What Is Push-Bombing & How Can You Prevent It?

Cloud account theft has grown to be a serious issue for businesses. Consider how much work your business performs that necessitates a username and password. Employees wind up having to log onto numerous cloud apps or systems.

Hackers employ a variety of techniques to obtain those login credentials. The objective is to allow users access to corporate data. Additionally to carrying out sophisticated attacks, insider phishing emails are sent.

How severe an issue are account breaches now? The account takeover (ATO) rate increased by 307% between 2019 and 2021.

Doesn’t Multi-Factor Authentication Stop Credential Breaches?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is widely used by businesses and individuals. It serves as a defense against attackers who have obtained their usernames and passwords. MFA has long been proven to be a highly effective cloud account security measure.

But because of its success, hackers have developed workarounds. Push-bombing is one of these wicked strategies to circumvent MFA.

How Does Push-Bombing Work?

When a user activates MFA on an account, they frequently get some kind of code or authorisation prompt. The user types in their login information. In order to complete the login process, the system then sends the user an authorisation request.

Typically, a “push” message of some kind will be used to deliver the MFA code or approval request. There are several ways for users to get it:

  • SMS/text
  • A device popup
  • An app notification

The multi-factor authentication login process typically includes receiving such notification. The user would be able to recognize it.

Hackers start with the user’s credentials when they push-bomb a website. They might obtain them via phishing or from a massive password dump following a data breach.

They benefit from the push notification system. Hackers repeatedly try to log in. The real user receives numerous push notifications in succession as a result.

Many consumers wonder why they received an unexpected code when they hadn’t asked for one. But when one is inundated with them, it can be simple to inadvertently accept access.

Push-bombing is a form of social engineering attack designed to:

  • Confuse the user
  • Wear the user down
  • Trick the user into approving the MFA request to give the hacker access

Ways to Combat Push-Bombing at Your Organization

Educate Employees

The power of knowledge. A push-bombing attack can be disruptive and perplexing for a user. Employees will be more capable of defending themselves if they receive training beforehand.

Explain to workers what push-bombing is and how it operates. Give them instruction on how to respond if they get MFA notifications they didn’t ask for.

Give your employees a means to report these assaults as well. Your IT security staff can then warn additional users thanks to this. Then, they can take action to protect everyone’s login information.

Reduce Business App “Sprawl”

Employees use 36 distinct cloud-based services daily on average. There are a lot of logins to remember. The likelihood of a password being stolen increases the more logins a person must use.

Check out how many applications your business utilizes. Consider combining your apps to lessen the “sprawl” of them. Numerous technologies are available behind a single login on platforms like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. Your cloud environment will run more efficiently, increasing security and output.

Adopt Phishing-Resistant MFA Solutions

By switching to a different MFA type, you can completely prevent push-bombing assaults. A device passkey or physical security key is used by phishing-resistant MFA to authenticate users.

With this kind of authentication, there is no push notification to authorize. Compared to text- or app-based MFA, this solution is more difficult to set up but is also more secure.

Enforce Strong Password Policies

Hackers require the user’s credentials in order to send multiple push alerts. The likelihood that a password may be compromised is decreased by enforcing strong password policies.

Standard practices for strong password policies include:

  • Using at least one upper and one lower-case letter
  • Using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols
  • Not using personal information to create a password
  • Storing passwords securely
  • Not reusing passwords across several accounts

Put in Place an Advanced Identity Management Solution

Additionally, cutting-edge identity management tools can aid in your defense against push-bombing attempts. Typically, they will use a single sign-on solution to consolidate all logins. Users will only need to handle one login and one MFA prompt instead of several ones.

Contextual login policies can also be installed by enterprises using identity management solutions. These increase security by adding flexibility to access enforcement. Login attempts outside of a particular geographic area could be automatically blocked by the system. Additionally, it might prevent logins at particular periods or when other conditions aren’t met.

Do You Need Help Improving Your Identity & Access Security?

Multi-factor authentication alone isn’t enough. Companies need several layers of protection to reduce their risk of a cloud breach.
Are you looking for some help to reinforce your access security?

Give us a call today to schedule a chat.

Picture of Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel is an engineer turned business owner of WPG Consulting. He is a techie enthusiast who believes in finding creative IT solutions to solve consumer problems.

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