After performing a thorough review of the network and it’s topology it has been determined that several vectors exist that could open the network and the company up to potential malicious attacks. These vectors, if not resolved, could lead directly to loss of confidential data that could significantly impact day-to-day operations. I have briefly laid out each vulnerability and the potential impact on the organization.
Malicious attacks can happen at any time and it is important that organizations are aware of the dangers present within their own network topologies. Three of the threats that have been identified are FTP attack, Email Phishing and WAP exploitation. FTP or File Transfer Protocol is a network protocol commonly used to transfer files from one host to another. Natively, FTP is not secured and is vulnerable to brute force attacks, bounce attacks, packet sniffing, and spoof attacks (Allman & Ostermann, 1999). Phishing email messages are typically intended to steal the targets money. Attackers can do this by installing malicious software on your computer or utilizing social engineering to persuade you to install the software or abdicate personal information under deceitful pretenses (Microsoft, 2015). An example of wireless access point or WAP exploitation is creating rogue access points within your system and tricking your employees into using it vice the secure method. This can occur through the use of personal computers or through PDAs and smart-phones (Wright, 2007) .
As previously states, the impact of the three potential threats identified could be detrimental to the company’s assets. A compromised FTP server could grant an unauthorized user access to confidential corporate and personnel files. In 2012, Forensicon, a security firm, was able to browse to an FTP site at the Chicago Board of Elections. This breach granted him access to private voter files. These files included driver’s license numbers, cell phone numbers, emails, dates of birth and more (Policy Patrol, 2012). This is just one of many examples of how FTP not a secure ware to store and exchange confidential files since it offers no form of encryption.
Email Phishing is hard to predict because it has relies heavily on the intended target, an unsuspecting employee, clicking a link or responding to a fraudulent email. The purpose of the email is to get the target to access a compromised or spoofed website in order to install software that mines the target’s computer for sensitive information. This information, once received, could grant them further access into the files servers on the network. In a study performed by Professor Arun Vishwanath from the University of Buffalo, it was found that “an information-rich phishing message triggered a victimization rate of 68 percent among participants” (The American Bazaar Staff, 2015). Over the years, as more and more devices have become wireless, we have seen a steady rise in wireless access points. Companies have become installing them on their networks in an effort to make their employees more mobile. With this comes the added risk of wireless access pong exploitation. A common scenario used by attackers is to sniff out WAPs and utilizing the information found to create a false wireless access point. They then initiate a denial of service attack that renders the legitimate wireless access point inaccessible. When users attempt to connect they connect to the compromised wireless access point instead of their own. Once connected, the hijacker can intercept all traffic sent and received through the wireless access point and can steal credentials or infect hosts further. You can employ a few mitigations to protect yourself from the possibilities of attack via the methods spelled out above. FTP servers can be secured by utilizing FTP over Secure Shell (SSH) or Single Socket Layer (SSL) protocols. Those protocols