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Top 5 Security Threats

At the beginning of each year, we’re inundated on the internet with blog posts and articles relating to what will be the worst security threats for the coming year. These forecasters focus on what is yet to come and want to start “planning” for security threats that haven’t occurred yet or may never even occur. Each year the proposed security threats become more drastic, yet the current security threats that companies are dealing with go unnoticed.

Instead of trying to forecast and worry about the problems that may never even occur this year, why don’t we focus on the “REAL” issues affecting the IT world. There are numerous IT security problems that companies face each year that they push off to the side because they have not found a solution that is suitable their company. Let’s discuss the current problems that have been affecting companies this year, as well as prior years, and the solutions that are available.

Disgruntled Employees

Problem: “Internal attacks are one of the biggest threats facing your data and systems. Rogue employees, especially members of the IT team with knowledge of and access to networks, data centers and admin accounts, can cause serious damage.”
Cortney Thompson – Green House Data

Solution: Employers should “closely monitor, control and manage privileged credentials to prevent exploitation. Finally, companies should implement necessary protocols and infrastructure to track, log and record privileged account activity [and create alerts, too] allowing for a quick response to malicious activity and mitigate potential damage early in the attack cycle.”
Adam Bosnian – CyberArk

Dormant Accounts

Dormant accounts are one of the easiest ways for a hacker to gain access to a company network. When executives leave a company, or any employee, the account is left unused and has not been disabled. Usernames are simple to figure out. Once the username is established, it is just a matter or using a rainbow table, dictionary attack, or many other ways to crack the password and hack the account.

Solutions:

  1. Purchase a software that checks for dormant accounts a disables them such as the nFront Account Disabler.
  2. Have a password filter software that ensures users do not have weak passwords and enforces a password policy

Vendors

Using third-party vendors have never been considered a security threat until recent years. Now, the focus is shifting from enforcing a password policy from employees to enforcing a password policy for all users (employees, consultants, vendors, etc.) on the network.

Create a password policy that encompasses all users that log on to your company’s network. At a minimum, your policy should require:

  1. At least 8 characters
  2. A combination of alpha, numeric, and “special” character sets
  3. Changing your password every 90 days

Uniformed Employees

Worst case scenario, an employee leaves a unlocked phone or company laptop in a taxi, a restaurant, or at a hotel that has company information on it. Worse yet, an employee downloads or opens an attachment that is from a suspicious email account. It may be from a hacker. These are all possible scenarios.

How do companies change this? Train all employees on best security practices. This includes BYOD policies, password policies, and internet safety.

BYOD

Problem: “Data theft is at high vulnerability when employees are using mobile devices to share data, access company information, or neglect to change mobile passwords.” Jason Cook – BT Americas
“As more enterprises embrace BYOD, they face risk exposure from those devices on the corporate network in the event an app installs malware or other Trojan software that can access the device’s network connection.”
Ari Weil – Yottaa

Solutions: “With a BYOD policy in place, employees are better educated on device expectations and companies can better monitor email and documents that are being downloaded to company or employee-owned devices. Monitoring effectively will provide companies with visibility into their mobile data loss risk, and will enable them to quickly pinpoint exposures if mobile devices are lost or stolen.”
Piero DePaoli – Symantec

If you have any questions about avoiding these threats and strengthening your network, please feel free to e-mail us at [email protected] Someone on the nFront team will be happy to discuss a plan to block weak passwords.