Have you ever wondered how hackers find their way into your systems and get to your data?
They begin by scrutinizing your system similar to how data security experts examine your systems and processes to find network flaws they can exploit.
It has been found that neglect causes 85% of network attacks. Despite consistent warnings from IT security analysts, many companies take cyber threats a little too lightly that they do not prioritize looking into them or set these concerns aside until it is too late.
While some bugs can easily be detected, certain vulnerabilities aren’t visible to the untrained eye, as well as unintentional yet damaging causes of a data breach you aren’t aware of.
Here are four of the so-called possible weaknesses in your security system that you need to look into:
- Web-based Apps
A study conducted by cyber security provider, Acunetix, has shown that there had been a total of 210,000 unknown vulnerabilities found in over 70% out of 3,200 companies and non-profit organization websites since 2006.
Any IT security analyst can tell you that these vulnerabilities, ranging from SQL injections to cross-site scripting, put these sites at high risks of getting infiltrated by hackers.
Some of these vulnerabilities can easily be fixed through patches made available in directory listings while others would require seeking the expertise of professionals handling cyber security.
According to Acunetix, the massive amount of vulnerabilities found was a result of organizations taking data security lightly despite being mandated by law to protect the data entrusted to us by our clients. To avoid this, schedule regular security checkups and continuously upgrade your company’s data security system, including adding layers of firewalls.
Implement security rules and ensure that every member of the staff is trained to follow these rules strictly.
2. Neglected and Outdated Networks
It is important to perform annual checkups of the system, as vulnerabilities can occur in systems that no one in your organization had been aware that they exist.
They usually come in forms of unsafe codes, misconfigured systems, malware that went years of being undetected, and patches that should have been applied but were either overlooked or forgotten. This is particularly common in larger enterprises where upgrades had not been monitored.
The best way to avoid running into this problem is to keep a regular audit on all the company’s systems and processes. Immediately apply patches and malware fixes as soon as you find them.
If you do not have anyone in your team equipped enough to do the tracking, get a data security provider to handle the processes to make sure that all systems are in place, and all possible entries had been covered.
3. Missed Vulnerabilities
Some of the vulnerabilities are caused by the traffic that goes into the network. Even with regular systems check, these vulnerabilities can easily be overlooked, particularly if you do not have that much experience in monitoring and tracking systems.
To prevent missing the quiet spots when you monitor for security flaws, conduct a probe of your systems in the same manner as hackers would find open gateways to your system.
Unless data security is in line with your company’s strengths, it is best to outsource to a security company who’s more familiar with the routes hackers take when tracing vulnerabilities to take opportunities of.
4. Port 80
Port 80 is the primary passage through which traffic can flow back and forth the network. This is kept open for the clients, business partners, and suppliers that you work within your company.
But, because it is open to third parties, your network is exposed to higher risk of hackers penetrating your system and getting their hands on your precious files.
For your security and for the safety of the third parties that access your network, apply the principle of cyber security where no system—despite consistent upgrades, fixes, and updates is safe against hackers.
Stay a step ahead of cyber and impose strict rules that these organizations must comply with. Subject BYO laptops to regular security checks and change your passwords frequently.
Apply encryptions and logical security measures such as including systems authentication and authorizations. Monitor your network regularly and consistently for malicious activities such as unusual logins and conduct an immediate investigation when you detect anything suspicious.
Leave No Room for Error
Every business must put data security concerns on the top priority list as there is a lot at stake when hackers end up stealing information crucial to your business and your processes. What can happen worse is when they block you from accessing your own files.
Allot a budget for it and find a reliable IT systems analyst who can take charge of your systems’ security when you can’t.
Look where you’ve never looked before and zone in on the weaknesses. Continually test and apply patches and fixes as soon as you track vulnerabilities. When it comes to tracking system flaws, do not leave any stone unturned.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vlad de Ramos has been in the IT industry for more than 22 years, focusing on on IT Management, Infrastructure Design and IT Security. He is a certified information security professional, a certified ethical hacker, a forensics investigator, and a certified information systems auditor. Vlad joins Homegrown.ph to help increase knowledge on IT security awareness in the Philippines. Outside the IT field, he is a professional business and life coach, a teacher, and a change manager. Check out Vlad’s IT community here: http://www.aim.ph
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