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Incorporating Network Security Tools is Just the Beginning:
In this era of modernization, organizations are increasingly reliant upon the internet and computer systems for their operations’ smooth and continuous functions. Computerization has presented companies with innumerable advantages, not least saving precious time and the reduced hassle of managing and storing work papers and files.
However, storing data electronically and in the cloud, does not mean that businesses are now immune to losing it. In fact, that threat has increased with increased technologies used to breach those systems. Even worse than losing this intel would be losing it to someone with ulterior motives and evil intentions.
Many companies and even small businesses are investing heavily in network security services to minimize this threat and protect their business and employees. This is a good start, but most corporations make the grave mistake of considering that it is enough.
This article will discuss why companies continue to experience security failures, despite seemingly having the requisite network security in place.
1) Not Buying the Right Tools
With network security tools, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ rule. You must clearly define the problem, which the tool is meant to address. If you cannot determine this problem, you will not know your requirements and, subsequently, the kind of network security you are looking for. The result? You will end up spending money on a highly expensive and sophisticated set of armories, but which will prove to be almost entirely useless for your system.
For instance, you decide to get the most up-to-date firewall. Even though it might help you with some issues, it ma not cover your specific applications without complex configurations.
As any security consulting firm will tell you, these attacks, despite being common and dangerous, will rarely – if ever – be mitigated by firewalls. Instead, you will need a solution designed specifically to deal with such threats.
2) Not Changing the Default Manufacturing Configurations
Passwords, for instance, are commonly used for authentication and often act as the sole barrier keeping cyber-criminals from accessing your personal, sensitive information. To streamline the setup process, some security companies may install your security tools with default passwords. However, these default passwords are readily available online – few organizations know this fact or realize its gravity.
So, to give your security tools a better chance of performing their functions, it is vital that you change passwords – and other settings – from the default ones that are factory-set. In our example of passwords, change them to a combination which is strong, unique, and hard to guess. More importantly, change them often.
3) Not Using Network Access Controls (NAC)
Most reliable firewalls have a NAC built in. These are typically more advanced and require custom configurations and optimization setups. Through an NAC, an organization can limit access to their network resources. It was traditionally employed only by major financial institutions, companies requiring high levels of security, and some educational institutions. These days, though, NAC systems are being extensively used by all kinds of organizations.
NAC systems are useful for companies of any size. However, due to the complexity of these systems, most small business do not take advantage of them. Getting IT services to implement an NAC system will allow you to protect your organizations from compromised or rogue devices, giving you the benefits of device visibility, greater control over your data, and even legal compliance.
4) Failure to Recognize Encryption Requirements for Compliance
PCI (Payment Card Industry) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) are two of the most widely known but also difficult sets of requirements to comply with. Reasons for failure to comply with might include unsecured network architecture, lack of network segmentation, poor data encryption, misaligned basic configurations, inadequate staff training, lack of physical security, and no or ineffective policies and procedures.
Many companies, to prevent the cost and effort associated with compliance, keep delaying the process. However, what such companies fail to realize is that delaying just increases their risk of security breaches, business disruptions, and productivity erosion. The subsequent losses from these will far exceed the amount of time and money required for a comprehensive compliance program. Moreover, failure to comply also leaves you open to punishments, including fines, penalties, and even civil and class-action lawsuits.
5) Failure to Segment Networks
As mentioned above, one of the HIPAA and PCI requirements is sufficient network segmentation. Basically, segmenting a network means splitting a more extensive network into segments of smaller systems. A network can be separated either virtually or physically, with either approach generating similar results. By restricting communication across your network, you are effectively curtailing the number of available attack options.
Alongside enhancing security, network segmentation also provides a bunch of other benefits. These include improved access control (limiting access between segments), better monitoring (logging events, observing denied and allowed internal connections, detecting suspicious behavior), higher performance levels (through minimal local traffic), and more effective containment (the effects of a network issue is restricted to the localized subnet).
6) Not Building the Network for Redundancy and Disaster Recovery
Technology systems cannot function without software, hardware, and data connectivity. The absence of even one of these components might cause the entire system to halt. Hence, IT support service departments should come up with recovery strategies that focus on the following elements:
- Computer room ecosystem (having a secure computer room, complete with backup supply and climate control).
- Hardware (servers, networks, laptops and desktop computers, peripherals, and wireless devices).
- Connectivity (wireless, cable, fiber, etc.).
- Software applications (ERP, CRM, Web, E-mail, Messaging, etc.).
- Restoration of data.
Covering All Your Bases:
Like we mentioned at the start, merely getting network security tools is not good enough. Not only do you need to ensure that the devices are right for you, but also that the business environment and culture complement a high level of network security. Being one of the premium Nevada IT Security Service providers, we help businesses enhance their system security. For a free consultation about the present status of your corporation’s network security and how you can improve it, feel free to give us a call.
The reliance upon computer systems and technology has done us a lot of good – from saving time to saving office space. However, the one not-so-silver lining of computerization is the daunting, perpetual, and ever-increasing extent of cybersecurity threats.
With the newer, more complex exploits, coupled with some of the more classical threat tactics, IT security consulting firms are going to have their hands full in the coming years. This article discusses the four main cybersecurity threats that all organizations and network security consulting firms should be prepared for.
Let us begin with one of the oldest tricks in the book. A kind of social engineering ambush, phishing involves sending out apparently trusted emails, or even websites or texts to unsuspecting victims.
However, these seemingly genuine sources are quite the opposite and operate with the intent of obtaining sensitive personal information of their recipients. This personal information could include work login credentials, credit card information, bank account information, and passwords to other online accounts.
What makes phishing so hazardous and popular among cyber-criminals is the technique’s ease and effectiveness. Without spending much time or effort, attackers can trick any worker into surrendering their access credentials, which makes disrupting your computer system a walk in the park.
Since phishing, if successful, can cause a tremendous amount of damage very quickly, it is best to consult premium network security consulting services to find out ways to prevent a phishing attack in the first place.
2) Bogus Websites
Bogus websites or ‘pharming’ works by redirecting website traffic to another, fake website run by the attacker. The intent, just like with phishing, is usually to collect sensitive user data. However, pharming is also executed to install malware or bugs on the victims’ computer systems. An attacker will probably create a website that looks identical to that of a digital banking or e-commerce service to entice the victim to give up credentials, such as credit card details.
Pharming assaults work in two ways – the attacker either compromises your machine and alters the local host file or redirects website traffic by either poisoning the DNS or exploiting its server vulnerabilities. The latter of these two methods is more prevalent among cyber-criminals since it is far more difficult for victims to defend than the former.
3) Fake Advertisements
Fake advertisements are fake in the sense that they mislead or ‘bait’ consumers. This misleading impression could be created by the business’ advertising, price, promotion, statement, quotation, or any other representation.
Even if the above happens without intent on the advertiser’s part, it is still considered to be illegal. It is important to note that fake or misleading advertisement is different from ‘puffery,’ which is a massively exaggerated claim about a service or product and is next to impossible to be considered valid. An example of puffery would be a footwear business claiming to produce the ‘best footwear across the globe.’
False advertising is done in a number of ways, the most common of which include ‘hiding’ some information in fine print, executing false comparative advertising, bait advertising, or making unsubstantiated claims, such as those of manufacturing ‘green’ or ‘environmentally-friendly’ products.
An example of fake advertisement would be a jewelry store promoting a ‘previously’ $300 watch as ‘now’ being available for a ‘promotional price’ of $200 – when in reality, the store never priced the watch at $300 in the first place.
4) Phony Phone Calls and Texts
‘Smishing’ is the more modern counterpart of the good-old ‘phishing.’ The advent – and subsequent rise – of smartphones was accompanied by an equal decline in the popularity of emails. The increase of communication through text, Facebook, and WhatsApp messages has given cyber-criminals a much broader playing field with the possibility of unparalleled high rewards.
After accessing dark-web databases to access phone numbers, attackers use various messaging platforms to send numerous types of scam offers and links. The most common type of texts involve links that automatically download malware, designed to acquire all kinds of personal and other data illegally.
Compared to your PC, your smartphone contains a far more significant amount of sensitive personal information, such as your contact list or banking credentials; it can even allow hackers to track your every move and location.
In the world of automated text messages, unaware victims find it increasingly difficult to distinguish between a legit text and a phony one. Sometimes, all you need to do to put yourself in harm’s way is to send a simple reply to a fake message that seems no different than a genuine one.
A second tactic – a vintage page out of the phishing manual – is to make calls to potential victims while acting as representatives of established and legitimate institutions. During tax season, for instance, scammers will pose as tax authorities and ‘inform’ the user about a pending tax refund, which cannot go through until the user provides some extra information. By obtaining such financial information, these scammers then try to steal users’ money.
Protect Yourself Against Cybersecurity Fraud
The list of cybersecurity threats discussed above is by no means exhaustive. Other forms of attack include asynchronous procedure calls, ransomware attacks, IoT attacks, and whatnot. Unfortunately, with the ever-increasing influence of technology on almost every one of our life’s areas, the potential – and available means – for cyber-crime are unprecedented.
However, this does not mean that you can do nothing about these attacks except hope and pray that the attackers spare your organization. There are several ways you can secure your business against cyber threats.
Mult-T-Tech provides the best and most comprehensive IT support that Las Vegas has to offer. Our services include providing top-tier protection against cyber-crimes and computer fraud.
If you want to know more about how using Mult-T-Tech Security Services will help prevent and train your staff on how to avoid security problems, feel free to contact us today for a detailed consultation.
Time to get prepared for the rest of 2019 – So we built this small business Security and System Check-Up special $375. Now $225, 40% discounted offer $150 savings for new customers. [Read more…] about August 2019 – Business Office Security Checkup