Many small to medium-sized businesses still seem to believe that if they have a firewall and an antivirus, then their data and network are safe from threats. This could not be further from the truth.
While security threats are paramount in 2021, your company is vulnerable to more than security threats. Everything from a power outage to human error can cause the untimely destruction of sensitive, irreplaceable information. These vulnerabilities can cause catastrophic data loss or can insidiously corrupt your network to the degree that your network is compromised for years.
To protect your company’s most valuable asset – its data – from these vulnerabilities, you need to understand them.
Take note of these 12 vulnerabilities that can cause data loss:
1. Human error: When someone accidentally deletes a file or moves it to the wrong location, what happens to it? Without backups, the information is gone.
2. Physical security: With so much talk about cybersecurity, the physical theft or loss of devices is often a forgotten but very real threat if it falls into the wrong hands.
3. Personal mobile devices: Employees using personal devices for work can expose your company’s network and data to external threats.
4. Malware/Ransomware: Malware can eat up your bandwidth, corrupt files, and cause downtime, productivity loss and the loss of valuable company data. Similarly, ransomware can strike any unprotected network. In our current work-from-home world, a home office anti-virus solution is not something that will protect you from these attacks.
5. Excessive or unnecessary privileges: Employees with unnecessary rights to data, or whose daily-use accounts have administrative privileges, can greatly increase the negative impact incidents involving malware or compromised credentials.
6. Intrusion attempts: If you don’t have adequate firewall protection, intrusion attempts can knock your servers down (and could even be successful), causing your company unwanted downtime.
7. Unpatched software vulnerabilities: Without a true vulnerability management program in place, it’s easy for 3rd-party software and network devices to slip through the cracks when it comes to patching. This can lead to vulnerabilities that can be exploited by bad actors to gain access to the network, or execute malicious code on systems.
8. Weather events/Power outages: Inclement weather or power outages can knock your systems down or damage them, leaving you without critical systems or data – unless you use a backup option that includes redundancy in more than one location.
9. Remote access: Accessing the network or company data through unsecured remote access can expose you to whatever risks might be lurking on your employee’s home PC.
10. Botnets: Botnets take over any device (even a “smart fridge”) to send spam or carryout hacker activities directed at other networks. They basically turn your device into a “hacker’s machine.”
11. Spear-phishing: These kinds of emails can look alarmingly legitimate, but don’t be fooled. Once you give away financial or sensitive information, you can’t get it back. Employee training
12. Lack of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): This should be in use wherever possible to protect against compromised user accounts. Systems that don’t support MFA should be evaluated for replacement with systems that do as soon as possible. Many cyber liability insurers are now requiring the deployment of MFA to even be considered eligible for coverage.
In today’s high threat environment, companies need a multi-layer defense system that can filter and scan for threats. Just as importantly, make sure your data is safely backed up, so your company isn’t vulnerable to the storms that come your way.
How vulnerable are you?