Network security issues can be disastrous for any company, but especially for small and medium businesses. They can destroy or severely damage your reputation with the public. They can also lead to legal repercussions. In other cases, your intellectual property may be threatened, or you might be targeted by a malicious agent.
The worst part of all of this is that many SMEs are not prepared to deal with these issues and end up getting blindsided. This is why they need to be aware of these issues and know how to prepare. Here are some of the most common network security issues in SMEs.
This is one of the biggest threats to any organization’s network. The worst thing you could have to deal with is a rogue employee with admin privileges wreaking havoc on your networks. This can be caused by conflict either with the employee or following decisions by the company. This may happen during times of restructuration, for instance.
The only solution here is to be able to identify privileged accounts and constantly monitor activity on your network. However, most small and medium businesses don’t have the resources to employ someone in-house to monitor their network 24/7.
In this case, you might want to look at outsourced IT services. This will allow you to have an expert team looking over your network at all times. They will be able to identify signs of suspicious activity, like a privileged account accessing data from a strange device or at strange times of the day, or they may identify failed attempts at accessing data they shouldn’t have access to.
Humans will always be the weakest link in your network. This is why most attackers will try to use social engineering techniques to trick some of your key employees into performing certain actions. The sad part here is that it can be very difficult to detect when done expertly.
One of the most common ways to do so is to use the credentials of someone who’s trusted, like a top client or an executive, to manipulate the employee. Experts at this will even research the target to get more information about their role and the relationship with the person they’ll be impersonating. They might look for information on social media, for instance.
In some cases, following instructions in an email could unleash a ransomware attack on the network. The only solution here is training. You have to train employees to not only spot fake emails, but have a procedure to verify them as well. You also have to make sure that critical files are constantly backed up so you won’t be as disrupted by ransomware. This is, again, where working with an outside service could help.
Malware is often used as a blanket term for any type of software installed on a computer that has the sole goal of benefiting a third party. Malware can be used to steal credentials, for instance. In this case, you have to invest in solid anti-virus software and make sure that the licenses on all your software and operating systems are up to date.
As you can see, there are tons of ways that your network can be compromised. You cannot afford repeated attacks as a SME, so you need to take all the steps necessary to ensure the integrity of your network at all times.