What is a Honeypot and How does it help my Business?

A honeypot is a decoy target that attracts cyber attacks, distracting hackers from other important targets, and learns about how hackers do what they do.

In this article, we will discuss different types of honeypots and how they can help your business.

How honeypots work

A honeypot is supposed to imitate a real system that a hacker might want to attack. It is a fake system that doesn’t have any real data worth anything that the hacker can steal. If a honeypot is hacked, no real damage is done. In fact, the goal of a honeypot is to attract hackers to attack it.

A honeypot can be installed in various places within the infrastructure of a network. It could be in front of or behind a firewall, within a service, or inside a private network. This way, intrusion can be detected at various layers in the infrastructure.

There shouldn’t be any traffic to and from the honeypot, which makes it clear that any connection or attempt to connect to the honeypot is malicious. When the honeypot logs this information, it can send the info to administrators who then analyze any attacks the hacker carried out, or any files the hacker may have uploaded or downloaded.

In order to make the honeypot more convincing to a hacker, it cannot be completely vulnerable to any attack, or else it is easy to see that it’s a honeypot. It will still have some security features to simulate real systems. Fake data might even be put into the system, and even fake interactions with the honeypot can be implemented.

Types of Honeypots

There are many types of honeypots, as there are many types of systems and services that can be simulated.

SSH honeypots can simulate systems where hackers can connect to via SSH, logging every detail about the connection.

Email honeypots can simulate email services, logging mail that a hacker might send to it, and maybe even sending custom response messages back. These are also useful for catching spam, because they can be set up so that only robots can find the email address.

Database honeypots are fake databases that an attacker might download or pull fake data from. Traffic to and from the database will be logged.

You can also set up a webpage for example that humans cannot reach. This will ensure that any connection to it, or attempt to view it is done by a robot, or something that shouldn’t be there.

Benefits of Honeypots

As cyber attacks rapidly increase in this digital age, more advanced cybersecurity measures need to be taken. A honeypot can give you info on how secure your system is, distract hackers from real targets, and provide knowledge on how malware, exploits and other attacks are evolving.

Honeypots are low maintenance. Once it is set up, you just have to let it sit there and wait for an attacker to engage with it.

They don’t have to take up much of the system’s resources. Since there shouldn’t be any traffic from authorized people, the honeypot doesn’t consume any of the system’s resources, until a hacker connects to it.

How can Honeypots help my Business?

Many small businesses aren’t aware of the many cyber threats arising in our world today. One severe cyber attack on their business could take down the entire business. For example, with a ransomware attack where the hacker encrypts all of the data, and asks for a ransom to give the data back, many small businesses can’t afford the ransom, or the loss in sales when the website is down.

Honeypots can help businesses stay a step ahead of the hacker, and protect their data. They add a layer of security to the infrastructure to fool hackers and guide them away from real systems.

At Safehouse, we are working on dynamic honeypots to protect your online data. Read more at www.safehouse.dev.

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