Top 5 Network Security Threats

“Growing adoption of zero trust environments – if everything is put under the microscope then it makes it a lot harder for the hackers to make their way in and hide inside the network, the advanced nature of modern attacks means that you can’t be too careful,” argued Wieland Alge, VP & GM EMEA at Barracuda Networks.

Indeed, companies in today’s hypercompetitive market are rushing to add the latest bells and whistles to their networks in a drive to remove complexity, increase productivity, and generally see better ROI. It is easy, in a rush, to forget to take a step back and ask whether all these “business-savvy” add-ons will end up costing more than they yield on the short term simply due to the increased risks they pose. Here’s our list of the top 5 network threats you need to keep in the back of your mind to avoid this trap:

1. The “Classics”

Trojans, viruses, malware, and so many others are prone to accessing your secured network such as a VPN through plagued devices. Once in, they can wreak havoc by either compromising or worse, sharing, your corporate data. Networks must be prepared to tackle harmful software that can come in from a wide range of devices from laptops, tablets, smartphones, and more (see point 2).

2. Internet of Things

One can’t help but ponder upon the fact that according to a BT study, 68% of global organizations were affected by mobile security breaches in the last 12 months (that’s more two-thirds of them!). Combine that with the fact that recent developments have seen everything from cars, medical devices, and even Barbie dolls becoming network-connected. We see the rise of a new avenue for those “ill-willed” to access our networks. With the Internet of Things becoming, well, a thing, the risks that an ever-increasing hyper-connectivity as well as the rise of engines like Shodan, which helps you find vulnerable device targets, present has to stay at the top of any CTO’s risks agenda.

3. Remote Access, Close-to-Home Problems

As employees, we’ve gotten accustomed to, and even expect, some flexibility in term working outside the office. The risks this poses, especially linking the previous two points, are many a time ignored by HR when they set up their policies on how to approach this. Remote access to a network via personal devices is particularly dangerous with data, and, at times, confidential information, even unwillingly being stored on a remote user’s table or phone. Finding the right remote network access solution is critical in mitigating these risks.

4. Chip-and-PIN: Next step?

Hackers have a neck for adapting to the security communities. Storing credit card numbers in databases has been deemed unsafe in light of attacks, so retailers stopped storing such data. Hackers then switched to sniffing their networks to capture any unencrypted data in real time. When retailers encrypted it, hackers set up malware at the point of sale to grab data. Now that retailers and banks have started switching to chip-and-PIN cards, the only real question is just how long it will be for hackers to come up with a new “creative” solution to their hindrance.

5. Scariest thought: Unprotected protectors

News that surfaced at the end of last year is particularly unsettling. Reportedly, the firewalls powered by Juniper Networks provided with the unpleasant surprise of two backdoors being installed that would allow for hackers to decrypt otherwise protected traffic running through organizations’ VPNs. The debate and speculations as to the root cause of the backdoors are less relevant. The critical takeaway is that paying close attention to your supplier is absolutely critical, which, we, at Nivid Technologies, consider as one of the basic building blocks of a secure network.