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

August 10, 2023


Cloud account takeover is a growing concern for organizations not just here in the St Louis Metro Area, but globally. With employees needing to log into multiple systems and cloud apps, hackers are using various methods to obtain login credentials. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) has been an effective security measure for years, but hackers have developed workarounds, such as push-bombing.

How Does Push-Bombing Work?

When users enable MFA, they typically receive a code or authorization prompt through a push notification via SMS, device popup, or app notification. In push-bombing, hackers exploit this process by repeatedly attempting to log in, flooding the user with multiple push notifications. This barrage of notifications can lead to users mistakenly approving access for the hacker.

Push-bombing is a social engineering attack that aims to confuse and wear down users, tricking them into granting the hacker access to the account. Hackers rely on stolen credentials from phishing attacks or data breaches to initiate push-bombing attacks.

Ways to Combat Push-Bombing at Your Organization

To protect against push-bombing and other threats, organizations should continue using MFA as it remains an effective security measure. However, it is crucial to educate employees about the risks of push-bombing and the importance of being cautious when receiving unexpected push notifications. A company’s internal or Managed IT Service Provider can implement additional security measures, such as monitoring for suspicious login attempts and promoting cybersecurity awareness, can also help mitigate the risks associated with cloud account takeover.

Educate Employees

Employee training or education is crucial to empower them against push-bombing attacks. By providing knowledge beforehand, employees can better protect themselves. Teach them about push-bombing, how it works, and what to do if they receive unexpected MFA notifications. Encourage reporting of such attacks, allowing your Managed IT security team to raise awareness and secure everyone's credentials.

Reduce Business App “Sprawl”

To reduce the risks associated with multiple logins, evaluate the number of cloud-based applications your company uses. Consider consolidating platforms like Microsoft 365 to streamline your cloud environment, enhancing both security and productivity.

Adopt Phishing-Resistant MFA Solutions

Another effective measure is adopting phishing-resistant MFA solutions. These solutions utilize device passkeys or physical security keys for authentication, eliminating the need for push notifications and enhancing security.

Enforce Strong Password Policies

Enforcing strong password policies is essential as well. Encourage practices such as using a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols, avoiding personal information, securely storing passwords, and not reusing them across accounts.

Put in Place an Advanced Identity Management Solution

Implementing an advanced identity management solution can also be beneficial. By utilizing single sign-on and contextual login policies, businesses can enhance security by adding access enforcement flexibility. This includes blocking login attempts from certain geographic areas or during specific times when contextual factors are not 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? Click here to schedule a chat.

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