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What is the MITRE ATT&CK Framework?

Know the Stages of a Cyberattack Before It Happens

Cyber security breaches are common, but that does not make them unavoidable. With the right protections and professionals on your side, your data and digital infrastructure stand a fighting chance.

How do cyber security specialists anticipate and analyze attacks? Humans are predictable, even the ones with a knack for hacking.

There’s a formula that most cyber attacks follow. MITRE, a non-profit dedicated to providing technical guidance, built the Adversarial Tactics, Techniques, and Common Knowledge (ATT&CK) database to help private businesses, governments and cybersecurity experts alike prepare for cyber attacks of all kinds.

Before these tactics get put to use against your personal or professional data, let’s get into the brain of the common hacker.

Most Common Steps of a MITRE ATT&CK

Initial Access:

This stage involves gaining access to a target network or system. Attackers may use tactics such as spear-phishing, exploiting vulnerabilities in software or systems, or using stolen credentials to gain initial access.

Execution:

Once the attacker has gained initial access, they begin executing their attack. This stage can involve a wide range of techniques, including the use of malware or other malicious software, exploiting vulnerabilities in software or systems, or conducting reconnaissance to gather more information about the target network.

Persistence:

In this stage, the attacker establishes persistence on the target network or system. This may involve installing backdoors or other malware that allow the attacker to maintain access even if their initial access point is discovered and blocked.

Privilege Escalation:

Once the attacker has established persistence, they may attempt to escalate their privileges to gain access to more sensitive data or systems. This may involve exploiting vulnerabilities or weaknesses in access controls.

Lateral Movement:

In this stage, the attacker moves laterally through the target network, seeking out additional systems or data to compromise. This may involve exploiting vulnerabilities or weaknesses in network architecture or access controls.

Collection:

The attacker collects data or other sensitive information from the compromised systems or network. This may involve exfiltrating data through various means, such as email, file transfer protocols, or other network protocols.

Command and Control:

In this stage, the attacker establishes a command and control channel to maintain remote access to the compromised systems or network. This may involve using a variety of techniques to evade detection or maintain persistence, such as using encrypted communications or disguising network traffic.

Get Proactive Against Cyber Attacks

Overall, a typical MITRE ATT&CK attack involves a complex and multi-stage process, with attackers using a variety of techniques and tactics to compromise and maintain access to a target network or system.

It’s important for organizations to be aware of these tactics and techniques and implement strong security measures to prevent and detect attacks.

NTS is a Virginia-Based cybersecurity and managed services company with over 25 years of experience in the IT world. Our talented cyber security experts are dedicated to helping you prevent or respond to attacks 24/7/365. Contact us today to learn more about our cyber security services.

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