10 Hidden IT Risks
What is your network hiding?
Today, it’s almost impossible to imagine a successful business without a well-functioning IT infrastructure. Data is constantly being transmitted across networks and as such it needs to be properly secured – a process that can sometimes seem monolithic. With so much needing to be done, we’ve noticed hidden risks that seem to appear in even the most protected networks. We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 most dangerous and overlooked IT risks below.
10. Bring your own security risk
With every employee now carrying a smartphone, businesses are quick to incorporate BYOD (bring your own device) programs within their networks. While these programs have the capability to improve productivity and allow for access to information from any location. Unfortunately, these devices are unmoderated, and the amount of smartphone malware in the world is only increasing. Of businesses actively using mobile devices, only 50% say they have encryption control and can remotely wipe a device in case of loss or theft.
9. Access control….control
In any network, access control is quintessential to protect data and allow for accurate security logs to be created. With proper configuration, data is only accessible to authorized users and not even visible to unauthorized users. When was the last time you verified proper access list function?
8. Let me guess your password
One of the largest spread and greatest security risks plaguing even the highest-tier corporations is the usage of weak passwords. Enterprises using low-strength password open their networks to any malicious person or software. And of the companies that do have strong passwords, they haven’t been changed in months – if not years. One weak administrator or upper-level user could create a gaping hole in your network security. So, when was the last time you checked your business’ passwords?
7. Disaster is knocking, how do you answer?
If your server or network were to be destroyed and/or rendered useless, how much damage would this cause? Of businesses that experience a disaster, 40 percent never reopen their doors and 25 percent will be gone within a year. The risk of permanent data loss is real, and only a well developed and implemented backup plan will protect you and your information. Many SMB’s perform manual backups or ignore them altogether. Truth be told: your external hard drive you plug in every couple of weeks isn’t going to cut it.
6. A port in the IT security storm
With cloud services and the internet becoming increasingly necessary, businesses find themselves using more and more of these systems. The safest network is a private network and every service implemented opens a gaping hole in your network. The best way to secure an outward-communicating network is to perform external vulnerability tests – tests designed to target the weakpoints in your network.
5. Users of days past
To elaborate on our topic of access control, we absolutely had to add unused users. An older network may have dozens of these accounts – each having unrestricted access to their old areas of the network and protected by a password that hasn’t been changed since the user left. Leaving inactive users on your network is the equivalent of handing a thief a lock, half the key, and telling him/her to come back when they’ve figure out how to crack the lock.
4. Not the “smartest” devices
Any device that connects to your network needs to be properly protected. With the rise of “smart” devices, we have more pieces of technology on our networks than ever before. But are these devices really smart? Most have limited processing power that restricts the complexity of their security methods. A skilled hacker or threat would target these objects long before choosing the server itself. How to stop this from happening? – never let them in the network to begin with.
3. It’s compliance time
Quickly growing into one of the most complex and confusing topics, compliance in regards to data management can be the largest threat in a modern network. Standards like HIPAA and HITECH require absolute data encryption, privacy screens, physical locks and more. A single breach of compliance can cost your business millions of dollars – a death-blow to smaller businesses. The only way to prevent this is to actively monitor your network to stop violations before they happen.
2. Back to bootcamp
When compliance standards threaten to cost your business millions of dollars, what can be done? A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link, and a business is only as secure as it’s biggest vulnerability. Even with proper network administration, a lost USB drive or speaking with improper language could result in fines piling up at your doorstep. It’s for this reason that we recommend annual staff training in both your applications and your required compliance standards.
1. The heart (and heart rate) of the business
At the core of every modern business is a computer network. The IT staff’s job is to keep the network running as intended with as little problems as possible. However, businesses grow and so do the requirements of the network. Before long, a single person simply cannot manage the network with the precision and upkeep necessary to protect it from malicious threats. Active monitoring and management solutions allow for unparalleled protection and administration from anywhere in the world. Support teams are available 24/7 to resolve any error and, in most real-world scenarios, resolve these problems before a user or administrator even recognizes there was an issue to begin with.
What can you do?
Proper network management and monitoring in a modern business seems like a daunting task – even to the most experienced professionals. Even then, compliance standards changing annually only stretch your IT staff more thin as they work around the clock to keep your network safe. Rather than risk your network, and your business for that matter, contact BCI Computers and see what we can do for you. Our backbone is firmly grounded in security, managed technology, and training. Our job is to secure your network, monitor it and keep both your devices and staff up to date. And our mission is to improve performance, reduce stress, and provide enterprise-level products and solutions for all of our clients – regardless of size, experience or demand.