Book Image

Cybersecurity – Attack and Defense Strategies. - Second Edition

By : Yuri Diogenes, Dr. Erdal Ozkaya
Book Image

Cybersecurity – Attack and Defense Strategies. - Second Edition

By: Yuri Diogenes, Dr. Erdal Ozkaya

Overview of this book

Cybersecurity – Attack and Defense Strategies, Second Edition is a completely revised new edition of the bestselling book, covering the very latest security threats and defense mechanisms including a detailed overview of Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) and an assessment of the current threat landscape, with additional focus on new IoT threats and cryptomining. Cybersecurity starts with the basics that organizations need to know to maintain a secure posture against outside threat and design a robust cybersecurity program. It takes you into the mindset of a Threat Actor to help you better understand the motivation and the steps of performing an actual attack – the Cybersecurity kill chain. You will gain hands-on experience in implementing cybersecurity using new techniques in reconnaissance and chasing a user’s identity that will enable you to discover how a system is compromised, and identify and then exploit the vulnerabilities in your own system. This book also focuses on defense strategies to enhance the security of a system. You will also discover in-depth tools, including Azure Sentinel, to ensure there are security controls in each network layer, and how to carry out the recovery process of a compromised system.
Table of Contents (20 chapters)
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The credentials – authentication and authorization

According to Verizon's 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report [9], the association between threat actor (or just actor), their motives, and their modus operandi vary according to the industry. However, the report states that stolen credentials are the preferred attack vector for financial motivation or organized crime. This data is very important, because it shows that threat actors are going after user's credentials, which leads to the conclusion that companies must focus specifically on authentication and authorization of users and their access rights.

The industry has agreed that a user's identity is the new perimeter. This requires security controls specifically designed to authenticate and authorize individuals based on their job and need for specific data within the network. Credential theft could be just the first step to enable cybercriminals to have access to your system. Having a valid user account in the network will enable them to move laterally (pivot), and at some point find the right opportunity to escalate privilege to a domain administrator account. For this reason, applying the old concept of defense in depth is still a good strategy to protect a user's identity, as shown in the following diagram:

Figure 2: Multi-layer protection for identity

In the previous diagram there are multiple layers of protection, starting with the regular security policy enforcement for accounts, which follow industry best practices such as strong password requirements, including frequent password changes and high password strength.

Another growing trend to protect user identities is to enforce MFA. One method that is seeing increased adoption is the callback feature, where the user initially authenticates using his/her credentials (username and password), and receives a call to enter their PIN. If both authentication factors succeed, they are authorized to access the system or network. We are going to explore this topic in greater detail in Chapter 7, Chasing a User's Identity. Another important layer is continuous monitoring, because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter having all layers of security controls if you are not actively monitoring your identity to understand the normal behavior, and identify suspicious activities. We will cover this in more detail in Chapter 12, Active Sensors.