Preventing Network-based attacks with SDP

Preventing Network-based attacks with SDP
Preventing Network-based attacks with SDP

Protecting our perimeter-less environment has become a priority for a lot of businesses as threats are getting more and more malicious today. Threats in the form of a DDoS Attack (Distributed Denial-of-service), MITM Attack (Man in the middle Attacks), malicious insiders, and various other external threats constantly combats our company’s network security.

However, a Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) proposed by Cloud Security Alliance has proven to counter a lot of these malicious threats that the hackers love, single-handed. The solution clearly calls out each element of implementation for a Zero Trust environment. We believe that SDP provides the most apt way of adopting the Zero Trust methodology.

According to Infosecurity magazine, ‘SDP is the next big thing and a rightful successor of the VPN’.

The SDP was developed keeping in mind these network-based attacks that constantly threaten a company’s cloud-based network for ransom and to obtain other private information out of them. Its structure consists of strong five-layered security that includes Application Binding (AppB), Device Validation (DV), Single Packet Authorization (SPA), dynamic firewalls, and Mutual Transport Layer Security (mTLS). It also works with Behavioural Biometrics that carefully inspects the user’s digital footprints as a way to prevent network-based attacks.

Ways a Software-Defined Perimeter (SDP) prevents Network-based Attacks:

There are a few and common network exploit methods that hackers use to access a business’s network. Here we have given a few common exploits and how SDP counters them.

  • Man in the Middle Attack:

In the MITM Attack, the attacker just sits in the middle and intercepts communication between the two parties. They disrupt the communication by either listening and recording secretly or by modifying the network traffic between the two parties. Many a time, MITM Attacks are used to sabotage, steal information, spy on the parties, or even corrupt the data. The hackers use a lot of techniques, processes, and tactics to carry out such attacks.

  • How does SDP help?

Software-Defined Perimeter works on some predetermined firewall rules. SDP allows and guides specific users to the protected data and resources by binding single devices to specific users. They remove and create firewall rules alternatively in the gateway to facilitate the above.

To grant permission/ assess the protected data, SDP carefully analyses all the locations, history, project, identity, and time of the user and compares the same with their predetermined firewall rules.

The Software-Defined Perimeter makes use of TLS, to provide mutual and cryptographic authentication to both the user parties. SDP takes care that the users possess a private network that is fully safe and functional. The Device validation (DV) also ensures that the user is using a proper device that uses TLS and proper software that is not expired or revoked due to any reasons. It also makes sure that the software and device are being used appropriately.

  • Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS Attack)

Imagine, you are travelling to your desired destination on a highway and suddenly it gets clogged by heavy traffic. You are stuck and unable to arrive at your destination. The same is the case with a DDoS Attack. The hacker overwhelms the user by disrupting their network with a large number of internet traffic. They not only send floods of traffic towards the user but also to the surrounding infrastructure to disrupt and block the normal traffic.

The exploited and affected machines may include networked sources like IoT devices and computers. The DDoS attack uses several exposed and compromised computers and their networks to achieve the effectiveness of directing a huge amount of traffic towards the user. The number of DDoS attacks has increased by 151 per cent in the first half of 2020 as per Business Wire.

  • How does SDP help?

The Software-defined Perimeter counters DDoS attacks against the user’s network by making them ‘black’ or in simpler terms invisible (Black is a Department of Défense jargon for infrastructure and networks that cannot be detected).

SPA is responsible for stopping the DDoS attack and stands as the first layer of security in any SDP. Sure, DV and mTLS contribute to the security but SPA remains the primary and stands in the first line of security against those attacks.

SPA includes cryptographic hash and is based heavily on port knocking as its concept. SPA smartly makes the SDP invisible that prevents the hackers from finding anything worth attacking and even if they do somehow find about the SDP, the server automatically denies the DDoS entry. The attacker won’t be able to reach even the mTLS zone.

  • Public-Facing Application Exploitation:

The Public Facing Application can be defined as any application that contains a running service that has been compromised and exposed to the network. Such applications can be easily compromised once the hacker/attacker gets a strong foothold inside these networks. These applications can then be exploited using SQL Injection (SQLi), Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF), and Cross-Site Scripting (XSS).

The above-mentioned injects codes that influence the networks to carry out various malicious tasks.

  1. SQL Injection (SQLi): It inserts that SQL query from the client to the attacker’s application.
  1. Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF): It influences the user’s browser to carry out malicious actions into the applications they have  been authenticated.
  1. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): Under these various malicious scripts are injected into trusted websites.
  • How does SDP help?

SDP allows well-defined micro-segmentation that allows pre-approved and specific ports, networks, IP addresses, and protocols to facilitate highly secured interaction between the client and the user. This forces the constraint application to communicate with those approved sources via encrypted tunnels. Here are a few major features you should know about:

  1. Support various legacy applications.
  2. Facilitates safe multi-factor authentication.
  3. Multi-functional cloud on a single platform.
  4. Supports all protocols across various devices,
  5. Provide all directional micro-segmentation.
  6. High availability.
  7. Carrier tested scale.
  8. Uses auto-resolvers to help simplify resource entitled assignments into scaled resources.

In Conclusion

SDP is the robust security infrastructure that will help your systems and connections to be safeguarded against the new escalating security vulnerabilities arising in today’s environment. It makes sure to offer a protective layer against any potential threat and notifies well before taking the right actions and precautions accordingly.

Zero Trust Security is the new vogue in network protection these days. Start your Zero Trust Security journey with us at Instasafe. All your network-related issues are ours to solve. We provide guaranteed protection against any lateral movement attacks. We closely monitor and inspect user behaviour to detect any threats. Our security solutions are highly flexible and easy to use.

So, join us today to provide your workforce with work from home solutions to stay connected and work without any fear of malicious threats to your network.

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