Common Threats Facing Enterprise Networks and How to Defend Against Them

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enterprise cybersecurity

The world of the cybersecurity landscape has changed significantly over the last few decades. Today, there are more threats than ever, and attacks have become more sophisticated. In the first half of 2020, data breaches exposed more than 36 billion records. These security incidents come at a high cost to organizations. According to the FBI, business email compromise and email account scams cost organizations $26 billion in 2019.

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IT directors and CIOs need to take steps to defend their organizations against cyberattacks and data breaches. The most effective way to do that is to protect their networks. For any enterprise network to function correctly and efficiently, it needs protection from possibly harmful traffic. Data retrieved and transmitted over a network that lacks security could fall victim to a wide range of online threats, including malware and hacking.

Cyber Risks of Your Office Network

Cybercriminals are always trying to stay a step ahead by coming up with creative ways to bypass security systems that are in place. That is why, in most cases, you never think you have a problem until the damage has been done. Organizations should never remain complacent on their best practices and strategies for enterprise security. The first step towards securing your organization’s network is familiarizing yourself with the threat.

Here are some of the most common enterprise security risks organizations face and the problems they can cause.

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Third-Party Software

Third-party software solutions are a significant threat to enterprise networks. If they are not patched regularly, third-party apps increase your network’s vulnerability to attacks. Third-party vendors may open the door for malware, viruses, and hackers.

Wireless Access

In today’s business landscape, clients want providers to get the job done anytime, anywhere. The increasing demands for quick answers and solutions necessitate wireless access. However, unsecured wireless connections put enterprise networks at a greater risk of compromise.

BYOD

Employees need to use laptops, tablets, and smartphones to conduct business remotely or on the move. However, personal devices open company networks up for potential attacks. Mobile devices are subject to theft or loss, which can give cybercriminals access to your network.

Email

Email is the most common outlet for phishing and malware attacks. All an attacker needs to do is convince just one of the employees to open a phishing email, and they are in. Phishing attacks are getting more complicated, and more people are falling for them.

The Human Element

It turns out that employees are the most significant security threats to enterprise security. The vast majority of attacks target employees. Something as simple as an employee opening a phishing email or inadvertently surfing an infected website can give intruders access to your network.

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Ways to Secure Enterprise Network

Modern business is impossible without a secure network where employees can keep and share data among themselves. Enterprise networks need to be protected from data theft, interference, and other threats.

Now that you are familiar with the threats facing your company network, it is time to start taking the appropriate security steps. Here is how you can prevent a compromised or disabled network.

Install a Firewall

A firewall is a network security tool that monitors inbound and outbound connections and determines whether to permit or block specific traffic based on a defined set of security rules.

A firewall keeps unwanted traffic from breaching your network and compromising your systems while allowing legitimate traffic through. A firewall should be your first line of defense against network threats. Not having a firewall leaves your network exposed, which will enable hackers into your system.

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Encrypt Traffic with a VPN Router

A firewall should be the first line of defense for your network, but not the only one. Using a firewall alone does not guarantee protection, which is why you need a secure router to further police the flow of traffic within your network. Some routers come with better security features than a firewall, including strong Virtual Private Network (VPN) data encryption. Be sure to encrypt your network with a VPN router for improved security.  

Use WPA2

Set up a reliable, encrypted protocol for passwords on your wireless network. The most advanced encryption protocol for network routers is Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2). WPA2 comes with several layers of encryption that make it extremely difficult for cybercriminals to break.

Ensure that WPA2 features on your router are turned on to protect your network from external threats. Without this protection, hackers can easily compromise your network access systems.

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Web Security

In this context, web security refers to any solution designed to control your employees’ internet use, block internet-based threats, and deny access to malicious websites. Attacks against web applications have increased significantly over the last decade. Attacks have become more sophisticated and ferocious, and organizations need a robust web security strategy to protect their networks from these threats.

Secure Your Email

Cybercriminals are increasingly using email as their preferred method of attack. The attackers will use social engineering tactics and personal information to carry out sophisticated phishing campaigns to deceive employees and send them links and attachments containing malware. Use email security software to block incoming email threats and control outbound emails to prevent loss of data.

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Mobile Device Security

Attackers have started to target BYOD devices and apps in an attempt to gain access to enterprise networks. Mobile device security refers to tools and strategies organizations use to secure these devices against security threats.

In most cases, mobile security entails authenticating users and restricting network access. However, mobile security components may vary from one organization to the next based on specific security needs.

Final Words

When it comes to defending against network threats, being proactive is the best approach. Take a good look at your IT network and infrastructure to find out where you are most vulnerable.

After that, take the necessary steps to patch the security flaws in your network. Use the above tools and tips to develop a foundation for enterprise security in your organization. Remember, there is no silver bullet solution for network enterprise security; a layered defense is the only viable strategy.