Any company with a digital presence faces a wide variety of cyber threats. However, they do not all look the same, nor do they infiltrate your environment in the same way... making some of them more dangerous than others. One growing cyber threat that is more menacing than most is drive-by downloads.
What makes a drive-by attack different from any other breach?
Drive-by downloads represent a different distribution technique, attack intensity, and level of sophistication that we’re seeing from these threat actors. These attacks can be more dangerous because often your organization doesn’t even realize the drive-by download has infiltrated your environment.
So... how does a drive-by download typically work?
Drive-by download steps:
When protecting yourself against drive-by downloads, it’s important to be aware of how devices are accessed and managed. Whether an employee accidentally downloads malware through a contaminated email or someone simply visits the wrong website, the consequences of a drive-by download could be detrimental to your business:
These threats are nothing new. That said, CEOs and other board members are often unaware of what they are and the destruction they can cause.
For example, in 2018, a famous botnet operation known as 3ve was able to seize multiple Swiss bank accounts, more than 30 web domains, and information from over 80 servers. 3ve had been operating within each of these networks for months without any punishment as their victims had no knowledge that they were infected until investigation.
The lesson? Just because your network is not experiencing any issues or strange activity at the moment, does not mean that it is not already infiltrated.
When a user visits any given site, they face a host of potential traps:
These are all ways that the threat actor can work to deliver malware to an unsuspecting victim. Should a botnet choose to turn your device into a “zombie computer,” then your system is no longer under your control. It is now run by a “bot herder” that is able to utilize the device’s network and direct the spread of malware to other networks and devices.
RaaS gangs and Botnet operators understand the benefits of working with one another and often partner up to hold organizations’ IT environments hostage. RaaS attacks like Netwalker partnered with botnet operators to spread the malware faster and wider.
When the botnets and RaaS gangs work together, they often leverage the following TTPs (tactics, techniques, and procedures):
It takes more than advanced processes and tools to prevent malware from entering your network. It requires having a clear vision of where your network’s vulnerabilities are and the proper measures your team must take to combat them.
To prevent Botnets from entering your system:
Allowing a professional team to go in and discover your organization’s vulnerabilities could save you from someone else finding them first. This is your first step in understanding your attack surface and figuring out what you will need to better protect your enterprise.
Penetration testing is important for the non-technological aspects of your security as well - your employees. By testing your workers and making them aware that they are a vulnerability, your business is better equipped to prevent an attack from occurring. It is easier for a business to avoid malware when they understand the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind it.
A successful penetration analysis can show you:
A zero-trust network architecture can dramatically decrease an organization’s exposure to cybersecurity risks, making it an increasingly popular strategy for companies looking to mitigate the risk of a breach. The idea behind a zero-trust network is to restrict access to give people within your network what they need to do their job and nothing more. This approach has been rising in popularity because people are commonly used as access points for malware and therefore must be inspected throughout their time with the company.
Maintaining a ZTNA requires companies to continuously evaluate access levels for each person at the company throughout their employment journey:
As a business, you have a responsibility to your customers and partners to ensure your sites are uncompromised. You don’t want the possible reputational damage that comes with being a business that spreads malware to its user base. Your site might not be damaged, but you could unknowingly become part of a global malware distribution site, dropping malicious code on your customer’s computers, and providing fodder for RaaS gangs to exploit.
Cybersecurity becomes more necessary with each advancement in technology. As we progress, so do those who wish to breach our networks. Stay one step ahead by working with the right security partner and implementing up-to-date tools and processes.