7 Layers of Cybersecurity Threats in ISO-OSI Model

If networks are arranged in the seven layers of ISO-OSI, it is easy to see how cybersecurity threats can occur at any layer. These layers can be thought of as the “links” to our metaphorical chain. Data is transferred outward from the user and entered into the network via software running on the Application Layer. The data travels up seven layers to reach its destination, including the Transport, Data-Link, Session and Transport layers. Each layer has its own protocol and other communication standards to ensure its efficient operation. You may be wondering, “Where is the Security layer?” Where does security fit in? The answer is “Yes.”
Imagine a building with seven doors that allow entry. The building is considered secure if all seven doors are locked. If one door is not locked, the entire building will be insecure. It’s that simple. Penetration can occur if the network is not secured at all layers. Data can be compromised. Compromised data can pose a serious threat to your business. According to Inc. Magazine 60% of businesses whose data has been compromised are forced out of business and don’t return.
Many network security providers emphasize the importance and value of multi-layer security. But here’s the truth: security that isn’t effectively and efficiently embedded in every layer of the ISO OSI model, from origin to destination, is vulnerable and ineffective. Security is only as strong as its weakest link.
Cybersecurity threats: Where are they?
Cybersecurity threats exist at every OSI-ISO model layer, starting at Layer 7 – The Application Layer. This is where users start to interact with the network. To create the most comprehensive cybersecurity plan, we must start BEFORE Layer 7 – the Application Layer – and address the greatest vulnerability in the network, the user. Users are more susceptible to costly mistakes than computers and other digital devices that perform the same function every time.
Ransomware is the most prominent malware attack or threat in the cyber world. This is the best example. Fraudsters send out “phishing” emails that look very authentic and seem to be from the same place it claims it is. The email contains a link to click on or an attachment to open. The text offers powerful incentives to encourage the user to click on the link or open the attachment. Once they do, their data is either encrypted or corrupted or stolen. Ransomware is the only way to get your data back.
The attackers know that the user is their best way to gain access.
There are threats at every layer of the ISO OSI model, including:
Application Layer Threats
F5, a security software developer, tells us that there are many types of application layer attacks. These include HTTP floods, SQL injections and SQL injections. Also, cross-site scripting, parameter manipulation, slowloris attacks, and SQL injections. SecurityIntelligence says that the application layer is the most difficult to defend. Complex user input scenarios are often the source of vulnerabilities that are difficult to detect with an intrusion detection signature. This layer is also the most easily accessible and most exposed to the outside. The application must be accessible via Port 80 (HTTPS) or Port 443(HTTPS) in order to function.
Application Monitoring is an essential part of your cybersecurity plan. This is the practice of monitoring software applications using a specific set of technologies, algorithms, and approaches to detect zero-day and application layer attacks (Layer 7). These attacks can be stopped once they are identified and traced back at a specific source.
Present Layer Threats
Malformed SSL requests are the most common threat at this layer. Because it is time-consuming to inspect SSL encryption packets, attackers use SSL tunnel HTTP attacks to target the server.
Consider including options such as offloading SSL from the origin infrastructure, inspecting application traffic for signs or violations of policies at an applications delivery platform (ADP) and inspecting it for signs of attacks traffic. A good ADP will ensure that your traffic is encrypted and forwarded back into the origin infrastructure.
Session Layer Threat
DDoS-attackers exploit an error in a Telnet server on the switch to render Telnet services unusable.
When you are arranging regular maintenance, remind your operators to check with their hardware provider to see if there is a patch or version update that can be applied to fix the vulnerability.
Transport Layer Threats
Network World reports that “Many businesses use Transport Layer Security to protect all communications between their Web servers, browsers, and web servers regardless of whether sensitive data are being transmitted.” TLS is a cryptographic protocol that offers end-to-end communication security over networks. It is widely used for internet communications as well as online transactions. It is an IETF standard that prevents eavesdropping and tampering as well as message forgery. TLS is used in common applications such as Web browsers, instant messaging, voice over IP, and voice over VoIP.
Network Layer Threats
Routers base their decisions on layer 3. The most common network layer threats are information gathering, sniffing and spoofing. Distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS), in which multiple hosts are enlisted, are also common.