Network security is an increasingly pressing problem for UK businesses. Last year, just under half of all UK businesses identified either a network breach or attack, according to the Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017. This is an issue that is no longer purely targeted at large organisations – the value of data in every business has made targets of all enterprises, large and small. When it comes to ensuring network security, an awareness of the potential threats is key.
1. The human factor
People have a big part to play in network security failings – often entirely unintentionally. Clicking on malicious links or downloads can be a single, two-second mistake that can cost a business big in terms of downtime, data loss and reputational damage. However, the people in the business can also be the best protection for network security – the key is to ensure that awareness levels are high and everyone is trained to spot and react to threats.
2. Device use
Increasingly more flexible and agile working environments have broadened the number of devices that could be connecting to a business network. From employees’ own smart phones through to work-issued laptops, each one represents a new threat to network security. A single infected device, for example, could go on to infect an entire network with the same malware once connected. There are also risks from the loss of devices containing essential data and access information.
3. Cyber attack
Cyber attack can take many different forms. In 2017, 72% of businesses that identified a breach or attack against their network found that it had come from phishing emails. For 33% it was viruses or malware and 17% had come from ransomware. These represent some of the most pressing threats to network security, particularly as the volume of attacks using these methods continues to increase. Disguised malware or ransomware is becoming increasingly more convincing and all it takes is a single click on the wrong link or attachment to release it into the network. For every business, large or small, these are some of the biggest threats to network security that exist today.
4. A lack of monitoring
The key to dealing with threats to network security is a swift response. Damage can be difficult to unpick if it has gone unnoticed and been left for some time. Where there is no network monitoring in place the signs of attack or a successful breach may be difficult to spot until they get to a critical point. This can result in the kind of downtime that brings operations to a grinding half and leaves great data loss exposure.
5. Poor IT infrastructure awareness
A regular audit of current IT infrastructure plays a crucial role in ensuring ongoing network security but is also something that is often overlooked. An IT audit provides the opportunity to identify problem areas and take steps to remedy points of vulnerability, which otherwise go unnoticed until they are exploited.
If you’d like to find out more about how we could help improve your network security please get in touch with Building Zones today.