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Man In the Middle Attacks: The Hidden Threat

Ransomware and malware may dominate the news, but man-in-the-middle attacks can be just as dangerous to your organization. These attacks occur at business conventions, the airport, or even a quick visit to the local café — anywhere a public Wi-Fi connection is available. Threat actors deceive us into accessing fraudulent connections by mimicking Wi-Fi names or spoofing IP addresses. These imposters then intercept our transmissions, including login information and sensitive communications.

An Ever-Increasing Risk

Man-in-the-middle attacks have been around for decades but present a greater threat as the Internet of Things (IoT) expands. Unchecked threats like the Mozi botnet, which infects routers for sophisticated man-in-the-middle attacks, can infect your systems and operational networks with malware or ransomware. As more people rely on technology to manage their lives and more locales offer free public Wi-Fi connections, it is likely these attacks will increase.

Prevention Is Key

Stopping man-in-the-middle attacks must be part of your organization’s cybersecurity strategy. Using SSL (Secure Socket Layer), which is the standard protocol for protecting user privacy and security, is crucial, but it shouldn’t be your only source of protection. With phishing attempts a common method of entry for man-in-the-middle attacks, you must also protect your email systems. At a minimum, this includes implementing junk or SPAM filters and establishing a process for identifying and blocking suspicious IP addresses. Using a VPN to access files and other business communications adds another layer of protection.

In addition, tools like Managed Endpoint Security can help protect your further from these threats. Even with other security measures in place, you could still fall victim to a man-in-the-middle-attack, and that’s where Managed Endpoint Security comes into play. It is a more effective approach to securing endpoint devices that combines preventative protection with continuous endpoint detection and response.

Tackling the Human Element

The human element is often overlooked in favor of technological roadblocks, but it shouldn’t be discounted. A recent analysis of vulnerabilities and breaches attributes over 80% of such incidents to human fallacy, not system errors or misconfiguration. Educating staff to resist suspicious links and use VPN connections are sound preventive strategies, but more reliable methods for protecting your systems are needed as cybersecurity threats increase.

By investing in Security Awareness Training, businesses can ensure their employees are knowledgeable of cybersecurity best practices. Understanding the threats and knowing how to keep your systems safe is half the battle. With a continuous training program, cybersecurity stays top of mind for your employees all year round.

Promoting a More Secure Environment

Man-in-the-middle attacks will continue as long as there is a viable population and sufficient unsecured connections to target. Incorporating VPN, SSL, and endpoint security into your systems should be but the first in a series of preventative efforts. Also, consider integrating tools that identify and eliminate threats before they can infiltrate your systems. With proper prevention and rapid mitigation techniques, you can save your organization both time and resources while maintaining a secure operational environment.

For more information about how you can protect your business from man-in-the-middle attacks, contact a TPx representative today.

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