What strategies do hackers use to steal credentials? Five recommendations for

What strategies do hackers use to steal credentials? Five recommendations for
What strategies do hackers use to steal credentials? Five recommendations for

He credential theft has become one of the most serious threats in today’s digital world.

This type of attack occurs when a user’s login data, such as usernames and passwords, are obtained fraudulently and then used by cybercriminals to illegally access personal or corporate accounts.

According to IBM’s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2024 report, 33% of cyberattacks in Latin America are related to data leaks. Digital criminals find stolen credentials a very attractive tool to access valuable company information.

It is imperative that organizations implement effective measures to prevent credential theft and protect the integrity of your sensitive information. In addition, the report highlights that in 2023, Latin America was the fourth region with the most cyber attacks worldwide, with 12%, with increasingly sophisticated campaigns directed at the region.

The hacker’s perspective

Francisco Lugo, solutions engineer at BeyondTrust, explains that “the hacker focuses on detecting and exploiting weaknesses in security systems and user behaviors.”

The most commonly used techniques to steal credentials include phishing, which involves psychological manipulation using fake emails or messages to trick people into obtaining their login details. They are also used keyloggerswhich are malicious programs that record every keystroke to capture confidential information.

Lugo also mentions the brute force attacks, where attackers try multiple combinations until they find the correct password. Additionally, cybercriminals exploit vulnerabilities in web applications to directly access user and credential databases, especially if the applications are not properly updated or configured.

Hackers also take advantage of various weaknesses in security systems, such as weak or reused passwords.

Photo:iStock

Hackers take advantage of various flaws in security systemssuch as weak or reused passwords, lack of multi-factor authentication (MFA), outdated software, incorrect configurations, and lack of cybersecurity training for employees.

Weak and reused passwords facilitate brute force attacks and data breaches, while the absence of MFA allows hackers to easily access systems once they obtain credentials.

How to protect business data?

To strengthen the security of organizations against digital threats, BeyondTrust, a global leader in identity and access security, proposes five key strategies:

  1. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): add an additional layer of security beyond the password, verifying the user using a code sent to the cell phone or an authentication application.
  2. Password management: use password managers that generate and store strong, unique passwords for each account or online service. These complex passwords are difficult to crack, reducing the risk of unauthorized access to accounts.
  3. Regular software update: keep all systems and applications updated with the latest security patches, which correct vulnerabilities and flaws that could be exploited to access an organization’s systems.
  4. Cybersecurity Education and Training: teach employees to recognize phishing attempts and other cyber threats, reducing the risk of these attacks being successful.
  5. Monitoring and auditing: implement monitoring solutions to detect suspicious activities and conduct regular security audits to identify and correct weaknesses.

Credential theft represents one of the greatest dangers in the digital age.

Photo:iStock

“In today’s digital world, credentials are the gateway to critical enterprise infrastructure. Protecting them is essential to safeguarding data integrity. At BeyondTrust we understand the importance of this and offer advanced password and session management solutions privileged credentials to detect, manage and audit all activities that use privileged credentials,” says Mateo Díaz, BeyondTrust sales manager for the northern region of Latin America.

Díaz adds that a complete control over credentials It allows strengthening the security of organizations in an increasingly challenging environment.

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*This content was rewritten with the assistance of artificial intelligence, based on information from BeyondTrust, and was reviewed by a journalist and an editor.

 
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