What would happen if your company's network were breached right now? Do you have any idea how many records might be exposed? Is your network's security system capable of defending against or responding to an attack?
Last year small businesses saw a 424% increase in new cyber breaches. This is compounded by companies with insufficient security – if any at all. A 2020 study by BullGuard revealed that a third of businesses with 50 or fewer employees are using free, consumer-grade cybersecurity to protect themselves. One in five of these companies had no device security at all.
Unfortunately, many companies don't realize they have been impacted by a breach until it's too late. Trying to shore up your defenses after a data breach has occurred is often too little, too late. The good news is there is a way to measure the impact of an attack without suffering one: a network security assessment.
What is a Network Security Assessment?
A network security assessment is, essentially, an audit. It’s a review of your network’s security measures which is meant to find vulnerabilities in your system. A risk assessment starts by taking inventory of any assets that might be compromised by a criminal, becoming aware of how those assets might be compromised, and then advising about the steps that should be taken to protect those assets.
There are two kinds of network security assessments: a risk assessment, which shows businesses where their weaknesses are, and a penetration test, which simulates an actual attack.
The purpose of a network security assessment is to keep your networks, devices, and data safe and secure by discovering any potential entry points for cyber threats — from both inside and outside your organization.
Penetration tests, on the other hand, can test the efficiency of your network’s defenses and determine the potential impact of an attack on your assets. What happens if specific systems are targeted? What data is exposed? How many records are likely to be compromised? What would need to be done to mitigate that attack? A penetration test serves as a dry run, should your network ever experience a security incident.
Most common discoveries
Here are four of the most common network security risks you need to be cautious about:
- Lack of or gaps in security awareness training - Organizations may object to the cost of security awareness training, but they rarely consider the cost of not having it. The global average overall cost of a data breach is $3.92 million USD, according to the Ponemon Institute's Cost of a Data Breach Report 2019. The cost of a data breach in the United States is considerably higher: the average cost of a data breach in the United States is $8.19 million. For a year, that's the equivalent of losing roughly $22,000 each day.
- Not using Multifactor Authentication - The most common reason why businesses fail to deploy multi-factor authentication is that they believe it is inconvenient. We feel it is preferable to be slightly inconvenienced to safeguard your organization and its data.
Consider MFA in the same way that you would a seatbelt. It may take a little getting used to at first, but it rapidly becomes part of the routine, and it's the most straightforward, common-sense measure to keep safe.
Login information is used in many typical cyber-attacks. Criminals are becoming more inventive with their phishing tactics, and people may unwittingly reveal their credentials by responding to one of these phishing emails.
- Little or no Endpoint Management - Endpoint encryption and application control, two key components of an effective endpoint security solution, are essential layers of endpoint security that prevent issues like security incidents from occurring intentionally or unintentionally through the copying or transfer of data to removable media devices. Endpoint encryption encrypts data on endpoints such as laptops, mobile devices, and other endpoints, as well as individual folders, files, and removable storage media such as CDs and USB drives.
Application control is a key component of comprehensive endpoint security measures because it stops unauthorized programs from running on endpoints. Employees installing unapproved or dangerous programs on mobile devices might cause network vulnerabilities and lead to unauthorized access. Application control can solve this problem.
- Many companies today have a fully or hybrid remote workforce, people who work from home from time to time, or employees who frequently go on business trips. Without a designated office space and equipment, ensuring secure remote access to sensitive data should be a top priority for businesses and security professionals. Some threats a hybrid or remote workforce may encounter are:
- Connecting to public or unsafe WIFI networks
- Personal devices that are not equipped with sufficient security applications.
- Vulnerability to their physical security while working in public or shared spaces.
- Creating weak passwords or sharing those passwords in a way that is not secure.
- Unencrypted file sharing
Want to know more about how to protect your remote workforces? Join us next week.
The Layered Security Approach
The primary premise behind layered security is that deploying different ways to protect systems from a wide range of threats is the most effective way to protect your technology. Layered security might include documented security policies for devices, and your network, security awareness training, antivirus, and more depending on recommendations from security professionals.
A layered security approach attempts to address potential problems with many kinds of security threats, points of entry, and other risks.
Silverado Technologies has designed our layered approach to security to protect you and your business.
Choosing the proper IT security partner can help you with both short- and long-term cyber security strategies. If remote access to data is crucial to your team’s work, then we recommend signing up for our next webinar on November 18th @ 9:00 AM. If you're ready to start protecting your company's digital footprint right away, contact us for an Initial Security Assessment.