Defending against networkless attacks

In our rapidly evolving digital age, businesses are increasingly turning to cloud applications and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms to drive innovation, streamline operations, and enhance efficiency. However, this paradigm shift has inadvertently opened up new avenues for cyber attackers, who are now exploiting what we call “networkless” attacks to target cloud-based identities and applications. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the implications of this trend and explore how businesses can fortify their defenses.

The Cloud Shift and Its Security Implications

The move towards SaaS and cloud services has been nothing short of transformative. Companies across various industries are adopting hundreds or even thousands of applications to facilitate daily operations, collaboration, and data management. While this transformation offers scalability, convenience, and cost savings, it also introduces security vulnerabilities. Each cloud app can potentially serve as an entry point for attackers, and the interconnectedness of these services means that a breach in one can have a ripple effect across the entire ecosystem.

Why Digital Identities Matter More Than Ever

As traditional network perimeters become obsolete, digital identities emerge as the frontline in cybersecurity. These identities—whether they belong to employees, partners, or customers—grant access to various cloud services, databases, and critical resources. They are prime targets for cybercriminals seeking unauthorized access, data theft, or disruption of business operations. The challenge lies in securing a vast number of identities spread across different platforms, each with its unique security protocols.

Exploiting Cloud Identity Vulnerabilities

Networkless attacks represent a paradigm shift in cyber threats. Unlike traditional attacks that focus on breaching network perimeters, networkless attacks bypass physical endpoints and directly target digital identities. Here are some notable techniques used by cybercriminals:

  • AiTM Phishing (Artificial Intelligence Targeted Messaging Phishing) In AiTM phishing, attackers leverage AI-generated messages to craft highly convincing phishing emails. These messages mimic legitimate communication, making it challenging for users to discern between real and fake requests. By tricking users into revealing their credentials or clicking malicious links, attackers gain unauthorized access.
  • SAMLjacking (Security Assertion Markup Language Hijacking) SAML is a standard protocol used for single sign-on (SSO) authentication. In SAMLjacking attacks, adversaries intercept SAML tokens exchanged during authentication processes. By stealing these tokens, they can impersonate legitimate users and access cloud services without triggering traditional security alarms.

Bridging the Security Gap

Traditional security measures like Endpoint Protection systems and firewalls are less effective against these modern threats. So, what can businesses do to protect their digital identities and cloud assets?

    • Zero Trust Model Adopt a zero-trust approach, where trust is never assumed based on network location or user role. Continuously verify identities and devices, regardless of their origin. Implement granular access controls and least-privilege principles.
    • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Enforce MFA for all users accessing cloud services. Even if an attacker steals credentials, MFA adds an extra layer of protection by requiring a second form of authentication (such as a text message or biometric scan).
    • Behavioral Analytics Leverage behavioral analytics tools to detect anomalies in user behavior. Unusual login times, access patterns, or device changes can trigger alerts, allowing security teams to investigate potential threats.
    • Advanced IAM Solutions Invest in robust IAM solutions that provide centralized identity management, automated provisioning, and continuous monitoring. These solutions help prevent unauthorized access and streamline identity governance.


As networkless attacks continue to evolve, businesses—especially those in the UK—must stay vigilant and adapt their security strategies. By understanding the vulnerabilities associated with digital identities and cloud services, and by implementing proactive measures, organizations can safeguard their assets in this cloud-centric era. Remember, it’s not just about protecting data; it’s about securing the very fabric of our interconnected digital world. Stay informed, stay secure!