Network security and cybersecurity are foundational elements of any business’s IT strategy. Companies must protect themselves online so they can focus on what they need to do to grow. Once a network security weakness is exploited, companies find themselves hacked, with data stolen, or locked out of their own computers due to a cyberattack. Even if a company has excellent managed IT services from an IT company with a strong network security strategy, it is best to be aware of the many types of threats a company could face. Being prepared and aware is necessary whether you are attempting to prevent a network security breach from ever happening or are responding to an active attack on your business. Here are some common threats everyone working with online technology should watch out for:
- Phishing Attacks. Phishing attacks are far from a new threat to network security. For years, bad actors have used phishing to trick unwitting users into giving them personal and professional information. Phishing is when an attacker sends an e-mail or another message pretending to be a legitimate party who needs information or needs a user to click on a specific link. One example would be someone creating a fake e-mail to appear to be Netflix asking for users to reset their password, but the link provided is instead malicious and infects the user’s hardware. Avoiding phishing attacks is easy for network security professionals who know exactly what to look out for, but other employees also need to be aware and up to date on what types of phishing attacks they could fall prey to at work. All it takes is one employee’s mistake to put the entire company’s network security at risk.
- “Internet of Things” Based Attacks. Smart devices have been common in people’s homes for years now. Smart speakers like Alexa and Google Home connect to things such as thermostats, lights, and televisions. While these internet connected devices are a great convenience, they often have weaker network security than traditional computing devices. While these devices are less common (but not unheard of) at the office, many businesses now have work-at-home policies. While working at home, employees will often be connected to the same wireless network as these connected “Internet of Things” devices. The weaker network security on these devices leaves an opening for attackers to access business files by hacking these devices and pivoting off them to access business data on the network. Businesses need to be aware of these risks and put extra network security precautions in place.
- Complacency Regarding Security Patches and Updates. While the network security risks that most people worry about are more direct- hackers, DDoS attacks, malware, etc.- one of the biggest risks facing companies is simple complacence. Keeping every piece of software a company uses or accesses up to date with the latest network security patches sounds easy at first, but the sheer number of updates that occur often means a few patches slip through the cracks. Missing one key security patch on one piece of software can lead to important data being compromised if an organization is not careful. Having a dedicated managed IT services team that handles a business’s network security full-time can help to mitigate this risk.
Having robust network security means more than just having a few antivirus protections in place. Businesses need to be thinking about all aspects of their cybersecurity to keep their company safe from all types of cyberattacks. If your business wants to talk about the ways it can improve its network security, reach out to us today.