacks, targeted hacks). In a world where data is increasingly accessible and technology is always evolving, enterprises must remain vigilant and proactive in guarding against cyber threats.
Mobile attack chains are of particular concern, which refer to an attack that consists of a series of steps or “links” that allow assailants to gain access to an enterprise’s data when successfully executed. When breached via mobile attack chains, attackers can acquire data such as financial information, personal history and intellectual property. So enterprises need to understand what makes up a mobile attack chain and consider ways it can be prevented from occurring.
Mobile attack chains begin with reconnaissance – usually in the form of phishing – whereby threat actors gather information about potential targets. After gaining access through this initial “hook”, attackers might use techniques like malicious app installation or network exploitation to cause further damage by infiltrating systems or devices connected within an organization’s infrastructure. Common tactics used during such attacks include abuse of legitimate privileges and encryption-key cracking attempts to access valuable company data.
To protect your enterprise against these mobile attack chains, businesses must be proactive rather than reactive with their cybersecurity strategy. This includes educating employees on how they can spot suspicious activity online or on their devices; designating a team responsible for implementing secure hardware solutions; and investing in tools such as malware scanners and attackers-in-the-box monitoring systems capable of automatically detecting cyber threats as soon as they are active on the network. Taking these steps will help protect your business from cyber threats and enable your organization to be better prepared when such attacks occur.
Mobile Attack Chains: The Real World Risks to Enterprise Security
Mobile Attack Chains are a set of linked attacks, staged by an attacker, that target the security of mobile apps and devices. These attack chains can provide access to valuable data and resources by exploiting vulnerabilities.
In this article, we’ll discuss the real world risks to enterprise security that mobile attack chains pose and their potential mitigation strategies.
Types of mobile attack chains
Mobile attack chains are series of steps that an attacker takes to gain access to a mobile device, its data, or its associated applications and services. Attacks can be divided into five categories according to the “attack surface” they target: (1) mobile device configurations; (2) mobile OS vulnerabilities; (3) mobile application flaws; (4) network infrastructure weaknesses; and (5) back-end server vulnerabilities.
Mobile device configuration attacks include exploiting weak passwords and unpatched firmware. Attackers may target outdated apps and operating systems without security updates or target mismatched configuration settings between the device and the endpoint security policy. These attacks could enable access to sensitive corporate data stored on the devices or in remote cloud-based systems accessed via mobile applications.
Mobile OS vulnerabilities are targeted when attackers search for publicly known flaws in mobile operating systems such as Android or iOS, exploit known user interfaces such as a browser engine, or take advantage of any other weaknesses. Attackers may also focus on weaker components within an OS architecture rather than individual programs running on it such as Task Manager, Contacts list, etc.
Mobile application flaws typically involve malicious requests sent through a vulnerable app’s interface which can lead to remote control of the entire system by injecting malicious code into legitimate apps with similar APIs/interfaces. These requests can access sensitive data stored in the device memory, even if encrypted using encrypted storage solutions such as Apple’s Protected Encryption Container technology.
Network infrastructure weaknesses occur when attackers break into weaker portions of a corporate network infrastructure like gateways, routers and switches specifically designed for portable computing devices like smartphones and tablets rather than desktop computers. From this vantage point they can hijack web sessions by altering DNS records and installing malware at many levels to read SMS messages or get access logging credentials stored on internal servers such as Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS).
Finally, back-end server vulnerabilities are exploited when attackers bypass authentication protocols using techniques like SQL injection attacks against devices connected through 3/4G wireless networks or otherwise gain privileged information from backend databases without being authorised users of them by hijacking valid sessions from users who have logged out before their sessions expired. By manipulating weak back-end servers, attackers can steal company secrets stored there since these projects often contain less sophisticated security protections than those used in production environments where mission critical customer applications run at scale and need higher levels of protection against malicious actors – especially those targeting customer information stored therein via external sources hosted online accessible through user equipped wide area networks!
Examples of mobile attack chains
As mobile phones become increasingly integrated into our work lives, cybercriminals are developing sophisticated attacks that target enterprises. Mobile attack chains refer to a series of steps hackers use to successfully penetrate an enterprise’s mobile security system. Below are some examples of mobile attack chains in the real world:
1. Spear Phishing Attack: Cybercriminals use illicit emails that appear to come from legitimate sender, like a senior executive or supplier to entice the user to download malicious files disguised as legitimate attachments. The attachments often contain malware or open access for remote software access onto the device, allowing attackers to control corporate data.
2. Compromise of Ecosystem Credentials: Mobile applications can be easily compromised if proper security protocols aren’t implemented or maintained correctly within an organization’s mobile ecosystem. Attackers can exploit common vulnerabilities within the operating system such as outdated patches or insecure configurations to gain access to users’ login credentials, company data and even cause Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks against corporate networks.
3. Watering-Hole & Rogue Application Attacks: When attackers inject malicious code into carefully chosen websites and applications, it enables them launch “watering hole” and “rogue application” attacks which target unsuspecting employees with malware when they visit these infected sites or download arbitrary files from unknown sources – leading them vulnerable to further exploitation by criminals such as installing key loggers and other malware capabilities that enable attackers facilitate credential theft, eavesdrop on confidential conversations, hijack sessions and monitor activities remotely on employee devices over time even after removing the initial malicious code from their device.
4. Remote Endpoint Exploitation & Malware infections : Malicious actors can leverage familiar zero-day exploits from large online hacktivist groups like APT3 which have access a wide variety of unique exploits for various devices ranging from remote code execution backdoors , XSS injection flaws , privilege elevations etc., all crafted precisely launch Remote Endpoint Exploitation & Malware Infection based attack campaigns against enterprise endpoints – packing with an extensive set of malicious payloads designed solely steal confidential data while evading detection by existing antivirus solutions installed in targeted systems.
These examples illustrate how important it is for organizations to protect themselves from mobile attack chains to understand the risks posed by potential threats on their services & users Privacy.
Mitigating the Risks
With the proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace, the risk for malicious actors to launch mobile attack chains and target enterprise networks is greater than ever. To address this, organizations must take proactive steps to better understand and protect against these threats. Therefore, it is important to understand the risks associated with mobile attack chains and take measures to protect enterprise security.
This article will discuss the types of mobile attack chains and how organizations can mitigate the risks.
Implementing a defense-in-depth strategy
Organizations need to move beyond reactive approaches to security, and instead adopt a more sophisticated defense-in-depth strategy. This involves implementing multiple layers of defense controls that protect the organization against threats from all angles.
The most effective enterprises employ various protective measures, from user authentication and identity management tools, to application white listing and antivirus solutions. Enterprise mobility management (EMM) platforms allow organizations to enforce these controls across mobile devices, applications and networks. A strong EMM solution should also detect known malware or malicious activities on the device.
Network intrusion prevention systems can scan both inbound and outbound traffic by identifying anomalies or unknown threats attempting to access the network. Firewalls separate networks into secure sections, preventing unauthorized traffic from moving between them;. At the same time, endpoint protection tools can contain malicious processes on the device while being cleaned up, usually by automated threat remediation software.
Organizations must also ensure they have visibility into the latest updates for operating systems and third-party applications; this way they can quickly deploy the appropriate patch when required. Regularly conducting risk assessments is one way for organizations to quantify their security posture and identify vulnerabilities before an attack occurs; this could involve mapping out mobile attack chains or running simulations based on real-world threats that target enterprise assets.
With a defense-in-depth strategy, organizations can better mitigate mobile attack chains targeting their enterprise security infrastructure.
Utilizing mobile device management
Mobile device management (MDM) is an effective method for mitigating real-world enterprise security risks from mobile attack chains. MDM helps organizations reduce the risk of compromise from malicious software installation, data leakage, and exploitation of vulnerabilities. It also provides tools for monitoring and managing devices, applications, and user access to reduce the risk of uncontrolled mobile use.
MDM can help protect corporate network resources and data against malicious attack by applying proactive measures such as routinely checking and patching devices for known software vulnerabilities; enforcing secure communication channels between devices; and blocking access to specific high-risk activities. Additionally, MDM can provide a secure platform for deploying applications critical to business operations without compromising data security or enterprise resources.
MDM can limit centralized visibility into activities carried out on mobile devices connected to an organization’s network; it also helps prevent unauthorized access or manipulation of sensitive business information by enforcing strong authentication protocols. With the proper implementation of MDM policies, organizations can gain insight into usage trends across their mobile fleet while ensuring that corporate assets remain secure from malicious actors.
Utilizing mobile application management
Mobile application management helps to reduce the risks associated with mobile attack chains by providing a secure, comprehensive approach to protect data and manage apps. Mobile application management (MAM) strategies enforce multiple layers of protection that target the following areas:
-Platform security: All personal devices used in enterprise environments are scanned for malware and monitored for suspicious activity. Standard operating systems and networks are also monitored for abnormal changes that could indicate an attack.
-Application policy enforcement: Applications must be approved before being installed on mobile devices, with policies enforced on how those applications can be used.
-Data encryption and crontrols: Data is encrypted both when it is at rest on devices and when transmitted across networks. Granular access controls also help to prevent unauthorized users from accessing sensitive data stored on mobile devices or confidential corporate data stored in databases or cloud services. Device management also helps to ensure only authenticated users can access enterprise networks, providing an additional layer of protection against malicious actors seeking access to valuable resources.
-Monitoring and reporting capabilities: It is important to monitor all activities on mobile device networks to detect malicious behavior quickly and take necessary action to defend against threats promptly. Automated reporting systems can provide detailed logs of attempts at accessing restricted information or elevated privileges, helping enterprises to respond quickly if suspicious events are uncovered.
As mobile attack chains become increasingly sophisticated, enterprises must take mobile security seriously. Organizations can proactively protect themselves from the growing mobile threat landscape by understanding the various stages of the attack chain.
Enterprises can reduce the risks of attack chains by taking a multi-layered approach to threat protection. This article explored a variety of steps enterprises can take to reduce the risk of mobile attack chains, as well as the risks to their enterprise security.
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