It is no doubt that the internet has significantly revolutionized the information technology sector of every business in some way. Enhancing communications, improving access to data from anywhere and providing powerful purchasing options are but a few of the advantages this technology provides. And while this miracle of a technology has played huge roles in leaping forward, it has also come with a price. IT security issues. While perhaps the least favorite cost discussion for the CFO of any company, it is no doubt that technology drives the bottom line to your organization. Keeping that technology secured and ensuring its safety for the future is an ongoing battle. To help you manage this, we have created the top five security issues that we bet your organization is exposed to in some manner.
Don’t believe us? Let’s take a look and see.
It may be a commonly known topic, and perhaps a boring one to most, but all operating systems have vulnerabilities which can easily be exploited by attackers. Major providers of operating systems do issue security updates, and these should be reviewed and patched to your environment once appropriate. Your IT team should have a schedule that keeps you on track and can show what updates have been done to each system. Be sure to test and verify an update before installing it. Often patches can cause unforeseen problems that were unintended; programmers are human too.
2. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Prevention
DDoS attacks are unfortunately a common occurrence in today’s infrastructure landscape. In this type of attack, the attackers flood requests to susceptible IP address and effectively take them offline by overwhelming them with data. Not only do these types of attacks take the system down, but they cost organization precious time and often leave them exposed during the process. DDoS attacks are among the most popular tactics hackers have used to gain access to private information in leaks we have seen in the news in 2015 and 2016.
Defending yourself from DDoS attacks takes several items working together for the best results. A business class firewall with DDoS-specific options and a solid business malware protection package is a must, and the most basic form, of preventing DDoS attacks. However, the best protection from these types of attacks is managed monitoring and active reporting to a proactive IT security team, who can react once a DDoS attack starts. Remember that no network is ever 100% secured, and proactive management is always your best form of protection
3. Prevention of Data Loss
Data is the heart of your network’s purpose and protecting access to it, as well as keeping it securely backed up, must be at the top of your IT department’s regular to-do list.
Usually, an attacker who breaches your network is there to gain access to the data stored within, and to leave without you ever knowing they were there. Take the time to monitor who accesses your critical data in your environment and setup notifications when unauthorized access happens. Proactive alerting and actions can prevent a break in access from becoming a breach in company property.
Always keep regular backups of your data in case of a loss. Always store your backups in a secure location and encrypt them.
Often overlooked by IT is the fact that backups are a complete replica of your environment in one neat package. Do not let them fall into the wrong hands, and keep them safe!
4. Management of Vulnerabilities
Vulnerabilities lay in many forms in a company. While applications and product hardware contain vulnerabilities, your biggest vulnerability is likely your employees. The applications used in your environment are easy enough to correct with software updates and vendors can patch hardware vulnerabilities as they are discovered. However, you need to protect your company data and systems by ensuring that you have an Acceptable Use Policy, and enforce the proper level of active monitoring and management of your data. Nothing can ruin a CEO’s day like having his client list stolen or a competitor gaining access to information from a disgruntled employee.
5. Human Error
The fact is that all systems and environments suffer from the greatest threat to your security of all, human error. Poor infrastructure design, improper use of hardware, bad planning, and shortcuts to software and hardware all lead to some vulnerability issues to your business and its data. IT is no longer an afterthought in today’s fast-paced technology-driven environments. Your competitors and your clients expect the most of out technology, and you should too.
If you haven’t done so within the last 18 months, do yourself a favor and have a professional security audit. Often the results are eye opening and will at the least show you your exposures.
Critical IT security issues are frequently overlooked until it is too late. Consider Ashley Madison, Anthem, Target, and even our own FBI who have been attacked and suffered not only reputation damage, but lost critical data to the hands of those who knew their security flaws better than they did.
Don’t make the same mistake and end up on the front page of next week’s news in your neck of the woods. Take some action today and get a full security audit to know your vulnerabilities and how to fix them.