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Everything You Need to Know About Cyber Kill Chain

By September 23, 2020No Comments
Cyber Kill Chain

Organizations can use the Cyber kill chain framework for understanding the process of attacks. This framework will help you in mitigating damages. You need to first understand every point in this chain. After that, you need to focus on breaking this chain.

There are various Cyber kill chain approaches and every approach has different results. In this article, we are going to talk about the original Cyber kill chain. Also, we will tell you how you can break the chain for protecting your data and applications.

Every stage in this chain is related to some threats. You can find every type of threat in this cyber kill chain.

  1. Reconnaissance

This is the first stage of the cyber skill chain. The attackers will research their victims in this stage. They will look for the security vulnerabilities that are present in their systems. Also, they will focus on finding the systems where you are storing your data. They will try to find the best route that they can use for entering your network.

  1. Weaponization

Attackers will first complete their research. They will find all the vulnerabilities that are present in your network. After that, they will find the attacks that they can use for breaking into your network. These attacks will depend on the vulnerabilities present in your system. Sometimes attackers can use SQL injection for hacking into your databases. They might send malware or virus for exploiting the known vulnerabilities.

  1. Delivery

Attackers will deliver the attack method to the target environment. They can use various methods for delivering their payload. Most attackers will use simple methods like email attachments, USB devices, or websites for attacking your network.

  1. Exploitation

Attackers can exploit the vulnerability present in your network once they have inserted the malicious code. They will execute the malicious code present in your system.

  1. Installation

The malicious code will install an access point in your network. Attackers can use this access point for getting access to your environment. They can now steal confidential data from your systems.

  1. Control 

Attackers will have full access to your environment. They can manipulate your entire environment. Some attackers will steal all the sensitive data that is present in your system. They can also lock your entire system by using ransomware. Also, they can crash your entire network.

  1. Actions on objective

Attackers can execute their original goals. They can also steal your data and execute ransomware. This is the final step of the cyber kill chain and it is very hard to stop an attack now. You will most probably become the victim of a severe data breach. Also, this data breach will affect your business reputation.

Problems in the original Cyber Kill Chain:

The original cyber kill chain has revolutionized the entire cybersecurity industry. However, most companies thought that security threats only originate from the outside of the organization. Thus, this cyber kill chain doesn’t actually consider any insider threats. Most modern cybersecurity attacks actually originate from insider threats.

For example, most companies think that the attacker will use some viruses or malware for delivering the attack. However, sometimes your own employees can abuse their access controls. They can directly execute the vulnerability form your network. Thus, steps 2, 3, and 4 are irrelevant in this case.

There are a few more problems with the original cyber skill chain. The first few steps can’t be controlled by your IT security team. Thus, they can’t break the chain at the starting point. However, the cyber kill chain was soon updated to address modern threats.

Modern Cyber kill chain:

We can simplify the original cyber kill chain for dealing with modern attacks. The first thing that we can do is combine both the delivery and weaponization steps into an intrusion step. During this step, the attackers will exploit the vulnerabilities that are present in your network.

Also, we need to add a new step. This step will help us in understanding how insiders can actually move in your IT environment. If an attacker has access to privileged accounts, then they can move to other systems. They will gain access to more important accounts. Thus, they can steal more important data.

Attackers will also try to cover their tracks. They will try to confuse the investigation team. You need to seriously consider this step if an attack was malicious. Sometimes data breaches can be accidental in nature. Thus, you can ignore this step in these cases. The attackers will try to block normal systems and users from accessing the data that they are stealing. This is known as DoS or denial of service attack.

Thus, there are a total of 8 steps in this cyber kill chain. You can imagine this cyber kill chain as a complete chain. Many companies think that the attack will be over if an attacker reaches the last step. However, attackers can still hurt your company. Data breaches are the biggest nightmare of modern companies. Thus, you should try to avoid it.

How to break the cyber kill chain?

You can break this cyber kill chain at any point. Most companies are using continuous and proactive monitoring for breaking the chain. You can use Intrusion detection steps for detecting intrusions in your system. If someone is trying to access your sensitive data, then you can immediately stop them.

Sometimes you can even stop the attack at the reconnaissance stage. Make sure that only the important users can access your important data. Also, if they are accessing the file for the first, then they need to provide some kind of code. This will ensure that attackers can’t access the sensitive files stored in your systems.


A cyber kill chain can help you in understanding a complete cyberattack. You can stop an attack by breaking the chain at any point. However, you can’t rely on SIEM solutions or event logs. You should work with an MSP like Bleuwire. Experienced MSPs like Bleuwire will regularly monitor your network for threats. They will find vulnerabilities in your network and fix them. Thus, they will proactively protect your network from attackers. If you need more information regarding IT security services, then you can contact Bleuwire.

Contact us today to learn about Bleuwire™  services and solutions in how we can help your business.

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