Many organizations seek a better way to detect in-network threats due to data breaches and ransomware with data exfiltration attacks. Deception technology offers high-quality alerts that give security teams the information they need to respond quickly to a breach.
But what exactly is deception technology?
Deception technology is bait, like a worm dangling on the end of a hook, a piece of cheese hidden in a mousetrap, or the notes of a siren song luring sailors to their deaths. Setting irresistible traps in the form of false databases, files, apps, or servers lures attackers into interacting with them. Then, it alerts IT teams to their activity before they reach the natural system.
It’s not practical or cost-effective to monitor every system and network for attacks, so deception technology can provide early detection by generating alerts when a threat actor is about to breach an organization’s perimeter. It also works well against lateral movement attacks, which typically begin at a single entry point and then spread through the network using various methods, including remote access, brute force, or social engineering techniques.
Deception can reduce attacker dwell time on the perimeter, speed up mean time to detect and respond (MTTR), eliminate alert fatigue by only triggering when cyber attackers are about to interact with decoy assets and deliver actionable intelligence into a security information and event management platform. In addition, it provides forensic intelligence that helps to identify attackers and their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) as they progress inside the organization. This is essential for threat attribution and is particularly valuable when working with law enforcement agencies to track and prosecute cybercriminals.
Cyber deception technique is similar to bait, such as a piece of cheddar cheese tucked away in a mousetrap, a worm on a fish hook, or the notes of a siren song that entices sailors to their demise. So, how deception technology works? Setting up enticing traps that resemble internal IT assets allows attackers to enter your network, raise an alarm, and provide your team with the information, time, and context they need to react appropriately.
It also thwarts attack progression by forcing an adversary to invest more resources into the enterprise environment, squeezing its profit potential before it is discovered. This is especially effective against stealthy insider threats or those penetrating your organization from unsecure environments, such as SCADA/ICS or IoT.
Moreover, deception technology can be augmented with tools to help security teams identify the identity of an attacker by embedding tracking information in fake files or redirecting attacks into sink-hole servers. This enables the creation of highly tactical threat intelligence specific to your enterprise environment and helps security teams assert more active control over an attacker by identifying its activities throughout the network.
Deception technology is made to work with the formats your other security systems utilize, and interacting efficiently with your current security infrastructure is crucial. This eliminates the need to create new deception tactics regularly, which would otherwise disrupt your security operations and increase operational overheads.
Deception does so by setting out fake systems and resources that appear legitimate IT assets, deployable on endpoints, networks, or application layers. These deceptive elements, known as honeypots and honey tokens, misdirect attackers to interact with them. And when they do, alerts are sent to a centralized server, enabling security teams to identify and respond quickly.
The ability to detect attackers in the early stages of a breach can give enterprises a valuable head start, mitigating the risk of subsequent cyber incidents. It also provides relevant, actionable threat intelligence that enables them to understand better what an adversary is doing on their networks and why.
And, unlike traditional behavior analysis, which can create many false positives, deception technology alerts are highly accurate and provide contextual information. This enables security teams to prioritize and investigate those alerts, decreasing their response time and improving key incident detection metrics.
A key benefit is that it doesn’t require additional hardware or software to scale and can be deployed on existing IT infrastructure and newer Internet of Things devices. This makes it an attractive solution for organizations looking to optimize their threat detection, internal threat intelligence creation, and response capabilities.
As a result of recent high-profile attacks, data breaches, and ransomware with data exfiltration, companies must focus on preventing cyber incidents and having a rapid incident detection strategy. Deception technology enables detection without compromising real data by using traps and decoys to trick cyber criminals into stealing fake information and then sending high-quality alerts, giving security teams the ability to respond rapidly.
Forward-leaning organizations with advanced internal threat intelligence and detection capabilities seek to optimize their existing detection technologies with deception to reduce false positives while reducing the time it takes them to detect an attack.
The technology can be deployed at scale, across the entire enterprise network, and even in often neglected areas. It can be centralizedly managed from a single console to enable security teams to detect threats that traditional signature-based or vulnerable machine learning tools cannot detect.
Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated, and relying on malware to access an organization’s sensitive data is no longer enough. These attackers are becoming increasingly savvy and can navigate through perceived barriers to infiltrate the network by using techniques such as impersonating legitimate users.
With deception technology, these attackers become trapped as they try to steal fake information from the traps, revealing their true identity and their tactics as they do so.