Enterprises must be aware of security loopholes beyond the major and obvious ones. These little-known security loopholes are often overlooked and consequently, what are seemingly small issues will lead to big problems. The modern office workforce is changing, and rapidly. Cubicles and desks are no longer the only places where vital business information gets passed between hands. Now, the workforce of the future takes complete advantage of wireless capabilities, remote operation systems and more, offering employers huge advantages in productivity but also making security issues more important than ever.
The modern office workforce is changing, and rapidly. Cubicles and desks are no longer the only places where vital business information gets passed between hands. Now, the workforce of the future takes complete advantage of wireless capabilities, remote operation systems and more, offering employers huge advantages in productivity but also making security issues more important than ever.
Despite these huge advancements in workplace culture and productivity, employees tend to remain in the dark about one of the most threatening adversaries in the modern business field: cybercriminals. The typical large business or Global 2000 brand is woefully unprepared for the attacks that routinely cost them enormous amounts of money—in some cases without them even knowing about it.
What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: Security Loopholes to close
Gone are the days of cybercriminal behavior being limited to DDOS attacks or simply breaking parts of the Internet for fun. Today’s cyber criminals are far more sophisticated and are perfectly capable of doing enormous damage to your company without you even knowing about it until it’s far too late. Here are some of the security loopholes most commonly exploited by modern-day hackers looking to score off of your hard work:
The typical large business or Global 2000 brand is woefully unprepared for the attacks that routinely cost them enormous amounts of money—in some cases without them even knowing about it.
- Spearphishing—Despite after dozens of high-profile examples, employees in global firms are still opening questionable email attachments. Spam filters used to be effective at disposing these emails, but spearphishing easily bypasses that defense. Here, cybercriminals study their targets, sometimes for months, on social media before sending a malicious email that is indistinguishable from the real thing, often appearing to be from a trusted source. The employee accidentally gives away access to his or her account, and the hacker climbs up the chain until duping the CEO the same way and gaining full access.
- BYOD—BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device, and both entry- and executive-level employees are becoming increasingly reliant on their own personal devices to perform work-related activities. This is a huge plus for productivity, but places a huge strain on IT security protocol. Clever CIOs from a wide range of industries have implemented BYOD policies that include the ability to lock and wipe data in case of hardware theft, but many businesses are working on a blank slate when it comes to BYOD culture.
- Wi-Fi—It should come as no surprise that an unprotected Wi-Fi network is a sitting duck target for cybercrime, but even protected networks and guest networks can be manipulated by attackers. Employees tend to treat guest Wi-Fi like they would treat their home network, and can unwittingly bring malware onto their personal devices which, upon connecting with the corporate Wi-Fi network, propagates further.
- Obsolete Software—IT departments hate to have to update software, since every update comes with new risks to productivity and compatibility, but it is an absolute necessity from a security point of view. Attackers can manipulate outdated software to gain information about system configuration, and then counterfeit the authorization needed to access a corporate service or obtain customer data.
- Firewall and Anti-Virus Overreliance—It’s very common, especially among larger companies, for CIOs to convince themselves that firewall and anti-virus technology is sufficient for protecting their company’s data. These products are not equipped to handle the security needs of large businesses and plenty of major cyberattacks have skipped straight past these unwieldy perimeter defense mechanisms.
With spearphishing training, effective BYOD policy and a robust encryption system in place, concerns such as corporate/guest Wi-Fi use and obsolete software can be dealt with effectively without risking greater exposure.
- Lack of Encryption—When it comes to cybersecurity, there is no solution more secure than data encryption on the market at the moment. Encryption is one of the only things that can reliably prevent a wide variety of cyberattacks passively, yet CIOs tend to neglect investing in the technology because it slows down network performance. While complex encryption can use considerable resources, there is a point of balance that every company needs to find where its data is sufficiently encrypted to remain secure, yet network resources aren’t being overwhelmed by the need to encode and decode data on a constant basis.
How To Close These Loopholes For Good
The first thing any executive-level authority responsible for company-wide cyber security concerns should do is get an extensive security audit performed by a reputable consultant. This will help identify which of these loopholes are waiting for exploitation and may even uncover ones currently being exploited. After that, the implementation should be carried out swiftly and efficiently, with a focus on encryption on employee training to counter spearphishing attempts.
With spearphishing training, effective BYOD policy and a robust encryption system in place, concerns such as corporate/guest Wi-Fi use and obsolete software can be dealt with effectively without risking greater exposure. You may never know when someone is peering through your company files looking for valuable data, but with the right systems in place you can obstruct them well enough to insure yourself against significant damage.
What are some other small and often overlooked security loopholes you’ve found? Let us know and also offer ideas on how to fix these common security loopholes in the enterprise setting.