Cybersecurity, cyber threats How to Prevent Man in the Middle Attacks from Stealing Data

A man in the middle attack is a type of cyberattack that’s becoming more and more common (see the latest Russian malware incident). Businesses of all sizes should be familiar with what they are, and how to prevent them from causing a cyber security disaster.

What is a Man in the Middle Attack?

When communication between two computers is intercepted by an outside entity, it’s known as a man in the middle attack (MITM). Hackers use this type of attack to eavesdrop on your conversations on social media and email, as well as spy on your web browsing history and login credentials.

There are numerous ways you can fall victim to a MITM attack, so taking preventative measures is crucial.

5 Measures to Stop Man in the Middle Attacks

1. Intrusion Prevention Systems

Intrusion prevention systems (IPS) monitor your network for suspicious behavior, then activates measures to block it.

This way, if a hacker managed to infiltrate your network, your cyber security team could respond promptly before damage is done.

man in the middle attack prevention

2. Update SSL/TLS Certificates

Websites that are not encrypted with SSL or TLS certificates are terrifyingly easy to hack. Scarier still is that even if your website does have one, it’s still hackable.

Whichever one your company's website uses, make sure it’s up-to-date at all times. Your web developer or IT team should keep on top of this.

3. Secure Wi-Fi

One of the most common ways that MITM attacks are spread is through spoof Wi-Fi networks. An on-the-go employee in a café, for example, who remotes into your company network using a fake Wi-Fi connection could expose all of your company data.

Make sure all employees are familiar with the pitfalls of public Wi-Fi, and only use password-protected networks.

Your own company’s Wi-Fi network should also be encrypted and guarded by a strong, complex password. This way, it’s much more difficult for a hacker to intercept data transmitted across it.

man in the middle attack wifi

4. Email Security

Unencrypted emails are notoriously simple for hackers to intercept. Spoof emails are also sources of MITM malware attacks.

An email security system can filter out threats and spam, and encrypt each email sent from your domain to ensure hackers can’t read them.

5. Virtual Private Networks

Virtual private networks basically create secure “tunnels” which allow your company network to connect to the internet, while facing fewer security threats. Since MITM attacks commonly infect computers that have visited unsecure websites, this extra layer of security is much needed.

Man in the middle attacks are difficult to stop. We recommend using the recommended measures at the bare minimum to keep your sensitive company data safe.

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