Before the recent pandemic reoriented our relationship with technology, cybersecurity was a significant challenge for companies of every size operating in every sector. Today, those risks are more amplified than ever before.
As a result, corporate VPN usage has increased. A virtual private network, also known as a VPN, is an encrypted connection through the internet from a device to a network. A corporate VPN offers organizations the opportunity to provide their employees expanded access to resources on the company’s network, no matter where they’re working. Alternatively, a commercial VPN is commonly known to have multiple users connect through a single IP address which increases anonymity.
Simply put, while these technologies can bolster a company’s digital capacity in a shifting operational environment, VPNs can also be leveraged by threat actors to enhance and obfuscate their efforts.
Understanding Today’s Cybersecurity Risks
Whether threat actors are compromising outdated and vulnerable technologies, leveraging stolen credentials to access company networks, or capturing data for ransomware, the cost and consequences of cybersecurity failure are expansive and far-reaching.
According to one industry report, ransomware attacks surged by 105 percent in 2021, impacting government agencies, healthcare providers, and businesses with frightening frequency. Meanwhile, other cybersecurity threats continue to proliferate. One of the common tactics used by cybercriminals is credential stuffing, where leaked usernames and passwords are used in attempts to gain wide-scale access to accounts. According to a report from Akamai, there were 193 billion credential stuffing attacks globally in 2020, with 3.4 billion hitting financial services organizations specifically – an increase of more than 45 percent year-over-year in the sector.
Collectively, cybersecurity is quickly becoming more expensive. The most recent Cost of a Data Breach report found that recovery costs exceeded $4 million for the first time, while less quantifiable metrics, like brand reputation and customer retention, are also more consequential as business partners and ordinary consumers are more attune to cybersecurity risks.
As a result, the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Cybersecurity Outlook report found that 87 percent of executives are looking to “improve cyber resilience at their organization by strengthening resilience policies, processes and standards for how to engage and manage third parties.”
Indeed, companies need to develop agile cybersecurity capabilities that reflect shifting and emerging threat trends. By leveraging camouflage techniques, they can do so anonymously. Tools such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), proxy servers, darknets, queue networks,and smart Domain Name Systems (DNSs) allow them to hide their true identities and locations.
What is VPN Proxy?
Being able to separate the bad guys from the good guys is critical when securing digital infrastructure, and VPN proxy data can support these efforts.
A growing amount of internet traffic is being masked through proxies. For example, online users wanting to surf the web anonymously often use proxies that can provide them with a means to hide their IP address from the rest of the world. They believe the proxy will protect them from ISPs or ther corporations trying to sniff their data. By connecting to the internet through proxies, a device’s IP address will not be shown but rather the proxy server’s IP address. Whether used intentionally or unintentionally, proxies can significantly throw off a company’s online initiatives.
Cybercriminals, in particular, have found the use of proxies to be highly effective. But, it’s important to remember that not all proxies have malicious intent. However, stopping all VPN users is not practical. It increases the danger that real customers or employees are mistakenly labeled as crooks or cyber criminals. If that is not enough, this method fails to discover the root of cybercrime.
To mitigate risks and protect real users, companies must find the means to separate the bad guys from the good guys― and one of the tools for accomplishing this is the incorporation of IP-based VPN and proxy data into your platforms and technologies.
Data Accuracy Enhances Cybersecurity Posture
By connecting to the internet through proxies, the IP address of the criminal’s device will not be shown accurately, but rather the IP address of the proxy server. This is also called pivoting.
The ability to identify if an online user is connected through a proxy and what type of proxy it is enables companies to flag potential criminal activities and set protocols for handling this type of malicious “non-human” or bot traffic differently.
For example, understanding the type of proxy a visitor is connecting to the internet with, such as no data logging, multihop, corporate, public, residential, and peer-to-peer (P2P) based , can trigger fraud alerts. What’s more, the analysis of criminal activity can go far beyond proxies. Initially, this may include an assessment of the connection type, a geolocation comparison, and an empowered reaction.
Respond to Shifting Threats with Nodify
In order to thrive in the digital world, companies must equip themselves with tools that identify and exploit crooks and cybercriminals to strip them of their anonymity without jeopardizing real users―and this can be accomplished effectively and seamlessly through proxy data and other IP-intelligence factors.
Nodify is a threat intelligence solution that identifies whether inbound or outbound traffic is tied to a VPN, proxy, or a darknet.
Unlike other fraud detection solutions, Nodify provides additional context around the VPN/proxy/darknet tied to an IP address such as:
- Provider’s name/URL
- Distinction between residential or commercial
- IP addresses related to a provider
- Features and offerings of a provider
- Historical timestamps of activity
As businesses face growing threats to their digital infrastructure, the right detection strategies can help thwart threat actors without compromising features or functionality.