Cyberthreats are becoming more dangerous as hackers devise new methods to scam individuals and businesses out of their money and sensitive data. Security software designed to prevent today's attacks may be obsolete against more advanced threats tomorrow. To mitigate the risks, you need a comprehensive security strategy.
But to create one, you must first understand the biggest threats to your network security. Here are the most alarming threats to watch out for:
#1. Internal staff
One of the biggest threats to your network security is your employees. This includes current employees who fall for online scams and cyberattacks, and disgruntled former staffers looking to sabotage your operations.
The former is often the culprit of a network security breach. According to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, 93% of breaches were caused by phishing, an email-based attack that manipulates victims into giving away personal information or installing malware. Companies are more likely to get breached by these kinds of attacks compared to software vulnerabilities.
Unwitting employees may also jeopardize network security by making simple mistakes such as visiting unsafe websites, sharing login credentials with others, plugging in compromised USB flash drives, and bringing their personal devices to work. All of these issues are a result of one major problem in the workplace: poor cybersecurity training.
To minimize risks from insider threats you must:
- Establish file access privileges
Restricting users' access to only the documents they need to do their job dramatically reduces the chances of insider threats. You can take advantage of Azure Information Protection (AIP), which classifies data based on sensitivity so admins can easily control access privileges.
Policies should also prevent employees from plugging in personal flash drives to make sure the network is safe from USB-borne attacks.
- Provide regular cybersecurity training
An informed employee who knows about the latest threats is less likely to fall victim to phishing and other cyberattacks. Perform cybersecurity exercises in the office, such as a simulation of a real phishing attempt. Observe how employees will react to the sent email, and tailor your training material according to your findings.
- Monitor outgoing employees
Create a checklist of employees who are no longer connected with your company and decommission all their accounts and devices. This way, rogue ex-employees won't be able to sabotage your network.
#2. Mobile devices
Personal smartphones, laptops, and tablets are now viable alternatives to getting work done in the office. However, these devices aren’t set up to protect confidential company information. If an employee accesses company data on an unsecured device, a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack can get a hold of said data.
As such, it’s important to implement an effective mobile device management (MDM) policy, which should let you:
- Set password guidelines
- Configure virtual private networks (VPNs)
- Disable certain hardware features
- Remotely wipe devices
- Ban jailbroken and rooted gadgets
It’s also a smart idea to have a database of all mobile devices registered to your network. This makes it easier to track who can access your data.
#3. Unpatched security vulnerabilities
Another way cybercriminals can infiltrate your network is by exploiting known security bugs in your software programs. Software companies often release hotfixes for these to protect customers from cyberattacks.
Many users often dismiss these patches because they're busy doing work. But by failing to install them, they are exposing themselves even more to cyberattacks.
This is exactly how the WannaCry attack was able to infect computers around the world. Many users were still using the unsupported Windows XP operating system, enabling WannaCry to exploit a fundamental flaw and spread to thousands of corporate networks around the world.
The best way to mitigate cyberattacks is to implement a regular patching schedule. All applications installed on your network should be checked for updates at least once every few weeks.
If a program is unsupported by developers, you may want to uninstall it from your systems and find a newer, more secure version. This might be a significant investment, but this is just a fraction of the cost compared to what you could spend recovering from a cyberattack.
These security threats put your business in a vulnerable position, making it easy for cybercriminals to infiltrate your networks. At Binatech, we offer an extensive network security solution that will safeguard your business from malware, unauthorized access, software vulnerabilities, and so much more. Secure your network by calling us today.