Deception technology is a category of security tools and techniques that is designed to prevent an attacker who has already entered the network from doing damage. The technology uses decoys to misdirect the attacker and delay or prevent him from going deeper into the network and reaching his intended target.
Deception technology products work by distributing deception decoys that mimic genuine IT assets throughout the network. The decoys run either a real or emulated operating system (OS) and provide services that are designed to trick the attacker into thinking he has found a way to steal credentials or escalate privileges. In reality, however, the attacker has simply been lured into scanning or attacking a decoy, which then notifies a special dedicated server called an engagement server or a deception server. Correlation engines within the deception server identify which decoy the attacker has scanned or tried to attack and what attack vectors he used.
Deception technology is intended to enhance rather than replace the other security products an organization uses. The technology is not reliant upon attack signatures, which makes it extremely effective for gaining real-time visibility into an attack that has bypassed all other prevention efforts. This capability enhances the tasks that the organization’s regular security information and event management (SIEM) system carries out, ensuring that infected devices are identified and quarantined as quickly as possible.
Because deception technology is designed to detect inside-the-network threats and their lateral movement, alerts are always event-driven and automatically supported by forensics that can be analyzed with other log data from the organization’s SIEM system should the need arise. Should even more information be required during an attack, some advanced deception systems can even open communications with the attacker’s command and control (C&C) server to learn more about the attacker’s methods and the tools he is using.