What is a man-in-the-middle attack?
Content courtesy of Fatech International / Communicate By Design-X
As one of the ten most common cyber-attacks, anyone can be the victim of a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack, including your business. The worst part is that you may not realize it until it’s too late due to the sneaky nature of the attack. Here’s what you need to know about MITM attacks to protect yourself and your business.
Man-in-the-Middle AttackThis attack is when a hacker catches information mid-stream. For example, when a user logs into a web application, the hacker grabs information as it is being transported from the login device to the web application server. They are eavesdropping in the middle of a digital conversation between your device and another device. They do this by either mimicking a connection or using devices to eavesdrop on those digital conversations on unsecured connections.
Because of the nature of these attacks, it can be challenging to identify when a MITM attack is happening. However, several warning signs help you spot an attempted MITM attack.
How They AttackThe primary way MITM attacks happen is through insecure internet connections. Frequently, attackers will host their own public WiFi and make it appear like the business’s free WiFi. Once people connect to the hotspot, the attacker has access to everything being sent over that WiFi.
They can also download an app that allows access to information sent over any unsecured connection.
PreventionThere are various methods to protect oneself or one’s business from MITM attacks. These are a few of the best tools.
Secure ConnectionsA secure internet connection will have strong encryption, which deters most MITM attacks. However, with public WiFi, attackers can easily infiltrate themselves in-between the user and their intended sites. Even password-protected public WiFi, such as a café, can be accessed by the attacker, as all they have to do is ask for the password.
VPNSA VPN (virtual private network) is a type of secure connection and one of the best ways to prevent a MITM attack. VPNs keep your information confidential, even when you’re on a public network. A VPN encrypts your data, so even if an attacker infiltrates the network you’re on, they can’t decipher your data.
Businesses need to use these to protect vital information, especially when they have employees working from home.
Security ServicesAlthough there are things you can do to protect your business from a MITM attack, sometimes it’s unavoidable. That’s where security software comes in. It helps identify and defend against MITM attacks.
Next StepsBeing aware and prepared is the best way to avoid these attacks. Contact us to meet with one of our cybersecurity experts.