5 Ways Your IT Systems Can Be Breached
Having your IT systems breached is one of the worst situations for any business to be in. When your infrastructure is attacked and taken over, the hackers have the capability of severely damaging your company or even downright destroying it.
You never want to let anyone access your sensitive data because they might leak it and hold it for ransom. Your IT department is crucial in building your foundation and strengthening your defences. Although they work hard, they might not have the resources, budget, or ability to maintain complete cybersecurity. Here are five ways that your systems can be breached despite the efforts of your team.
5 Ways Systems can be breached
1. Someone gains physical access
The first way that someone can hack into your systems is by physically accessing your network. All it takes is a push of a button on your router, and they can reset your entire infrastructure and let themselves in. This is why you must keep your router and other hardware under lock and key, preferably in a locked room or your office where no one can happen upon it.
You can go the additional step and install security cameras to watch the area and figure out who broke in. Only a few key individuals should be able to reach the physical router and network. You put yourself at risk when you keep it out in the open or hand out keys to everyone in the office.
2. Your password is too weak
One of the weakest points in a business’ cybersecurity is its use and management of passwords. For decades now, tech experts have been telling us to update our passwords and make them more complicated.
Far too many computer users borrow the same code for various personal accounts since it is easier for them to memorise. You put your entire operations at risk if you use the exact login details for your main network as you do your email, Facebook account, and Amazon account. If one of those is attacked and breached, the hacker now has access to your other accounts as well.
Refrain from using actual words and phrases, personalised codes like your dog’s name, or something short. Every password that you have should be unique and random. It needs to be at least twelve characters and consist of both lower and uppercase, numbers, and special symbols. You should also avoid writing your passwords down where someone can easily find them. Memorise your main account details and save the rest with an online password vault. The application is secured and will remember every complicated passcode for you. You and your employees should change your passwords every quarter or so to add an extra layer of defence.
3. An angry employee causes damage
Hopefully, you never have a disgruntled employee angry enough to sabotage your company, but it could happen. Many companies whose IT systems failed were broken into due to a pissed-off former staff member. You shouldn’t take this possibility lightly–no matter how kind of a boss you think you are, you might still upset someone. Every time an employee leaves your team or is fired, you need to change all access details and network accounts immediately. If you don’t, they could easily download malware, steal sensitive data, or give access to other hackers.
4. Your administration accounts are compromised
Similar to your mismanagement of passwords, if your administration accounts are hacked, then your entire IT network could be compromised. Admin accounts are those that have access to every aspect of your infrastructure–something that you never cybercriminals to get their hands on. With control of your admin user accounts, a hacker can effortlessly go through your sensitive data and alter your defenses without you even aware of it.
You or your employees might accidentally leave your account unlocked in an unsafe area or use public wifi on an unprotected device. Perhaps someone wrote their passwords down on a paper and subsequently lost them. There are many different ways that your network can be compromised–and most of them are due to human error.
To protect yourself, you need to be extra protective of these credentials. Properly manage your username and passwords and share them with only a few employees. These individuals should be in high positions of authority, such as team leaders, and have access only if it is necessary. The fewer people you share the user account with, the less likely it will be breached. If it is compromised, then you only have a small pool of potential suspects.
5. You accidentally download malware
The final way that someone might breach your IT system is by relying on the poor computer habits of you and your employees. Human error accounts for a large portion of cyberattacks, as many users accidentally click the wrong link and unknowingly download malicious content. Hackers are becoming increasingly creative, so you must be more careful with the sites you visit to protect your company.
Email scams and phishing are the most common form of attack. While most software can automatically block or flag incoming suspicious content, it can’t catch everything. Your business relies on the common sense and intuition of your employees. If they are inexperienced or gullible, they are more likely to be tricked into giving away access details or loading a virus.
You should always have multiple firewalls and antivirus software installed on your computers and IT network. They are the first line of defence against external threats. Additionally, consider implementing an IT training program to teach your employees better tech habits and how to recognise a scam.
Despite how many layers of protection you set up around your IT system, it can easily be compromised in these five ways. The most common cause of infrastructure failure or breach is simple human error: you become lax with your passwords, anger the wrong employee, or install a virus yourself unknowingly. You should take cybersecurity very seriously and do everything you can to avoid falling prey to these situations.
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