Growing Network Security Threats
The new year (and the new decade, as a matter of fact) is sure to bring with it an explosion of internet-connected devices and generally interconnected “smart” workplaces. Naturally, this increases the amount of opportunity for malicious actors to attack these systems. Cybersecurity solution providers have become more adept at addressing these threats, but it is important to know what is out there so you can better avoid the risk.
More Common Than Ever Before
As computers, the internet, and connected devices have become more ingrained into professional operations and culture over the decades, the risk of cyberattacks, hacks, and data loss has done nothing but grown more advanced and complex. This trend shows no signs of slowing down in the coming year.
Network security issues can be addressed by professionals who know the evolving landscape. Sure, anti-virus software is better than nothing, but it is no substitute for a complete cybersecurity solution like one that Virtual Technologies Group can provide. Below, you will find three common threats and attack vectors that bad actors could use to steal your data or slow down your operations.
By no means is this a complete list of network security threats, but hopefully this introduction will at least lead to a phone call to get your systems checked out by a managed security provider.
Distributed Denial of Service Attacks
A distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attack works by flooding a website or any network with a barrage of traffic. This slows the network down and exposes vulnerabilities that can be leveraged to steal data. DDoS attacks have been common for years, but with companies becoming more reliant on additional devices and IoT products, attack vectors will only continue to multiply.
However, there are ways to mitigate this risk. Your network doesn’t need to be an open frontier for all devices to use as much bandwidth as they want. A carefully constructed and configured network will regulate traffic to maintain optimal efficiency within your organization while reducing the possibility of a DDoS attack being effective.
Malware and the Cloud
Storing data and managing accounts housed off-premises have benefits that businesses couldn’t dream of even a few years ago. Cloud services have transformed the way we do business and manage organizations. However, as we’ve become more interconnected with each other, network security issues have cropped up.
How does malware spread in a network? The practical answer is that it spreads through any vulnerable opening it can and then, once inside with granted access, may have no trouble wreaking whatever havoc it was designed for. It might be difficult to hack directly into a system without some sort of login information, but that information could be easy to attain without proper training and education. An educated staff is your first line of defense against any attack.
Phishing and Spearphishing Attacks
The goal of these attacks is to exploit the smallest crack in your organization’s cyber defenses. In a phishing attack, a hacker may send a (usually conspicuous) email to a large group of people hoping that someone downloads an attachment or clicks a link. In a spearphishing scheme, a customized message may be crafted to impersonate a trusted individual in the company or otherwise deceive someone specific.
Either way, once compromising information (such as login credentials) is provided, a hacker will have easy access to critical systems. Often, once an email account has been hacked, it can be used to deceive other people in the organization. After all, why wouldn’t you trust the coworker a few desks over? If anything seems out of place in an email or it contains anything unexpected, don’t proceed until you verify its contents.
Protecting your organization from threats is an ever-evolving process. Virtual Technologies Group can offer peace of mind.
Ransomware and How to Spot it
Ransomware presents a two-pronged threat to your organization. A specific variety of malware, ransomware is designed to hold your system hostage until some form of payment is made to the attacker, usually in the form of Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. The easiest way to mitigate the threat of a ransomware attack is to avoid it in the first place. Ransomware is often carried in phishing attacks, for example, and a well-trained staff and clear organizational protocols are invaluable.
We’ll talk more about ransomware in a future post, but just remember that even if the attack isn’t successful and no data is stolen, the downtime could be disastrous.
Managed Network Security for Your Organization
Virtual Technologies Group is on a mission to protect companies from malicious attacks, data loss, and cybercrime, which is why we offer a comprehensive managed security plan that is customized for our clients’ particular needs. Contact us today to learn more and to have your system looked at by our expert team!