Security professionals must be able to identify the signs of network attacks before they turn into full-blown security breaches. In the CompTIA Security+ (SY0-601) exam, you'll be tested on your ability to analyze potential indicators associated with network attacks. Let's now examine how you can prepare for this section of the exam and what it means.
What are Network Attacks?
Knowing what network attacks are is essential to understanding the potential indicators of network attacks. An individual or group attempts to gain unauthorized access, damage, or disrupt computer networks during a network attack. Malware infections, hacking attempts, and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks are various forms that network attacks can take. The prevalence of network attacks has increased in today's digital age. As per Cybersecurity Insiders' report, successful network breaches occurred in 68% of organizations in the past 12 months. Identifying and preventing these attacks become all the more necessary for security professionals in light of this report.
Types of Network Attacks
You need to be aware of several types of network attacks for the Security+ exam. Common types include:
Software designed to harm or exploit computer systems is called malware. Viruses, spyware, and ransomware are forms that malware attacks can take. Phishing emails, infected websites, or file downloads are methods that attackers can use to deliver malware.
Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attacks
An attacker intercepts communications between two parties to steal data or gain access to sensitive information in MitM attacks. Unsecured Wi-Fi networks or phishing scams are common scenarios for MitM attacks to occur.
Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks
During DoS attacks, the attacker floods a network or system with traffic to crash and overwhelm it. A single computer or a network of compromised devices can launch DoS attacks.
Potential Indicators of Network Attacks
Let's now explore the potential indicators of these attacks, having covered the different types. Watch out for these signs:
Unusual Network Traffic
One of the most significant indicators of a network attack is unusual network traffic. Unusual network traffic could come from unknown sources, have irregular patterns, or suddenly increase.
Unauthorized Access Attempts
An attacker's attempt to gain access to a network or system without permission is an unauthorized access attempt. Unauthorized access attempts could involve attempting to exploit system vulnerabilities, failed login attempts, or password brute-forcing.
Strange System Behavior
Changes to system settings, files, or programs can be an indicator of a network attack, especially if it involves strange system behavior. It could include unexpected pop-ups, changes to browser settings, or new programs appearing on a computer.
Unexplained Data Transfers
Unexplained data transfers occur when data is being sent to or from a system without explanation. It could include large uploads or downloads of data, data being transferred at unusual times, or data being transferred to unknown sources.
Unusual User Activity
Attempts to access restricted resources or data through unusual user activity can be an indicator of a network attack. It could include attempts to access files they shouldn't have access to, modify system settings, or perform unauthorized actions.
Preparing for the Exam
You need to study the different types of network attacks and how they work to prepare for the potential indicators associated with network attacks section of the Security+ exam. Familiarize yourself with the different potential indicators of these attacks and how to identify them as well. Taking practice exams is one way to identify areas where you need more study time. Stay informed on the latest trends and attack methods by reading up on current cyber threats as well.
Security professionals must have the critical skill of identifying the potential indicators of network attacks. A better understanding of the different types of network attacks and what to look out for equips you better to protect your organization from cyber threats. Remember to study the potential indicators associated with network attacks thoroughly and take practice exams to test your knowledge before taking the Security+ exam. You'll be on your way to passing the exam and becoming a skilled security professional with the right preparation.