Interestingly, most business operators imagine that network-security threats can only come from outside of their establishments — and not from within. The shocking reality is that this is not true. Sometimes, the risk is right under your nose.

Cyberattacks threaten both small and large companies running their operations — and sadly, employees are often inviting these attacks either intentionally or unintentionally. Guarding against network-security threats is a necessity, since cybercrime can result in a tarnished business reputation, diminished customer trust, and severe financial loss. Here are some of the internal network-security threats you need to watch out for, as well as possible remedies:

Privileged Access Abuse and a Lack of Physical Security

Problem — Employees who have extensive access to your network system, including IT staff members, can pose a significant threat to your network security. In fact, studies show that employees with privileged access are most often behind corporate cyberattacks, since they have the expertise and necessary permission status. A disgruntled IT employee, for example, could choose to plant malware before leaving the company, just as IT programmer Roger Duronio did in 2006 at an investment bank he worked for. Or perhaps an employee plugs a wireless router into an open Ethernet port, giving himself and others nearby wireless access to the company network.

Remedy — First, businesses need to perform thorough background checks before they issue privileged credentials, and special credentials should only go to specific trusted personnel. Additionally, terminated employees should be denied network access immediately. And, of course, network-security solutions should be utilized to protect user accounts and endpoints from attacks.

Your business should also establish a clear plan for the physical security of your building and network. All components of your network infrastructure should be secured inside cabinets or behind locked doors. Ethernet ports should never be visible, or should be disconnected if unused, especially in areas that are open to the public. Wireless access points should also be hidden away.

Employee Internet Use

Problem — We’ve all been guilty of it at some point. The average employee takes mental breaks at work by surfing the internet or social media, often accidentally exposing the company network to malware and viruses usually embedded in a game or video. In fact, most employees are off task while online for up to an hour each day.

Remedy — Your business’s patches and antivirus software must be constantly updated to avoid the latest threats rearing their ugly heads. Unfortunately, monthly or quarterly updates simply aren’t adequate. TelWare offers remote network monitoring and management, as well as network-security solutions, to ensure your business is protected and running like it should 24/7. A web-security solution can also help businesses manage their employee’s internet use, block web-based threats, and eliminate access to risky websites.

Employee-Targeted Scams

Problem — Employees often unwittingly give away corporate passwords or information when they are the victims of phishing scams and social-engineering tactics on email or social media. After all, even the most well-meaning employee can fall prey to a phishing email that mentions names of their team members at work or projects they’ve worked on. Today’s security breaches are becoming even more targeted, personalized and sophisticated than ever before, putting businesses and individuals at risk.

Remedy — Every business owner should provide network-security awareness training for their staff, so they possess the knowledge to identify malicious links, phishing emails and phone calls, and social-engineering tricks. Network-security best practices should already be in place as a preventative measure. In addition, businesses can use email security applications that block incoming attacks and control outbound messages to stop the loss of sensitive data.

For answers to your network-security concerns, contact TelWare at 1-800-637-3148 or TelWare is a national leader in the installation of voice, video and data solutions.

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