When looking at the most common ways a hacker launches a successful attack against corporate networks, application security isn’t anywhere near the top. Praetorian researchers looking at successful attacks point to the top five activities in the “cyber hit list”:
- Weak domain user passwords – Weak passwords were successful 66% of the time
- Broadcast name resolution poisoning (like WPAD) – Successful 64% of the time
- Local administrator password attacks (pass-the-hash attacks) – Successful 61% of the time
- Attacks on cleartext passwords in memory – Successful 59% of the time
- Insufficient network segmentation – Successful 52% of the time
The first four on this list are phishing or social engineering attacks to gain stolen credentials. Since your efforts to educate users on how to prevent these types of attacks will never be 100% effective, you should accept these type of attacks will eventually be successful and focus on limiting access via network segmentation, limiting attack profiles, and automated alerts via available tools to detect unusual user activity.
You can read more on their research here.