Introduction Organizations are constantly barraged by attacks. Cybercriminals are always on the hunt for new victims. It is estimated that any new device connecting to the internet is discovered by hackers within five minutes of going live. Websites are attacked dozens of times per day, hundreds of thousands of new pieces of malware are released every year, and phishing attacks have exploded with the number of phishing sites now numbering over 600,000. Hundreds of billions of dollars are lost every year as a result of malicious actor activities.
These statistics paint a negative picture of an internet that is downright depressing. However, there is no reason for despair. There is a path that enterprises can choose that offers robust protection from this chaotic environment.
Over the years many security technologies and frameworks have been developed to address each new security challenge. All of these continue to be honed and improved. Security frameworks and strategies, such as Zero Trust, coupled with advanced prevention technologies powered by machine learning and supported by threat intelligence offer security professionals the wherewithal to maintain control over their infrastructure.
This white paper highlights how a Zero Trust strategy can maximize the ability to blunt cyber-criminal activities using existing security technologies, especially deep packet inspection and analysis of network traffic.
Prior to discussing threat mitigation strategies and capabilities, it is important to understand the basics of how threat actors operate. The attacker’s ultimate goal is to gain undetected privileged access to a network in order to harvest data or to achieve some other malicious goal. To achieve illicit access to a targeted environment attackers must avoid security controls such as firewalls, anti-virus, access controls, email security, and a myriad of other defenses. To make this possible they use a toolbox containing hundreds of attack methods.
An attack technique is a specific step or behavior within a cascading string of activities required to penetrate an IT system. One of the best inventories of attack techniques is contained within the MITRE ATT&CK® (Adversarial Tactics, Techniques & Common Knowledge) framework. As of April 2020, 291 techniques were identified and detailed within ATT&CK. Ultimately the increasingly sophisticated attack vectors are designed to integrate the hacker into the environment.
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