July 16, 2024

Understanding the Risks of Backdoor Attacks And Beyond

2 min read

Before anything else, let’s understand the concept of a backdoor. A backdoor offers an ‘unusual door’ or access to a device, system, or resource. Not all backdoors are malicious – Some may have been created on purpose with an intention of helping with network testing and device scanning. However, when a hacker uses a backdoor password to track or use your devices remotely, it is known as a backdoor attack. One of the key reasons why businesses need to be worried about backdoor attacks is the insane difficulty in finding these ‘doors’. By the time, a company finds these details, a good amount of damage is probably done.

Why worry about backdoor attacks?

Backdoors can be used by hackers and cybercriminals for various things. From stealing data using trojan horse file, to website defacing, hijacking of servers, launching ransomware attacks, to watering hole attacks, spying and more, hackers rely on backdoors for many reasons. They may be monitoring everything happening on a device, or could be using the data for other reasons. Backdoors are also often used to edit and modify data for specific reasons.

Can businesses avoid these attacks?

A few basic steps can help with prevention of backdoor attacks, such as – 

  1. Using strong passwords for every device, account and user.
  2. Changing all default usernames and passwords after product deployment.
  3. Changing passwords regularly.
  4. Recommending a password manager for employees.
  5. Using a second or third layer of authentication (MFA)
  6. Placing devices behind firewalls
  7. Using network segmentation.
  8. Using antivirus and antimalware software.
  9. Practicing safe browsing.
  10. Using web and spam filters.

Your employees are eventually handling your data and IT resources, and your company needs to set a list of guidelines for them, so that they don’t end up with a malicious file that can create a backdoor for some remote hacker. In addition to that, it is also as important to test and scan devices and networks regularly, so that any possible backdoor or remote access to a device can be reduced and located.

Patch everything

Firmware, software, operating systems, browsers, plug-ins – All things should be patched to the latest version, as soon as available. These patches are meant to fix existing vulnerabilities and bugs, which can be used by cybercriminals for backdoor attacks. In most cases, backdoors do get created when an employee downloads and runs/installs a malicious file, typically from an email, website, or link.

Take your steps for preventing backdoor attacks, because the damage control following an incident would be a lot more complicated.