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Warning Signs Your Network Security is at Risk from the Inside-Out

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The field of network security has expanded to help in addressing the threats associated with cyber-attacks.  Businesses now have multiple options to keep networks safe. 

Companies should be aware that attacks can come from multiple fronts.  No business is completely safe or secure from cyber threats.  And there are growing concerns that the threats come from the inside more than the outside of the company.

Inside Risks

Threats from the Inside are the Most Dangerous

A study from Forrester Research on Understanding the State of Data Security and Privacy indicates that internal threats are becoming the most dangerous risk for businesses.  Internal threats can be inadvertent misuse of data, lack of policy oversight or misinterpretation, or no visibility into network activities.

Find out more and see if your network might be at risk form inside threats. Read the full article by Grant Hatchimonji on PC World: Biggest data security threats come from inside, report says.

Social Media can be a Weakness

Social media can be a crack in an otherwise invulnerable business network.  Casual posts on social media about business hours, special events or upcoming stock sales can compromise a company as much as any cyber-attack.  Additionally, there is an unfortunate reality for businesses where malicious activities can compromise your network security.  Disgruntled employees or pranksters can find security weaknesses and take  advantage of the opportunity.

Read the full article: Stop Security Threats from the Inside First (Part 1) by Gerben Meijer on CloudProviderUSA.

One Click could Compromise Your Network

A recent Cisco Security Report shows the spread of malware is most prevalent using third party advertisements that seem benign on the surface.  Employees click on the advertisement or web site address and the malware is downloaded without even being aware.

For more on this, check out the article on Windstream by Bob Anderson: Is Your Biggest Network Security Threat "Who's Getting In" or "What's Getting Out"?

Outside Risks

Cyber-Crime for Small Businesses

Small businesses are particularly susceptible to cyber-attacks.  The Symantec 2013 Internet Threat Report finds almost one third of all malware attacks are inflicted on companies with 250 employees or less.  Small businesses are more exposed to cyber-attacks because of a lack of enterprise-level security and formalized processes.

But all types of businesses at risk. No business is completely safe from harm.  Large companies can have higher exposure simply because of its advertising or number of locations.  It is crucial that all companies take appropriate steps to shield themselves.

Check out the Biz Tech Magazine article on SMBs are Easy Targets for Cyber Criminals by Dan Tynan to learn more.

Warning Signs

A thorough review of your network security infrastructure should be conducted regularly.  There can also be some indicators that will help you to identify potential network security risks.

  • Increased activity on social media sites
  • Greater number of attempts to access unauthorized web sites
  • Performance issues with your network that are otherwise unexplained
  • Intermittent outages or glitches

Prevention Options

  • Education and policies – sensitive emails and private company correspondence should include privacy statements to avoid distribution to the wrong persons.  Company policies should clearly indicate acceptable network use and what should be avoided, along with any penalties.  Often simply advising that network use is being monitored can prevent threats
  • Upgrade network firmware regularly - review hardware to determine if it should be replaced as new security technology becomes available
  • Monitoring tools – gain visibility into your network through monitoring systems and reports
  • Backup options – maintain a current backup off site for all critical systems
  • Security partners – leverage a knowledgeable network security partner to help you review your options and mitigate any potential risks

Keep your business as safe as possible by identifying all potential threats before they occur.

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Guest Monday, 15 September 2014

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