It’s easy to fool yourself into thinking your network is mostly protected from common threats. After all, if you have a security team watching out for anomalies, responding to alerts, and using top-quality software to uncover malware attempts and malicious websites, you might be forgiven for thinking you’re okay.
Don’t get too comfy, though. Recent research shows common vulnerabilities still exist inmost networks today. In fact, external bad actors can access 93% of networks, gaining entry to local resources and internal assets in an average of two days.
In this piece, we cover some of the most common vulnerabilities that exist and some network security solutions you can employ to combat them. We’ll discuss:
1. DDoS Attacks
Damaging distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have been around for a long time. But we still see them happening, and they continue to get more powerful and sophisticated. From ransom DDoS attacks aimed at extortion to application-layer attacks that can completely paralyze business operations, each assault exploits vulnerabilities in the target company’s infrastructure.
These attacks cause outages resulting in lost revenue and productivity that can bring a company to its proverbial knees.
Ways to combat this:
Deploy robust anti-DDoS processes from the get-go, such as:
- Limiting the number of login attempts before account lock-out,
- Ensuring an emergency access point is available in the event of an attack,
- Storing all business-critical applications and data in the cloud,
- Disabling any unused network services that could become infiltration points,
- Setting up data quotas and disk partitions to help limit the impact of an attack.
Combining these processes with existing network security solutions and robust firewall configurations makes it much more difficult for anyone to launch a DDoS attack against you.
2. Video Hacking
As risks mount to the safety of organizations like schools, hospitals, and business premises, among others, video surveillance has become an important security feature. At the same time, the use of video conferencing has surged in healthcare and business environments.
The integrity and confidentiality of video footage and data are vital factors in providing a record of events for purposes ranging from court cases to company mergers and acquisitions.
Video platforms aren’t always built according to the highest security standards, though, and many are vulnerable to the theft of personally identifiable information (PII), intellectual property (IP), or access to confidential recordings. Deloitte recently reported that over a three-month period, more than half a million people were impacted by the theft of video data stolen and sold on the dark web.
Ways to combat this:
Every company using video data needs to take a layered approach to ensure adequate network security solutions. Razberi’s automated cybersecurity products prevent accessing data with unauthorized devices, isolate camera networks, and enable users to set up flexible, real-time alert protocols that suit the industry and environment. These allow you to detect threats early, secure your appliance architecture, and nip efforts to violate your security in the bud.
3. Social Engineering
If there’s one thing you can say for humanity, it’s this: there’s no shortage of ingenuity. Social engineering, or the art of manipulating people to perform harmful actions, is alive and well.
Recently, a group of youths in India tricked sports bettors in Russia into betting on a fake cricket tournament. They streamed bogus matches online for two weeks, took bets over Telegram, and then disappeared with the money. This might sound amusing, but some of the ways this type of social engineering can become a network vulnerability include:
Phishing: A targeted, email-based scam that usually contains a malicious link or attachment.
Baiting: When a fraudster tricks employees into connecting a malware-infected item such as a USB drive to the company network, believing it to contain information of value.
Quid Pro Quo: When perpetrators pretend to be trusted entities such as customer support executives or other “experts” and get staff to provide them with confidential data under false pretenses.
Ways to combat this:
Education is a critical factor in preventing social engineering attacks. We’ve all seen the movies where a con artist pretends to be someone in authority to get PII on his target from an unsuspecting employee. Don’t let that happen in your organization. Encourage your employees to ask questions, request identification, and report suspicious incidents immediately.
Roll out multi-factor authentication protocols, despite their perceived “hassle” factor, and deploy cybersecurity tools like anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-phishing software, and programs that monitor user credentials, among others. Make sure you have reliable backups of your data and a disaster recovery plan that encompasses all scenarios.
These network security solutions will help you minimize the risk of social engineering or contain the damage if it occurs.
4. Faulty Firewall Configurations
It’s a common misconception that having a firewall can protect you from all threats. The truth is, research by Gartner shows misconfiguration caused 95% of all firewall breaches in 2016. This percentage was projected to grow to 99% by 2025. Firewall misconfigurations can cause several significant problems, including:
- Violation of PCI standards, privacy regulations, and company policies leading to fines and litigation for non-compliance.
- Unintended access for bad actors, resulting in breaches, data loss, and stolen or ransomed intellectual property.
- Unplanned outages, causing loss of revenue, poor customer experience, and productivity downtimes.
Ways to combat this:
Installing a next-generation firewall can help you block unwanted traffic by default, monitor user access, and conduct regular audits.
When you limit VPN access, deny unused network services, flag weak passwords, and restrict camera access to whitelisted IP addresses, you reduce risk and minimize the opportunity for human error and social engineering activities.
A Host of Security Threats
If these were the only vulnerabilities to guard against, your job would be a bed of roses. As it is, there’s a whole host of other threats to your network out there, including SQL injection, insecure IoT devices, and cross-site scripting.
Many of these can be addressed by automating your cybersecurity with products that monitor system health, defend against attacks, warn you in real-time of suspicious activity, and block access when necessary.
Click the button below to learn more about how to beef up your network security solutions by automating your cyber security.