The Perils of Swarm Technology – Are you ready for a Swarm Attack?

BySubham Paul

The Perils of Swarm Technology – Are you ready for a Swarm Attack?

Have you ever imagined your organization’s network getting infiltrated by a bot swarm that eventually steals data and leaves you spellbound? If you haven’t, it is time to beware of such a possibility. Advances in Artificial Intelligence have made intelligence sharing and correlation a possible approach for specialized bots to interact amongst themselves in real-time and improvise an attack in perfect synchronization. We have entered the age of swarm technology and it is only apt to brace ourselves for an impending attack from the new miscreants.

Understanding Swarm Attacks

When we talk about swarm technology, we usually refer to the mechanism that drives intelligent and autonomous bots (also called Swarmbots) to collaborate in large swarms. For solving certain problems, we require clusters of devices that can work as a unit. When these Swarmbots are compromised, the problem-solvers turn into potential problem creators that can discover loopholes in the hardware, software, and networks and expose them to disastrous proportions. This is made possible by a process of training the bots to hunt for such vulnerabilities and leverage those, a process infamously known as Machine Learning Poisoning.

What are Swarmbots capable of doing?

Does reading this remind you of specific movie scenes involving bot clusters wreaking systematic havoc? That’s precisely the way we want you to imagine! In real technology, such swarms witness dynamic allocation and reallocation of bots that can be used to orchestrate customized attacks, a few of the features of which are mentioned below:

  • AI fuzzing in detecting points for Zero-Day exploitation.
  • Lateral movement across a network for expanding the surface of the attack.
  • Apply real-time data to evade barriers (or detection)
  • Collaborative efforts to infiltrate near-perfect robust networks
  • Taking full control of the resources of the target

SADDD – The strategy basket to evade Swarm Attacks

A popular belief guides us to fight fire with fire. Hence, potential targets of swarm attacks must replicate the collaboration and automation to build the defensive wall of protection. Here are some strategies (nicknamed as SADDD) which can boost the security of your systems and help you evade attacks by Swarmbots:

  • Standardized Security Architecture – this integrates centralized orchestration, specialized components, and best practices to add teeth to the scalability, intelligence, and speed to secure vulnerable systems.
  • Automated Security Systems – this shall help compromised systems respond to attacks dynamically with the help of systematic coordination, real-time analysis, and fool-proof integration.
  • Dynamic Network Segmentation – this shall make sure that only the compromised devices or network nodes get affected and the rest of the resources are safe.
  • Disciplined Patching Exercises – this shall continuously cover the areas of your systems that are exposed to swarm attacks with the help of sandboxes, intrusion-prevention mechanisms, and other advanced security tools.
  • Deeply Integrated Security – this shall integrate security processes and protocols with the extended technology landscape to increase the control and visibility in detecting threats in complex networks.

The pace at which malware evolution is progressing calls for an ever proactive approach to beef up cybersecurity systems across enterprises. As risk mitigation strategies keep getting obsolete, it is highly necessary to digitally transform the overall security strategy for the organization. This shall lend the required flexibility to adapt to any unforeseen threat. Using this approach shall certainly help your organization enhance its threat intelligence and build the defensive wall to keep swarm attacks at bay.

About the author

Subham Paul

Subham is a technology enthusiast with keen interests in cybersecurity, automation, data analytics, and information systems. A Computer Science engineer and a former web developer, he is currently pursuing his MBA at IIT Kharagpur. His other interests lie in writing and singing.

1 Comment so far

AffiliateLabzPosted on5:35 pm - Feb 21, 2020

Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂

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