Explaining a Honeypot and How Do They Maintain Network Security?

Explaining a Honeypot and How Do They Maintain Network Security?

A honeypot refers to a cyber bait placed to bait a trap for the hackers. It is a computer system that is used as a decoy with the intention of attracting the cybercriminals. It imitates a target for the cybercriminals and utilizes their attempts for intrusion as a means to obtain information about these hackers and the way they are operating or to distract them from their targets.

How does a honeypot function?

Honeypots seem like an actual human computer and contain certain applications and information to trick the cybercriminals into thinking that it is a legitimate potential victim. For instance, a honeypot can imitate an actual customer billing section of a computer as it is a frequent target to attack for cybercriminals who want to find credit card numbers.

Once the hackers have entered the system, they can be easily tracked and their behavior pattern can be assessed to find clues for increasing the security of the actual network.

Honeypots are made appealing for the cybercriminals by being designed with some specific in-system security weaknesses. For example, a honeypot might contain ports that respond easily to a port scan and weak passwords. Ports that are made vulnerable might be left open on purpose to attract attackers into the honeypot environment, instead of a more secure network.

A honeypot is not designed to address a certain issue as is the case with a firewall or antivirus. Rather it is a tool for information that helps the users to understand the present threats to their business. It also spots the emergence of any new threat. The security efforts of an organization can be prioritized and focused upon with the help of the intelligence acquired from the honeypot.

Various benefits of honeypots

Honeypots are a useful way of exposing the vulnerabilities of a major system. For example, a honeypot can display the high threat level posed by attacks on IOT devices. It can also provide suggestions on how to improve the security in a system.

Utilizing a honeypot has various advantages over attempting to spot intrusions in the real system. For example, a honeypot by definition should not receive any legitimate traffic so any activity logged has to be an intrusion attempt.

This makes spotting patterns much more easy, like IP addresses all coming from the same nation and being utilized to execute a network sweep. By contrast, such obvious signs of an attack are easy to lose in the crowd when you are looking at high levels of genuine traffic in your main network.

The biggest benefit of using honeypot security is that such malicious IP addresses are easy to identify as they are the ones that can be seen only.

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