Lateral movement is a type of network security attack in which a malicious actor gains unauthorized access to additional computers inside of the same network. An attacker can achieve lateral movement by exploiting a vulnerability in a computer or by gaining initial access to somebody else’s system, such as through phishing or malware. It represents a significant risk within a network since the vulnerable system can be used to launch further attacks.

Once inside a network, the malicious actor can use a number of techniques, such as:

-Authentication token theft: this involves stealing authentication tokens, such as passwords, to gain access to additional systems.
-Remote desktop protocol (RDP): attackers use RDP to access computers from outside of a network.
-Remote access tools (RATs): this type of tool allows the attacker to gain remote access to a system and use its resources.

Organizations can take various steps to protect against lateral movement attacks, such as:

-Strong authentication: using strong authentication, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), passwords, and security certificates is essential to protect against authentication token theft.
-Reduce lateral movement paths: this process involves limiting the connectivity between internal systems in order to reduce an attacker’s ability to move laterally.
-Advanced malware protection: deploying endpoint protection can help to detect and prevent malware from being used to gain access to systems.

Lateral movement is an ever-evolving technique used by attackers to gain access to network systems. It is important that organizations take measures to protect against these attacks in order to protect their systems and data.

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