Tuesday, June 18

Cybersecurity simplified: What is a backdoor?

Businesses need to be proactive with their cybersecurity measures – period. Just having a basic cybersecurity policy and ensuring compliance with laws do not suffice. Knowing about various ways in which hackers and cybercriminals can attack an organization is something to consider. In that context, backdoor exploit is a serious concern. Below is a quick explanation of backdoor attacks with the best steps for prevention. 

Explaining backdoors

Backdoors allow a user to create a “backdoor” entry into networked resources and devices, bypassing the standard cyber defenses. Some backdoors are created on purpose. For instance, companies may have backdoors for fixing a network issue. However, backdoor attacks are caused by hackers, who have malicious intent and want to gain unauthorized access to a system. A consider number of backdoor attacks have been linked to malware, primarily trojans. Trojan files come off as a legitimate software, so the user is tricked into downloading and installing the same. Once installed, the file creates a backdoor, which can be used by hackers. 

What are backdoors used for?

Typically, hackers want to spy on user activities, steal sensitive information, or launch further malware attacks. Backdoors are very hard to detect, because the user doesn’t have any information or knowledge about the attack. Businesses often detect backdoors after months or years, and by then, considerable damage has been done. If backdoor is used for ransomware attack, businesses may end up paying the extortion money. 

How to prevent backdoor attacks?

  • Ensure that your operating systems, firmware and software programs are updated
  • Create complex, long passwords, and ask employees to use a password manager
  • Be selective with plug-ins and applications, which often can be malicious
  • Use antimalware software, and place all networked devices behind firewalls. 
  • Rely on network testing and scans to find unusual activities

Your employees are on the forefront of preventing cyberattacks, and they are often the ones creating backdoors for hackers, without any malicious intent. Create cybersecurity awareness programs that focus on training employees on ways to prevent backdoor attacks. Also, have an incident response plan. In case an incident is detected, there should be a clear set of protocols and steps that must be followed to minimize the damage. 

The idea is to prevent backdoor attacks in the first place, but your business needs to be ready to handle any situation, in case an attack occurs. You can check online to find more on antimalware software.