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Brute Force Attack: Risks, Prevention and Mitigation techniques

Cyberattacks are on the rise, and businesses of all sizes are equally at risk. One of the top-ranking strategies that hackers use is brute force attacks. A brute force attack is a trial-and-error technique used by hackers to crack passwords. It involves trying out numerous password combinations until the correct one is identified. This tactic works due to poor passwords or usernames. In this blog, we will discuss the risks of brute force attacks, prevention methods, and what mitigation techniques businesses can use to prevent brute force attacks.

Risks of Brute Force Attacks

The risks associated with brute force attacks are immense. Cybercriminals use this tactic to get unauthorized access to sensitive information, such as login credentials, credit card numbers, and other critical data. Cracking a password can be accomplished by brute force attacks in just a matter of seconds or minutes. The brute force attack on your data can cause severe damage to your business, reputation, and operations. Another risk includes the costs associated with a cyber attack. McKinsey & Company reports that the financial losses associated with cybercrime could reach $3 trillion globally by 2020. Thus, it becomes very evident that preventing cyber attacks is critical for the company’s business continuity.

Prevention Methods

There are a few effective prevention techniques that can prevent brute force attacks from occurring. Some of them include:

  1. Password complexity – If your password is simple, it can easily get hacked. Your password should be complex and unique with numbers, alphabets, and special characters to make it more challenging to crack.
  2. Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) – MFA is one of the most effective ways to prevent brute force attacks. MFA requires users to provide more than one factor, such as a password and token, to access highly sensitive information.
  3. Limit login attempts – Limit the failed login attempts from any given IP address. For example, if a user goes over three failed login attempts, it locks down the account for a specified period.
  4. Regularly patch your system – Having up to date infrastructure will effectively lower the risk of attacks. Keeping your software and systems updated will ensure that you are safe from any known vulnerabilities.

Mitigation Techniques

If a brute force attack has already occurred, mitigation techniques can help to mitigate the damage and prevent further compromise. Below are some methods businesses can use to mitigate damages caused by brute force attacks:

  1. Temporary account lockout – This involves blocking the login attempts from the given IP addresses or accounts for a specified time.
  2. Blacklisting of IP – Consider blacklisting the intruder’s IP address to prevent further visitation or future attacks from that IP address.
  3. Cybersecurity solutions – Security solutions such as firewalls, intrusion detection, and prevention systems can mitigate brute force attacks.
  4. Leverage AI and machine learning technologies – AI and machine learning can predict potential brute force attacks.

With the rise of cyber attacks on businesses, it’s essential to have preventative measures in place to avoid costly security breaches. Companies need to employ the effective prevention methods mentioned above and use robust mitigation techniques to help prevent and manage brute force attacks. Brute force attacks are one of the most common entry points for hackers, but it’s also one of the most straightforward attacks to stop with the right knowledge and tools. With the constant evolution of technology, businesses must always keep their security solutions up-to-date and be aware of the latest brute force attack techniques. Cybersecurity is an ongoing process; hence, it requires continuous attention, analysis, and implementation. It is better to stay on the safe side by preventing cyber attacks than to experience the onslaught of damage caused by these attacks.

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