Hackers are now moving faster than ever when it comes to scanning vulnerability announcements from software vendors and insecure Web services to find exploitable weaknesses in enterprise environments, according to The SANS ethical hacking survey, which collected data from over 300 ethical hackers. The survey disclosed that threat actors are actively scanning for vulnerable endpoints to perform each step of an end-to-end attack in less than 24 hours. With hackers becoming more dangerous than ever in recent years, 40% of the surveyed ethical hackers claimed that it can take them mere minutes to find a weak point in their target’s system.
The survey indicates a necessity for organizations to expedite the process of swift addressing of security defects, containing the attacks and patching the defects by exploring the penetration testing and red team engagements techniques employed by the hackers. The companies can respond to threats in limited time if they adopt black hat techniques to enhance success rate. The average time in which an ethical hacker can find a vulnerability that allows the breach of the network perimeter is less than 10 hours and 58% of the surveyed hackers stated that they are equipped to maneuver weaknesses of an organization in five or fewer hours.
36% of the ethical hackers highlighted that they could escalate privileges and move through the stages of an attack within three to five hours. Furthermore, almost 90% of the surveyed hackers held an information security certification including network security, penetration testing, application security and cloud security making it evident that the organizations need to strengthen their cybersecurity forefront. As promulgated in the survey, having a strong detection and prevention mechanism would deter 38% of respondents and the rapid response would block intrusion attempts. Various factors that contribute to cybersecurity hazards include third-party phishing links, intensive application development and deployment, cloud infrastructure vulnerabilities, telecommuting and poor security practices.
The survey aims to encourage organizations to not just focus on protection controls and prevention of attacks but also put the due diligence on detection, containment and a prompt response to the cyber-attacks. Since 59% of hackers proclaimed usage of open-source tools for intrusions, organizations can implement strong cybersecurity measures by reinforcing their defensive security against public tools and exploits.
Cyber-resilience is not just about the ability to respond; it’s also about anticipating attacks on critical targets, resisting and withstanding attacks and recovering and adapting from attacks with agility.