Network security continues to be at the forefront of Bay Area businesses. The threats posed to an Information Technology (IT) network are well known – there’s a new story daily of malware or hackers tampering with or destroying data. Most companies make an effort to prevent such attacks on their IT infrastructure, but many, if not most, don’t do enough.
Here are some common mistakes companies make when it comes to network security:
Failure to Plug All the Holes
It may be true that most companies with a network connected to the internet have some sort of firewall. But how carefully was that device (or software) chosen and how was it configured? Your choice of the firewall should be more than a call to your internet service provider. With so many choices, it can become difficult to wade through the separate vendors. There are thousands of logical ports through which a hacker could gain access to the network, are they all protected? These are the questions you will need to ask yourself as a tech-savvy individual.
The network edge is not the only attack vector. Malware can breach the network via email, a USB port or through an infected website. A firewall alone cannot prevent all threats from entering your network.
Failure to Build Security into the Corporate Culture
The old saying is, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Similarly, network security is only as strong as its weakest point. Systems and devices can help, but unwitting employees can expose the network to attack, and in many cases, accidentally launch the malware. Having a good Security Policy is important. Enforcing it, and making sure everyone from the boardroom to the mailroom follows it is even more important. Employees should be trained in how to recognize common email scams.
Keys to Network Security
IT network security is critical and requires an IT consultant with up-to-date experience in all the ways business networks can be attacked from outside sources. Malware, hackers and other cyber attackers present serious risks to your system. Network security demands a robust plan for prevention of attacks and what to do when attacks occur. Corporate culture can be part of the problem or part of the solution.
Failure to Assess and Update Security Measures
Technology changes occur at an accelerated rate. How can the firewall that was installed three years ago be effective against the latest methods and technologies used by cybercriminals? The technology within the company changes, as does the personnel. These create a lack of continuity which isn't scalable in any fashion
Regular assessments of the network’s security, along with reviews of the corporate Security Policy, and continued education for the staff, is necessary to stay as far ahead of the “bad guys” as possible. They’re not standing still, so you can’t afford to, either.
It’s wise to have a third party conduct security assessments (some industries even require it), and an IT consultant can help you create a workable plan to bolster your network’s protection against attack and keep it up to date.