Technology's increasing proliferation and complexity have been creating new "opportunities" for cybercriminals to exploit. In addition, cybercrime techniques are getting even more sophisticated. For businesses, this adds up to an increasingly dangerous cyberthreat environment. It doesn't help that human factors add to the risk. These factors include simple blunders, such as exposing sensitive data to the open internet, as well as network-security misconceptions and oversights. Here are two network-security mistakes that invite devastating data breaches:

Believing Hackers Won't Find You — Or Aren’t Interested

For a large school of fish dealing with a single predator, there is safety in numbers. And many of the businesses that underestimate the risk of a data breach think in similar terms. After all, there are millions of businesses in the world, some of which are bigger targets than the average small business. This leads many small-business owners to the conclusion that a data breach is a remote possibility. However, such an assumption is a dangerous misconception. When hackers look for new targets, they use automated software that searches the internet for vulnerabilities. The software is fast and efficient, and some may use established search engines as aids. In addition, the number of hackers is at least in the thousands and grows with each year.

What this means for the average small business is that the odds are good that they will be found and probed for weaknesses. When one is found, it will be exploited regardless of the size of the business. The average new website is found within two or three months by hackers.

The Supply-Chain Risk

Increasing competition drives many businesses to find more efficient methods of conducting their operations. Supply-chain management, for example, is more efficient when suppliers have direct access to the networks of their customers. Suppliers can get instant access to needed information without the delays associated with back-and-forth emails or faxes.

However, this convenience exposes the customer to deliberate or inadvertent cyberattacks from their supply chain. When the customer doesn't take this threat into account, his or her network security is only as strong as that of the supplier with the weakest security controls. When cybercriminals can't find an exploitable vulnerability in their target, many will probe its supply chain until a weakness is found. The more extensive the supply chain, the greater the odds of getting into their target's network via a supplier with weak defenses.

The moral of the story? Every business should consult with network-security experts, so your business isn't the next data-breach victim.


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

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