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From Defense to Offense: How Deception Technology can give Organizations an Advantage Against Attackers

By 23.08.2023Facts
Ct Article Defense Offense

In today’s digital landscape, cyber attacks have become more sophisticated, frequent, and damaging than ever before. It’s no longer a matter of if an organization will be targeted, but rather when. As a result, many organizations are adopting a defensive stance to protect themselves from attacks, investing heavily in firewalls, antivirus software, and other security tools.

However, this approach is no longer enough.
Attackers are constantly evolving their tactics, and traditional security measures are struggling to keep up. That’s where deception technology comes in. By using deception tactics to trick attackers, organizations can gain the upper hand and turn the tables on their adversaries.
Deception technology involves creating an environment that looks and operates convincingly real, designed to lure attackers in, but are mere facades using fake data as bait. This can include decoy systems, realistic lures, and other tools that coerce attackers into revealing their tactics and techniques while remaining unaware of the reality of the situation.
One of the key benefits of deception technology is that it allows organizations to detect attacks in real-time. Traditional security measures only react when known or abnormal behaviour has already occurred, whereas deception solutions can also detect unknown, well-disguised and highly specialized attacks. By luring attackers into a fully-monitored fake environment, organizations can see exactly how attackers operate and develop countermeasures to protect against them, without risking any harm being done to their productive (IT-)network.
Another benefit of deception technology is that it may help organizations to better understand their attackers. By analyzing tactics and techniques used by attackers, organizations can gain valuable insights into their motivations and capabilities. This can be used to develop more targeted and effective security measures, as well as to share information with other organizations to improve the overall security posture of the industry.
In his book Practice to Deceive, Barton Whaley writes, “In combat, deception strengthens the weaker side. When all other factors are equal, the more deceptive player or team will always win.”

As is widely recognized throughout the cybersecurity community, as a defender you need to be right 100% of the time whereas the attacker just needs to be right once to achieve “success” and gain access to critical data. Social engineering, phishing, and cyberattacks such as antivirus evasion employ deception. Deception technology effectively challenges this construct by placing the burden of success on the attacker. By populating the targeted network with decoys, the adversaries must instead execute a flawless attack without interacting with any deceptive assets, lest they trigger any of the detection or other defensive measures.

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