A Man-in-the-Middle Attack is Not to Be Underestimated

A Man-in-the-Middle Attack is Not to Be Underestimated

Have you ever heard of the “man-in-the-middle” attack or MitM? It’s a situation where your data is stolen by an onlooker who situates themselves in the right place at the right time. Data interception is a very real thing that your business should be prepared to fight against. Let’s discuss some strategies you can use to counter these sneaky attacks.

How a Man-in-the-Middle Attack Works

For a MitM attack, a hacker will situate themselves between you and the individual you are trying to send data to. This allows them to steal data or alter it while the data is in transit. Let’s say that you’re trying to send a text message to a friend. If an attacker is in between the message’s departure point and its destination, they could change the data or steal it altogether, and you’d be none the wiser.

The Steps of a Man-in-the-Middle Attack

An MitM attack consists of three “actors” of sorts: you, the hacker, and the recipient. This is what you might see in an MitM attack:

  • Data interception – An attacker will find a way to access the communications platform through the use of a vulnerability or through the use of a compromised wireless network.
  • Eavesdropping – The attacker will then use their position to watch the data sent back and forth. They can then look for specific types of data, such as login credentials and financial information.
  • Manipulation – An attacker can also manipulate data in addition to stealing it, like injecting malicious code, changing the contents of messages, or redirecting traffic to malicious websites.

Serious Problems Arise from These Attacks

The attacker can use various strategies depending on their actual intentions. Still, their goal will generally involve some sort of fraud stemming from the theft of login credentials: identity theft, financial fraud, espionage, data breaches, all scary things.

Put a Stop to MitM Attacks

Proactive intervention can keep MitM attacks from becoming a problem for your business, including a combination of security measures and awareness. Here is a four-step solution to preventing MitM attacks:

  • Encryption – With end-to-end encryption, you can protect data by ensuring it is completely undecipherable by hackers trying to intercept it.
  • Certificate validation – You can also verify the authenticity of digital certificates to keep hackers from impersonating some of your favorite websites and services.
  • Secure connections – A virtual private network, or VPN, can provide an additional layer of security by encrypting data transmitted over your network.
  • User training – Simply educating your team on the possibilities of hacks can help deter them from falling for the usual tricks, like suspicious links or downloading unknown files.

White Mountain IT Services can work with your business to maximize network security and prevent threats of all kinds, including MitM attacks. Call us today at (603) 889-0800 to learn more.

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