Network security refers to the measures taken to protect a computer network and its components from unauthorized access, misuse, malfunctions, and damage. The goal of network security is to provide confidentiality, integrity and availability of data and resources in a network.
A network attack is an attempt to gain unauthorized access to an organization’s network, with the objective of stealing data or perform other malicious activity.
There are many different types of network attacks that can compromise the security of a network, which we will be discussing in this article.
1)Denial of Service (DoS) attack
This is a type of attack that makes a network resource unavailable to its intended users. DoS attacks accomplish this by flooding the target with traffic or sending it information that triggers a crash. In both instances, the Dos attack deprives legitimate users such as employees or account holders of the expected service they require. Threat actors often target web servers of high-profile organizations such as banking, commerce, and media companies or government and trade organizations. Common DoS attacks include Buffer Overflow attacks, ICMP flood, SYN flood.
2) Rogue Access Points and Evil Twins
Rogue access points and evil twins are security threats that compromises the security of wireless networks.
A Rogue Access point is an unauthorized wireless access point that is connected to a secure network without the network owner’s knowledge or permission. A typical example is an employee connecting a personal wireless router to the network or when an attacker connects a fake access point to the network with the intent to steal sensitive information.
An Evil Twin, on the other hand, is a fake wireless access point that is created to imitate a legitimate access point. The evil twin access point is set up by an attacker to trick users into connecting to it, allowing the attacker to intercept and monitor the user’s network traffic. This can be used to steal sensitive information such as login credentials and credit card numbers.
To prevent these attacks, it is best to use strong encryption and authentication on the wireless network, regularly scan for unauthorized access points and educate users on how to identify and avoid rogue access points and evil twins.
3) On-Path Attacks
This is a kind of cyber-attack that targets the underlying network infrastructure of an organization or individual. These attacks exploit vulnerabilities in the routing protocols that are responsible for directing traffic between different networks and devices. The goal of a path attack is to redirect or manipulate traffic, allowing the attacker to intercept sensitive data, disrupt communication or launch further attacks. There are several types of path attacks, including:
- IP Spoofing: This involves forging the source IP address of a packet in order to disguise the true origin of the traffic.
- DNS Spoofing: This involves an attacker altering the Domain Name System (DNS) to redirect users to a website different from the one they intended to visit.
To prevent On-Path attacks, organizations can set up security measures such as using secure routing protocols, implementing access control lists, and regularly updating their network infrastructure and security software. Additionally, it is important to have an incident response plan in case of a successful attack.
4) Wireless Jamming
Wireless Jamming is the intentional broadcasting of radio frequency signals to disrupt or disable wireless communications such as Wi-Fi, cellular networks or Bluetooth. It essentially causes a denial of service for users. One way to perform this attack would be to send constant, random amount of information over the network to overwhelm the good signal. To be able to disrupt devices that are on a local wireless network, the jamming device would need to be relatively close so that it could overwhelm the good signal. This means that an attacker would either physically need to be somewhere near that wireless network or they would install a device somewhere near that physical network.
5) Bluejacking and Bluesnarfing
Bluejacking is a type of wireless attack that targets Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as smartphone, laptops and other Bluetooth enabled devices. The attacker sends unsolicited messages or data to a nearby Bluetooth device, usually in a public place without the owner’s consent. The messages can be in the form of text, images or sounds and are often used for spam or pranking purposes. Bluejacking only exploits the Bluetooth protocol’s ability to discover nearby devices and exchange data but it does not allow the attacker to access the device’s files, settings, or other sensitive information.
To protect against bluejacking, users can turn off Bluetooth when not in use or set their devices to “non-discoverable” mode, which makes the device invisible to other bluetooth devices.
Bluesnarfing on the other hand is the technique used for gaining unauthorized access to a Bluetooth-enabled device, such as a smartphone or a laptop to extract information, such as contacts, messages or files without the user’s knowledge or consent. It exploits security vulnerabilities in the Bluetooth protocol to bypass authentication and encryption mechanisms. It can be prevented by installing security updates as well as turning off Bluetooth when not in use or placing the device in “non-discoverable” mode.
Network security is of utmost importance in today’s digital world because of the increasing dependence on computer networks for communication, data storage, and transactions. The following are some of the importance of network security;
- It protects confidential information: Network security ensures the confidentiality of sensitive information by preventing unauthorized access to it.
- It prevents data breaches: Network security measures such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and antivirus software help to prevent data breaches and cyber-attacks.
- It enhances trust and credibility.
Overall, network security is essential for protecting sensitive information, preventing data breaches, ensuring business continuity, and building trust and credibility with customers and stakeholders.