What Are the Most Common Network Security Threats to Watch Out For?

In the digital age, we do almost everything online or with help from technology. We rely on our devices for both personal and professional use — and we think nothing of entering our personal information into web portals.

But while technology can provide us with ample convenience, it can also increase our privacy risks. You might depend on accessing digital data at work, but criminals are after that access, too. In order to prevent security breaches and data loss, you’ll want to have a full understanding of the network security threats your business might face and what you can do to minimize those threats.

Some of the most common network security threats include…

  • Viruses and Malware: Viruses and malware have been around for decades, but that doesn’t make them any less of a problem. Computer viruses are actually just one type of malware (which is defined as any type of malicious software), but they tend to be the most well-known. They’re designed to spread from one computer to another, often through email attachments or downloaded files. Other types of malware include adware, spyware, Trojan horses, ransomware, and others. They all work a bit differently and have slightly different intentions; adware, for example, is meant to show advertisements in order to make money for the creator of the software. But all of them can harm computer performance — and many can disable security settings, steal or corrupt sensitive data, send spam, or delete the entire hard drive of the computer.
  • Phishing Attacks: Phishing is just one example of what’s called social engineering, which involves the use of deceptive manipulation in an effort to obtain sensitive information used for fraudulent purposes. Specifically, phishing typically includes email or other kinds of messages that contain malicious links. When a recipient clicks on these links, they may install malware (which is used to obtain personal information) or be taken to a website that prompts them to enter personal information. These websites are designed to imitate an official source, like a bank or government agency, and are intended to fool the recipient in handing over usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and more.
  • DoS or DDoS Attacks: DoS and DDoS attacks, short for “denial of service” or “distributed denial of service,” occur when someone purposefully overloads a website’s server so that it’s unable to properly serve its content to legitimate visitors. These attacks are performed by computers and can be executed from a number of different locations all at once. The intent is to forcefully take down a website in a manner that’s often difficult to trace. Often, DDoS attacks actually involve computers that are infected with malware, which is what will allow the attacker to execute this strategy with a large number of machines.
  • Outdated Systems and IoT Vulnerabilities: Network security threats can also emerge when attackers find vulnerabilities in older software or in IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Hackers will often be on the lookout for unpatched software and outdated hardware as a way to get into a network. This is why delaying software updates is never recommended. And while IoT may provide a number of benefits for businesses, keep in mind that connecting all devices to the same online network can come with a lot of risks. Smart devices can easily be hacked, which means your entire network could be vulnerable to a breach.

How to Protect Your Organization From Network Security Threats

The unfortunate truth is that 25% of organizations fail to ever test their disaster recovery system. Even more may be relying on outdated software programs or failing to train their employees on a cyber security policy relating to phishing emails or performing system updates. Your workers may not even be changing their computer passwords regularly. In other words, you may have gaping holes in your network security protocol.

Getting up to speed will take time and expertise, so you need high-quality data security management for businesses. To avoid those doomsday scenarios, you need to make cyber security a priority this year. And we’re here to help. For more information, please get in touch with us today.