Monday, 28 August 2023 15:38

The Rise of Deception-Based Breach Software: Enhancing Cybersecurity Measures

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Deception technology deploys realistic-but-fake assets (domains, databases, servers, credentials, files, cookies, applications) throughout the network alongside real ones. When an attacker interacts with a fake asset, the system triggers a silent alarm and provides defenders with critical intelligence. Unlike traditional signature-based detection or vulnerable machine learning, deception technologies reduce false positive alerts and are easily manageable from a centralized console. They also qualify medium-risk warnings that other security tools would ignore.

 

Increase Visibility

Achieving success in a penetration attempt requires a stealthy approach that enables an adversary to move laterally and access data undetected. To do so, they must avoid or overcome each hurdle they encounter in their hunt for valuable targets. Putting the burden of attack success on an attacker puts the power back into the defenders’ hands. Deception-based breach software makes this possible by populating networks with fake assets that look, smell and feel like the real thing. These false assets misdirect an attacker’s search and, when interacted with, trigger high-probability alerts that expose the attack in progress. In addition to helping IT quickly respond to breaches, this capability provides context-specific threat intelligence that can be correlated with existing detection technologies. This enables advanced, low-risk detection of human-operated attacks that cannot be detected using static signatures or vulnerable machine learning based on probability alone. When used with a centralized management console, deception technology can be deployed at every step of the kill chain, from survey through lateral movement and data theft. To do so, decoys are strategically integrated among actual information technology resources such as servers, endpoints, databases and files. They can also emulate various devices, including medical devices, automated teller machines, retail point-of-sale systems and switches, routers and more. The decoys and lures are automatically created and managed from a central console, eliminating the manual effort of creating fake environments requiring time, skill and resources.

Eliminate False Positives

A false positive can cripple security team productivity, preventing analysts from spotting and responding to real threats. False alerts can also distract analysts from analyzing the results of previous engagements, resulting in missed opportunities to learn and improve detection engineering efforts over time. Deception technology solves this issue by changing the game for attackers. By populating networks with decoys – fake assets that look, act, and sound like IT and IoT systems, databases, files, users, and more –attackers must carry out a flawless attack to penetrate the environment successfully. If they touch a single decoy, misdirection or trap, they receive valuable threat intelligence and hand the defenders a win. Unlike traditional signature-based detection or vulnerable machine learning, which generate a huge volume of extraneous alerts, deception technologies reduce the number of false alarms and can be deployed and managed at scale across thousands of endpoints from a single management console. This enables SOC teams to focus on high-risk threats while eliminating the noise from low-risk events and reducing the risk of missing actionable alerts. Adding deception technology to existing defenses, including zero trust, further improves the effectiveness of these solutions by detecting attacks at every stage of the kill chain, from initial survey through lateral movement and data theft.

Eliminate Dwell Time

The longer a threat is in your network, the more damage it can cause. This includes gaining access to other machines, escalating credentials, exposing information about your infrastructure and hierarchy, and exfiltrating data. Protracted dwell times can have a significant business impact and are associated with a wide range of costly consequences, from disruption of critical operations to the loss of millions of dollars of revenue. Existing detection technologies often trigger too many false positive alerts and overwhelm analysts. This is because these tools rely on signatures and susceptible machine learning algorithms to identify threats, which can create a large volume of activity that does not warrant action.

Deception-based breach detection solutions offer low false positive alerts, enabling security teams to reduce the time spent on low-risk threats and focus their efforts on the most significant risks. In addition, deception technology can detect threats at every step of the kill chain – from surveillance and exploitation to lateral movement and data theft – by populating your environment with fake endpoints, servers, databases, files, users, and IoT devices that attackers will interact with and triggering a response when they do so. Unlike traditional point products, which require extensive customization, deception assets can be intrinsically aligned to your specific business risk, including areas of the network where existing controls may have blind spots. This makes them particularly effective at detecting and eliminating dwell time, as they can be deployed across the entire network and even cover remote locations like IoT devices, executive mobile phones, and legacy systems.

Engage Attackers

A deception system populates a network with realistic-but-fake domains, databases, servers, applications, files, credentials, and cookies. It then triggers a silent alarm when attackers attempt to access one of these false assets, enriching the high-confidence alert with context and detailed indicators of compromise (IOCs). This information is crucial for analysts, enabling them to gain visibility into adversaries’ attack paths. It also helps security teams understand what bad actors are after and how they want to get there. Deception technology reverses the power dynamic between defenders and adversaries by requiring attackers to navigate multiple hoops before reaching real targets. A single mistake reveals the attacker’s intentions, while the adversary must decipher what is real from what is not to continue successfully.

Moreover, it helps security teams avoid being flooded with noise from multiple-point solutions triggered by the same attack signatures and unable to distinguish between legitimate and malicious traffic. This can be a major problem because it leads to alert fatigue, with cybercriminals getting more and more opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities by deceiving security teams with fake data and assets. Security teams must quickly identify the threat and respond with the appropriate tools at the right time to minimize damage. In addition, the threat intelligence gained from the use of deception can help CISOs and their security teams understand the business impact of the attacks and prioritize their response accordingly.

 
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