How Hackers Hack

How Hackers Hack

Networks are protected by Firewalls, Anti-Virus, Cybersecurity, EDR, Complex Passwords, Artificial Intelligence Powered Security Software, but somehow hackers still get in. How does that happen? 

You have probably heard of at least a few of the above-listed protections to computer systems. If you have ever been the victim of a virus or hacking event, you also probably wondered how it was that you ended up being susceptible to a successful attack while you have protection.

We will explore different ways hackers get into your company’s network, servers and computer systems, as well as demystify the way security appliances, such as firewalls, function.

Firewalls and Routers. How do they work?
At the risk of getting a bit too geeky, I will give a basic overview on the function of firewalls and routers. Due to the nature of how the Public Internet and your Private Network are inherently separated by what is called NAT (Network Address Translation), most networks are firewalled by default (caveats notwithstanding). I, comporting as a hacker, cannot sit from afar and magically access the computers in your office without a misconfiguration, unpatched vulnerability, or software allowing me access. When a router or firewall is in use on a network, the network traffic flows outbound to the internet and everything coming inbound from the internet via protocols such as TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) moving through the aforementioned NAT must as a general rule first be requested by a computer on the inside of the network (Unless of course, I, now comporting as the network admin, create a rule in the firewall to allow access from the outside through a port.). For example, the internet page you are looking at now exists on your screen because you requested for it to be there (If not, you might have a security issue to be concerned with.).

Beyond the safety built into basic network functions stemming from a correctly configured firewall or router, some hardware firewalls also contain addon functionality to react to or report abnormal network activity, scan the network traffic for malware and viruses, block malicious websites, and provide additional authentication requirements to use the network.

Okay Great, that’s very Nerdy, but how did you get Hacked?
Like many things in life, it starts from within. Without getting to know you and your network I can only speculate how you were hacked. At the risk of coming across as overly pontifical, I will likewise try to explain it.

One of the easiest ways for a hacker to get into your systems is by tricking you into installing malware. My guess would be that you, or someone working in your business, installed the malware. This malware then walked the hacker through the front door (they didn’t even need to sneak in through the back door) of your network, giving them access to your servers, file shares, workstations, browsing history, etc. This could have been avoided by not allowing users the security permissions to install software.

Phishing is another method of attack that makes it easy for a hacker to gain access to your software, cloud servers, and computers. As an example, the hacker sends an email pretending to be Microsoft asking you to reset your password, but first you must type in your existing password. Most users are unsuspecting and overly trusting, thus having a proclivity to perform the task assuming there is no way someone could impersonate Microsoft which results in the hacker getting your password. From there I am sure you could postulate how things would take a turn for the worse.

A more complex method involves exploiting vulnerabilities in services your network has open to the public internet. Web Applications connect to backend databases which could reveal secure information to unauthenticated hackers if they have a security hole. This is why having Patch Management Services from an IT Vendor is critically prudent.

We Can Help:
JamKo IT Services provides technology solutions that meet the demands of Businesses across all industries. We can seek out tech vulnerabilities in your company’s network and resolve them for you. Effective IT Support is our specialty and an ongoing relationship will strengthen your systems into the future. Maintaining a sound configuration of your IT Environment is crucial to the continued success of your business. 
Our Managed Security Solutions will help to keep your network safe from attack. Our Cybersecurity stack includes EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response to defend against malware), Patch Management, Data BackupSystem Monitoring, Vulnerability Scanning, Web Security, Mobile Device Management, Email Security, Firewall Monitoring, 24x7x365 Help Desk, and more. Click here to read more of our Managed IT Services Blog.

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