In a single year, more than 14 million American businesses are the victim of a cyber attack.
You might think that these hackers only go after the big fish — but think again. In fact, small businesses are a higher risk than ever before when it comes to hacking vulnerability.
Hacking, potential data loss, and other network security threats can cost you business and slow down your operations for days or even weeks.
But the worst damage of all that they do? Destroying the trust that once existed between you and your customers.
To properly guard against network threats of all kinds, you need to educate yourself about these risks.
In this post, we’ll show you the five biggest network security threats to look out for. Then, we’ll tell you where to find the IT service that can help prevent them.
1. Your Employees
Believe it or not, your employees are one of the biggest network security threats your company can face.
That’s not to say that the members of your team are all untrustworthy or secretly leaking your customer data to the competition. In fact, in most cases, your employees aren’t even aware of the fact that they’re putting your data at risk at all.
If you have team members who work remotely or bring their computers to meetings out of the office, your network security is at risk.
Because if employees are joining unsecured and/or public wireless networks to connect online, it’s easy for hackers to access the sensitive data stored in the cloud or on the computer.
The same goes for the spam emails your employees open at work.
Instead of a “dream free vacation,” these emails are really used as phishing attacks to break into your computer’s network and software, stealing client and company information.
Instruct your employees to never connect to an unsecured network or open personal emails at work from a sender they don’t know.
2. The Trojan Horse
Let’s start with the Trojan Horse.
This software hacks into your system by tricking you into thinking that your computer is running a standard operating procedure, like an update or the installation of a new program.
Many people never think twice about installing the latest software update or downloading an application that’s “needed” to run a program. This is what makes Trojan Horse attacks so common and successful.
In fact, what’s actually happening is the corruption or destruction of your files. You may also encounter a theft of credit card data, passwords, and even the email addresses of your clients and coworkers.
The Trojan Horse may even be able to install lots of different viruses onto your computer, and then spread them over your company’s network.
To prevent it, have an IT professional install antivirus software. Also, instruct your employees to never open or download suspicious content. Instead, let your IT team take care of any so-called “updates” and determine their legitimacy.
Another one of the most common network security threats?
This is the process of installing a piece of software on a network or computer that will keep track of every single keystroke a user makes.
By recording this type of activity, the hacker is able to obtain network usernames and passwords, which he uses to access your accounts and data.
Keep in mind that keylogging can happen on any device you access the Internet on, not just your desktop computer.
To prevent this, many IT companies will install antivirus software and create firewalls to make data more difficult to access. They will also monitor any and all programs running on your computer.
How would you feel if you found out that someone was watching every move you made on your computer, collecting information about the sites you visited?
What if he finds out the passwords and usernames you created, or even your address and credit card numbers?
Unfortunately, if your network is infected with spyware software, this is exactly what can happen.
Sometimes, this spyware “only” monitors what you’re doing on your computer and collects your personal data. Other times, it can override your access to your own network, making it incredibly difficult to regain control.
To prevent this from happening, install anti-spyware software. Find an IT professional who performs routine scans to check for unusual network activity.
5. An Old-Fashioned Virus
When it comes to network security threats, you still have to worry about catching a common virus.
In a nutshell, a virus is a tiny piece of software that can, like the common cold, quickly spread from one network or computer to another.
These viruses are mostly designed to wipe out hard drives. They can also steal or destroy data, access your files, and even send itself out to your customers.
Usually, viruses are shared and spread online. However, your computer can also get a virus from a USB stick or any other kind of removable CD or storage device.
To prevent viruses, work with an IT company to install antivirus software. This will help identify and eliminate potential threats before they wreak havoc on your system.
Be Smart about Network Security Threats
Now that you’re aware of the five biggest network security threats, we know that you’re anxious to learn how to eliminate them.
We’re here to help.
At THB, we’ve created a wide variety of IT service plans that are scalable and work within a variety of industries. Our services are perfect for businesses of any size.
We offer security and other IT solutions for non-profits, small businesses, and more. Check out our all-in-one solution, which helps to mitigate technical risks and threats without blowing your budget.
To find the right IT solution for you and protect the business you’ve worked so hard to create, reach out to us today!