Best practices

Tips to respond to a network breach

Responding to future breaches starts now.

Network breaches have gained momentum as businesses migrate to a hybrid work environment. As infrastructure grows and new technologies appear, keeping track of vulnerable spots in the network is getting even more difficult.

What are the common network security risks?

Cybercriminals intrude on an organisation’s network and systems for numerous reasons. The motives can range from monetary gain to personal espionage and competition. Organizations may have to face endless vectors, methods, and tools when moving forward with digitalization.

Some of the common network security risks are as follows:

Vulnerability exploits and zero-day attacks: Attackers use vulnerabilities in login portals, applications, or hardware to penetrate a network for a variety of malicious purposes. They may also exploit previously unknown vulnerabilities to conduct zero-day attacks.

DDoS attacks: Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks slow down or deny service to legitimate users by flooding networks or servers with junk traffic. DDoS attacks overwhelm a network so that it is no longer functional.

Malware infections: Common malware infections include ransomware, worms, and spyware. They enter a network from unsecured websites, infected employee devices, or targeted external attacks and can affect the network’s internal and external endpoint devices.

5 G-Based Attacks: Attackers target multiple systems, mobile devices, and IoT (Internet of Things) networks using 5G devices to deploy swarm-based network security attacks.

SQL Injection Attacks: This type of network attack mainly targets poorly designed applications and websites. They often contain vulnerable user-input fields that hackers can easily manipulate by changing the scripts.

How to proactively respond and recover from a network breach?

With threat actors getting more creative than ever, it has become increasingly hard to avoid network breaches. When a network breach occurs, every second matters. The key is to execute reactive measures in response immediately.

Identify the scope of the breach

Identify the Indicators of Compromise (IOC). Indicators of compromise include:

  • Specific output and logs to review the network device
  • Review of network behaviour that was logged by security monitoring tools
  • Other artefacts observed on the network device, such as system files having been modified

Contain the Breach

Implement containment procedures with expediency.

  • Configure the affected network device to limit its access within the network
  • Update security policies to eliminate any exposure to other network devices or services
  • Completely isolate the affected network device if necessary

Remediate the Breach

Implement long-term remediation efforts.

  • Reinstall the OS on the network device
  • Reconfigure any local credentials, secrets, and/or keys
  • Review the network to identify any areas with weak security

The recent security breaches of several large, tech-savvy companies demonstrated that no set of security measures is completely infallible to a breach. Implementing a proactive security culture is crucial. Remember, responding to a future breach starts now.