What Are Honeypots? Definition and Security

what are honeypots

What Are Honeypots In Data Security

Everyone in an organization, especially the IT security team, is keen on understanding how hackers or cybercriminals work so that access to critical information can be appropriately secured.

Unfortunately, one would instead observe the doings of the cybercriminal as it tears apart someone else’s data security and not their own. But it is crucial to understand your opponents.

This is because knowing how they operate can be fundamental to thwarting data attacks. Understanding how cybercriminal acts and what they can do is vital in ensuring your organization is secured from cyber-attacks. And because companies are hesitant in engaging their networks or servers to conduct research, they resort to honeypots.

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Understanding The Role Of Honeypots

A honeypot can be a document or fragments of network infrastructure that appear to be exposed, authentic production components, but are detached from the rest of the system. This makes it attractive to hackers, thus helping organizations study how data attacks take place without jeopardizing the company.

The significance of honeypots has increased over the years, as the data security battleground has become more active.

Today, honeypots are viewed as crucial instruments of counterespionage in data security that can help to provide fundamental intelligence on cybercriminals. Honeypot activities offer new information on new kinds of data attacks.

In a world where complex risks, malware, and threats abound, attack telemetry and its investigation have become crucial in customizing a data security model that incorporates the organizational structure, its critical assets, and security strategy, instead of a turnkey method that could fail in the long run.

Typically, a honeypot can be easily monitored, given its separate and robust nature. If a hacker successfully compromises it, it can be quickly rebuilt. For most organizations, the combination of requirements is met by virtual machines hosted on a server secluded from the rest of the network.

However, despite whether the honeypot is placed on a virtual setup or an excluded physical operating system, it could be installed with particular environmental variables, applications, or systems to lure specific attackers who display interest in concentrated targets.

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Types Of Honeypots

No single honeypot is the same. Since every honeypot has a different purpose, it makes sense not to create a standard format. And while a honeypot available on the Internet could be vulnerable to one or more attacks, the major fork comes between honeypots serving the requirements of IT teams and those that serve the needs of research teams.

Honeypots placed by enterprise IT teams could have a direct approach: these obtain data on the kind of attacks launched against the company’s data, applications, and systems. In some cases, this could mean that a honeypot placed within the company’s network address space could have some or all of the company’s APIs and services made vulnerable on the Internet. Here, the aim of the enterprise honeypot is uncomplicated.

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Its objective is to allow the IT security team to realize which ports and APIs are the points of attacks. It can also help the team understand the login and password sequences attempted by these criminals in credential-stuffing attempts, how and where the attacks are taking place, and other crucial attack aspects.

These honeypots are not interactive, as they are not intended to be open-ended research devices. Specifically, the intent of setting a honeypot is to ensure that cybercriminals are engaged for extended periods through interactive traps.

On the other hand, when research teams set up a honeypot, their aims are in stark contrast to that of enterprise security teams. Here, honeypots are used to gather data on specific types of attack vectors or malware, or they could garner information on overall inclinations in offensive data security.

These research honeypots could also be interactive, permitting cybercriminals to explore various layers of services and applications with adequate responses from the honeypot.

The research honeypot could counterfeit enterprise applications, enterprise servers, replicated web interfaces, and faux databases. Such honeypots could be complicated to set up and observe. However, the risk with research honeypots is that if cyber criminals remain engaged for too long, they could detect a flaw that could expose the honeypot as a research project or give them further access to a genuine production network.

While honeypots are successful, a cybercriminal could jeopardize the company’s facilities through a single or complete administrative privilege. The holistic strategy for a honeypot must include steps to take when it becomes successful and restrict the attacker from employing the honeypot in breaching the company’s systems and data.

Closing Thoughts

To ensure that your organizational data, sensitive information, and classified documents and PDF files are secured from data attacks, it is crucial to have a reliable data security tool in place, such as a digital rights management solution. And while honeypots provide critical information on how a cybercriminal can gain access to your data, an actual robust and preventive solution that can thwart any attacker’s attempts in stealing your company information is through DRM.

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