Cybercriminals still rely on email, social media, and video to help successfully deliver attacks to compromise users, though can be used as stepping stones for multi-phased attacks, according to networking company Palo Alto Networks. Of the applications observed by Palo Alto Networks, 34 percent can use SSL encryption - but IT administrators often are unaware which applications are using unpatched versions of OpenSSL - leading to possible security threats.
To counter these types of threats, administrators should try to control unknown traffic, with smaller networks typically seeing up to 10 percent of unknown traffic on their networks. Identifying and selecting decryption with additional enablement policies can also help keep customers secure.
"Our research shows an inextricable link between commonly-used enterprise applications and cyber threats," said Matt Kell, Palo Alto Netowrks senior research analyst, in a statement. "Most significant network breaches start with an application such as e-mail delivering an exploit. Then, once in the network, attackers use other applications or services to continue their malicious activity - in essence, hiding in plain sight. Knowing how cybercriminals exploit applications will help enterprises make more informed decisions when it comes to protecting their organizations from attacks."