We live in a society where the most important data – from social security numbers to bank account information – all lives online. With so much valuable information floating around in cyberspace, it is crucial for businesses to protect their networks, devices and data from hackers and other cyber threats.

Cybersecurity remains a top priority amongst organizations and the rapid advancement of technology only introduces more challenges each year. However, failure to adapt to these changes can be one of the most expensive mistakes any company can make.

As of 2021, there is a ransomware attack every 11 seconds and since the pandemic began, the cyber-attacks against businesses has increased by 400%.

Having comprehensive systems and checks in place to address and prevent cyberattacks will help your business in the long-run. While it may be an impossible task to eliminate all cybersecurity risks, there are defensive measures you can implement to help keep your organization and customer data safe. Understanding what the adversaries are aiming to do and having processes in place to stop them can be a massive asset to your cybersecurity efforts. The Cyber Kill Chain is one such model that presents how these attacks are accomplished.

What Is The Cyber Kill Chain?

Originally developed by Lockheed Martin in 2011, the Cyber Kill Chain unearths the stages of cyberattacks. The term “Kill Chain” was derived from a military concept that describes the structure of an assault. It includes identifying a target, dispatching forces, deciding actions, ordering an attack structure, and the ultimate destruction of the target.

The Cyber Kill Chain is continuously evolving due to the evolution of cyber attacks and techniques as well. Ever since 2011, when the Cyber Kill chain model was developed, cyber attackers have become more advanced in their techniques, and more sophisticated and brazen in their activities. Furthermore, with more powerful technology, they are capable of doing more damage to organizations than ever attempted before.

How Does The Cyber Kill Chain Work?

The Cyber Kill Chain involves seven stages that depict what happens during a cyber-attack. It starts right from the reconnaissance phase, where an attacker is still collecting information about its target, all the way to the point where the intruder is deploying their strike. The Cyber Kill Chain is activated by all of your usual attack vectors, whether it’s phishing or the latest malware strain.

Regardless of whether the attack is internal or external, each stage is associated with a specific sort of action in a cyberattack. To properly understand the workings of the Cyber Kill Chain, it’s essential to understand the steps involved in it. Here are the stages of the Cyber Kill Chain:

  1. Reconnaissance: The beginning stage of the Cyber Kill Chain is where attackers evaluate the situation from the outside to identify targets and attack strategies. Typically, attackers will gather as much information as they can to find vulnerabilities in the system. Attackers may harvest information such as email addresses, names, phone numbers, and other information so they can understand their target.
  2. Weaponization: The attackers then use what they have learned during the previous phase to develop “weapons” to break into your system. They will develop malware that targets your security vulnerabilities and is engineered specifically for their objectives.
  3. Delivery: Attackers then deliver these weapons that they have developed into your company’s systems through unsuspecting methods. Some common delivery points are emails, download links, and websites. This stage is also the most important in stopping the attack from progressing.
  4. Exploitation: Once the weapon is inside the company’s systems then the malware begins to enact what it was designed to do. The malware spreads its code throughout the system and exploits vulnerabilities from the inside. It will begin to run scripts and install tools without the system’s consent.
  5. Installation: After exploiting the system, the malware will then install an entry point for the attacker, granting them control over the system and network. For many cybersecurity structures, this may be the last chance to stop the attack.
  6. Command and Control: In this stage, the attacker now has control within the organization’s system. With the access they have, they can attempt to steal valuable information, change permissions, and perform interior assaults.
  7. Actions on Objective: The command and control taken by the attacker now allow them to do what they originally wanted to do. They have full access at this point and the company’s data is at the attacker’s mercy. Once the attacker’s objectives are complete, they have successfully performed the cyber attack.

CyberMaxx Can Protect Your Business From Attacks

The Cyber Kill Chain assists cybersecurity departments by accurately depicting the stages of a cyber attack.

From this, they can begin developing security measures to combat each stage thoroughly. Countermeasures and contingencies against attacks should be able to deal with the actions depicted in the chain. Lastly, they can efficiently train their members to safeguard the organization from potential vulnerabilities.

CyberMaxx provides a team of leading cybersecurity professionals whose sole focus is to protect customers every day of the year. With our MAXX MDR and MAXX Network services, CyberMaxx is prepared to help prevent, detect and respond to cyber attacks effectively. Being proactive and avoiding cybersecurity risks is the premier way to keep your system and network safe from cyber-attackers.

Want to be convinced firsthand? Try our MAXX MDR or MAXX SIEM services on a full, free trial basis. We promise once you do, you’ll be a customer for life.