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Network Security Mistakes Your Organization Must Avoid

Cybercrime is a major issue in the modern world. According to IBM, the average data breach costs organizations $4.24 million. Some estimates state that cybercrime will cost businesses $10.5 trillion every year by 2025.

Unfortunately, cyberattacks can affect businesses of every size. From the smallest local company to international conglomerates, every modern business has data that hackers want to get their hands on. That’s why network security is so crucial. Following good network security practices ensures your company is prepared in the event of a cyberattack. Making the mistakes in this article creates vulnerabilities for malicious parties to exploit.

The Most Common Network Security Mistakes

Your company’s network connects its employees. It also enables a shared working environment through which office equipment like computers, printers, and copiers can communicate. Data gets passed through that network daily, making it a prime target for hackers. By avoiding these mistakes, you prevent malicious parties from breaking into your network.

Mistake No. 1 – Using Inadequate Network Hardware and Software

A lot of hardware goes into maintaining a business network. You need switches, access points, and cables to ensure connectivity. This hardware is often backed by software that allows you to manage and protect it. Plus, you need protective firewalls in place that allow your company to manage internet access and prevent intrusions.

Any weakness in this hardware or software could create an entry point for a hacker.

Using old hardware often provides malicious parties with the ability to use up-to-date hacking techniques to break into your network. The same goes for old software or software that isn’t updated regularly. If you’re not focused on keeping your systems as up-to-date as possible, you may create network security vulnerabilities. Work with a provider that offers network hardware from leading brands to mitigate this problem.

Mistake No. 2 – Poor Password Use

Your employees’ passwords are often the main barrier to breaking into your systems. Improper password use allows hackers to access your data.

The most obvious mistakes in this area include using simple passwords, such as “12345” and using passwords that contain personal information. These types of passwords are usually the first ones to be broken if a malicious party makes a brute-force hacking attempt. Failure to change passwords regularly is also a major problem, especially if employees use the same passwords for work that they use at home. It only takes a hacker cracking that password for one account for them to be able to use that password elsewhere.

Education is the key to tackling poor password use. Companies enhance network security by showing employees how to create strong passwords and teaching them the importance of diligence when using passwords. You can also bolster network security by adding multifactor authentication (MFA) to your systems. A system that sends a unique code to an employee’s mobile device or email address after they’ve entered their password could prevent intrusion by a hacker who only has access to the password.

Mistake No. 3 – Inadequate Asset Management

Let’s assume your company has appropriate network hardware and software. It’s all set up, and everything is working as it should. Does that mean you’re secure?

Unfortunately, no.

Every device or piece of software that is part of your network could present a network security vulnerability. Improper management of these devices can lead to failures to update, which potentially creates backdoor entry points for hackers. Something as simple as the installation of an unauthorized app into the network could create the same issues. Consider the fact that 87% of Americans take the opportunity to work from home when they have the option. Network security managers have to oversee the external devices these remote workers use because they connect to the company’s network.

Constant vigilance is required to maintain network security. If your organization doesn’t have somebody overseeing every device that uses the network and the software installed on those devices, intrusions can occur.

Mistake No. 4 – Lack of Training

It’s not enough to create an internal network and assume your employees know how to protect themselves when using it. Most of your people aren’t network experts. That means they don’t necessarily know that turning off a firewall to install an app they like is a bad idea. Some may also not be computer-savvy enough to spot a phishing email when it lands in their inbox.

The effects of inadequate training are demonstrated in Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report. Verizon discovered that 82% of data breaches occur due to what it calls “the human element.” In other words, most data breaches happen because people make mistakes due to not understanding the potential consequences of their actions.

Proper training is the key to avoiding this mistake. Your company should have network security experts who can teach employees about the many techniques hackers use to access systems and networks. Consider creating lectures and workshops around topics like proper password usage, the dangers of installing unauthorized software, and the importance of firewalls. Email training also helps your people use the office’s most common means of communication safely.

 Enhance Your Network Security

Securing a company’s network is not a “one and done” thing. While creating the appropriate infrastructure and installing security software are both key elements, constant vigilance is required to keep a network secure. Without management, devices and software go out of date or become vulnerable to malicious parties.

The four mistakes in this article are some of the most common companies make regarding network security. A lack of appropriate management is often compounded by inadequate employee training that leads to human errors, such as using poor passwords or clicking on suspicious links in emails.

To guard against malicious parties, your organization needs to avoid these mistakes using appropriate hardware, software, and network security services.

ProServ can help.

We offer a range of solutions, including infrastructure design, network hardware, and access control services that enhance your company’s network security. ProServ works with businesses in and around Kansas City and St. Joseph to ensure they’re fully equipped to take on today’s cybersecurity threats. If you’d like to learn how we can help you, contact one of our experts today.


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