Defending Against Access Control Attacks

Common Access Control Attacks And How To Fend Them Off

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How to Secure Yourself Against Common Access Control Attacks

One of the common targets of security breaches is information systems. Because of this, the need to protect access control systems like biometric machines gradually increased in the business world.

Unauthorized access to sensitive information, communication links, computer networks, and services can be mitigated with a biometric system in place. But as more and more companies made use of access control systems, criminals started to attack this technology as well. That’s why it’s important for organizations to learn how to fend off access control attacks.

Common Access Control Attacks Prevalent Today:

1.Buffer or Stack Overflow

When you notice that your application is trying to store information beyond its allotted resources, that’s one tell-tale sign that you’re experiencing stack overflow. Many system attacks today make use of the overflow to access a company’s directory or system.

One example of this is the Teardrop. This type of stack overflow attack targets the vulnerabilities found in the system’s IT protocol. During the attack, the application or protocol has the tendency to crash or display an unexpected behavior. There are also some cases when the overflow corrupts the data that resides on the stack.

2. Access Aggregation Attacks

In a nutshell, intruders carry out an access aggregation attack by gathering several pieces of non-sensitive information related to your system to obtain confidential data. In most cases, cybercriminals combine multiple tools to collect system metrics to plan and launch an attack.

3. Password Attacks

The weakest link of authentication is a password. This is because of the fact that once an attacker bypasses an administrator or root password, they will be able to compromise an account and the resources associated with it. Aside from that, password attacks can also enable intruders to create backdoor access to applications that they can use at a later date.

This is how password attacks are usually executed:

  • Dictionary Attack

One of the common password attacks worldwide is the dictionary attack. In this password attack, intruders crack the users’ passwords by analyzing the common dictionary-based words they used. Because of this, IT professionals often encourage end-users to use a strong password composed of different character types.

  • Brute-Force Attack

This password attack involves the utilization of every possible compilation of letters, numbers, and characters to discover a user’s password. In most cases, attackers make use of several programs to generate and try different combinations automatically. Because of the advancement of password attacking tools, hackers no longer need to find the actual password of the users. All they need these days is a password with the same hash value as the value stored in the account’s database.

  • Sniffer Attack

Aside from the ones mentioned above, one of the password attacks prevalent nowadays is the sniffer attack. This attack is also known as sniffing, protocol analyzer, and packet analyzer. This type of password attack usually involves attackers monitoring the traffic of its victims and capturing their transferred data over a corporate network.

4. Spoofing Attacks

Spoofing attacks occur when cybercriminals gain access to a company’s IT system using another person’s credentials. This is also known as the masquerading attack in the field of information technology.

Just like the password attacks, there are also different types of spoofing attacks at present. Here are a few:

  • IP spoofing

This happens when the intruder replaces the original IP address with a fake one to keep their identity hidden. This can also be used to impersonate a corporate system.

  • Email Spoofing

Another spoofing attack out there in the open is the email spoofing attack. Businesses that experienced this attack reported to the authorities that they received a seemingly legitimate email. Changing the “from” field of the email is one of the common strategies intruders follow to carry out this attack.

5. Social Engineering Attacks

With this type of access control attack, cybercriminals trick their victim into doing an action they don’t usually do and revealing information they won’t normally share.

There is a wide range of techniques used to implement this kind of attack. Here below are some of the examples:

  • Shoulder Sniffing

When someone attempts to read the information on your screen by standing behind your shoulder, that social engineering attack is considered shoulder sniffing.  This sniffing is well-known across business organizations.

  • Phishing

This social engineering attack is prevalently known for its common practice to trick victims into handing over sensitive information. Usually, it is a result of clicking a certain link or attachment. Furthermore, there are also cases when this attack installed malicious programs on corporate systems.

  • Whaling

This type of attack is renowned for targeting high-level staff or senior executives in a company. Based on reports, the executives that were victimized by this attack were asked to click a link in order to get more information about something. Through that, attackers were able to trigger the remote installation of malicious software. This software is usually used to log keystrokes in order to capture the log-in credentials for the websites that executives visit.

6. Smart Card Attacks

Compared to passwords, it has been well-known that smart cards deliver better authentication control to businesses. Although this is true, these high-tech cards can still be susceptible to access control attacks. One of the common smart card attacks today is the Side Channel attack. This kind of attack discovers information by analyzing the details it transmits to the reader. Hence, it is often used by attackers to get valuable information from the smart card.

7. Denial of Service Attacks (DoS)

If your system is blocked from processing or replying to requests and traffic resources, then there’s a big possibility that you’re experiencing a DoS attack. DoS attacks often cause systems to no longer carry out its intended services. Hence, this attack has caused a lot of problems for the businesses that it infected. During these attacks, the cybercriminals override their victims’ IT system control. By doing that, they are able to force their systems to reset or consume their resources.

Defending Your Company from Access Control Attacks

It is evident that most access control attacks happen because of unpatched vulnerabilities. That’s why it’s crucial for organizations to learn how to defend their access control system. Once you learn to do this, you will be able to fully enjoy the benefits of this technology and make the most out of it.

To get you started, here’s what you can do to protect your system from security threats:

  1. Utilize Multifactor Authentication

Most often than not, the success of access control attacks is rooted in the lack of Identity and access management (IAM). IAM is a framework used in company processes, technologies, and policies in order to facilitate the management of digital identities. One way to strengthen your business’ IAM is through the utilization of the multifactor authentication system. According to experts that deliver IT consulting services, companies that use single authentication systems are more vulnerable to security threats. That’s why it’s recommended by experts to deploy multifactor authentication in businesses.

  1. Implement The Strong Password Policy

While it’s fundamental to educate employees about the importance of strong passwords, it’s the organization’s responsibility to enforce it as well. This can be done easily by implementing a strong password policy. With this policy, you will be able to direct the use of complicated passwords and the regular update of passwords within the company. That said, it is a great strategy for deterring the occurrence of access control password attacks.

  1. Secure Password Files

Aside from implementing a strong password policy, it’s also essential for organizations to keep their password files secure. The best way you can do that is through data encryption. Once you encrypt your password files, you can get the peace of mind that it can only be accessed by authorized personnel.

  1. Restrict Physical and Electronic Access to Systems

Another effective way that you can fend off access control attacks is through the restriction of physical and electronic access to information systems. By doing this, you will be able to flag and investigate suspicious activities immediately. Furthermore, it also allows you to control what your employees can do when they’re using your company’s system.

  1. Carry Out Account Lockout Policies

Without a doubt, security breaches are inevitable when you’re running a business. That’s why organizations are usually advised by IT professionals to implement account lockout policies. Often times when this policy is carried out, the account is set to lockout users after 5 consecutive failed login attempts. Through that, this policy can help you monitor your logs and ensure your company’s safety.

  1. Proper Account Management

You may not realize this right away, but proper account management plays a significant role in protecting access control systems. By putting this into practice, you enable your company to monitor the account privilege levels of your organization. Furthermore, it also allows you to delete inactive accounts without problems.

  1. Testing

One sure-fire way to be combat-ready in the event of a security attack is through testing. By testing strategies, you enable your company to anticipate and prepare for possible access control attacks. Furthermore, it enables you to create well-informed decisions when it comes to creating and correcting policies.

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