An approach used for filtering out malicious or fake IP addresses, IP blacklisting has been designed to stop insidious threat actors from gaining access to enterprise networks.
Blacklists commonly contain an individual IP address or a compilation of multiple IP addresses that a company wants to block. Blacklists can be best employed as one component of a protective strategy, used in conjunction with firewalls and other protective filtering tools for network traffic. Simply relying on IP blacklisting to protect your network is never enough.
Using blacklists can be highly beneficial for enterprise security, allowing firms to select specific IP addresses and deny their access to the company network. However, there are multiple challenges companies may face after deploying them. IP blacklists are not a fool-proof protection method, as cybercriminals have developed a wide range of tactics in order to circumnavigate these security measures.
Read on for four points worth considering if you are planning on developing and applying IP blacklist at your place of business.
1. IP spoofing
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and other layer attacks on networks do not require a full Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connection, which means hackers can spoof IPs, so it looks like they have connected using another IP address of their choosing. This tactic enables them to evade blacklists while hiding their true identity. It can also help them fool internal monitoring and other security systems to believe credentials that have been compromised are being legitimately utilised.
2. Altering IP addresses
Hackers and other cybercriminals work cleverly to avoid ending up on IP blacklists. To sidestep being identified as a threat, they regularly update their attack vector and change the IP address they use. With a wide array of addresses at their command, hackers can swiftly switch addresses as soon as they discover they’ve been blocked. This tactic of changing addresses makes its tricky to track attackers, reducing the possibility they will ever be prosecuted.
3. Botnet attacks
Threat operators use massive botnets comprising thousands, or even millions, of enslaved and interconnected user devices to launch attacks. Previously, these botnets were amassed over time, but today, they can simply be bought on the dark web in one foul swoop. This increased availability and scale of botnets means that assaults are conducted employing vast numbers of constantly altering IP addresses. This is an attack strategy that blacklists cannot hope to contend with.
4. False positives
Another challenge faced by companies when using blacklist protocols is false positives. While these issues are not a security related problem and do not involve attackers, they can still affect personnel productivity and disrupt workflow, thereby hampering business processes.
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