Cybersecurity Threats for Business: Dependency Confusion Attacks

cybersecurity threatsOne of the latest cybersecurity threats that businesses are facing worldwide is something known as dependency confusion attacks. While not all types of organizations are at risk, it is important to learn about this type of attack and determine whether your network security in Boston and the surrounding area needs to be updated to provide increased protection. At Synivate, we recommend a business continuity approach with a backup and recovery program, designed to help you get back to work quickly after an attack or another type of disaster that impacts your data.

What are Dependency Confusion Attacks?

To understand how this type of attack works, you need to know a little bit about application development. This type of service often utilizes the integration of a third-party or some kind of open-source dependency to support certain features or provide efficient functionality. Unfortunately, cyber attackers have now devised a way to use this dependency to their advantage by introducing malicious codes into applications via these associations. While dependency confusion attacks are still somewhat new, they are already increasing in number and are causing damage to businesses around the globe. These cybersecurity threats for business should be taken seriously and IT departments, network security providers, and management services need to be aware of the risks.

Studies show that more than half of all applications with 30 million users and nearly all applications with more than a billion users are utilizing dependencies for their programming. This means that millions of users, their mobile devices, and potentially their stored data, could be vulnerable to dependency confusion attacks. Industry experts believe that the organizations most at-risk for this type of attack are likely to have over 70 percent of their assets exposed and vulnerable to hackers using this particular exploit. Overall, it is estimated that approximately half of all organizations that use applications have the potential to be victims of a dependency confusion attack.

Why a Backup and Recovery Program Matters

Perhaps one of the most significant examples of a company impacted by dependency confusion attacks is the PyTorch Package Index Code Repository attack of December 2022. The attackers were able to install a malicious dependency within the code repository and ran a binary to launch a supply chain attack. Other examples of this type of attack include another incident where an attacker injected malicious code into a popular open-source package. In this case, millions of files were wiped from computers that were located in Belarus and Russia. Having a backup and recovery program that is designed specifically to safeguard your most essential company data is critical in this day and age. Studies show that companies that do not have a disaster recovery plan are unlikely to recover after attacks or situations where important data is lost.

These types of cybersecurity threats for business are not just going after the big companies, healthcare industry, and government systems, but also small to medium-sized businesses, just like yours. Dependency confusion attacks uses the very architecture of a typical business application against itself to infiltrate and attack other users. Some of the types of businesses that are most likely to become targets of these attacks include media organizations and Security as a Service (SaaS) companies due to their use of vulnerable packages or free-to-register type public registry systems. Not only can this type of attack compromise the security and integrity of these businesses, but they can also impact individuals and connected organizations who use the applications, as well.

Protect Your Business from Cybersecurity Threats

If you would like to learn more about how you can protect your business from dependency confusion attacks and other types of cybersecurity threats for business, contact Synivate. We offer innovative technology solutions, offer strategic backup and recovery program services, and can even provide training for you and your staff to learn how to better spot security threats. Contact our team by calling 617-848-1248 and speak with one of our agents about your unique needs and requirements. We can answer any questions that you might have about the many services we provide, including 24/7 monitoring and management programs, IT services, and network security in Boston and the surrounding area.

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