Internet hackers can really be a pain in the digital backside. The amount of time, resources, and money needed to invest into protecting your network can be frustrating, as it is all due to hackers looking to steal you and your company’s information for their own notorious desires. However, protecting your one’s business has been a necessity since the dawn of human civilization. Whether payments for upgraded physical security to paying security guards, business security has been around for centuries.
Network security is just the next step in its evolution. Taking advantage of the services offered to you by professional network security providers, such as Charlotte IT Solutions, is a valuable asset in protecting yourself, your business, and your customers. Yet, there are some steps you can take yourself to avoid many of the more common pitfalls of network security. This includes understanding how a hacker works at getting into your network. With this understanding, you’ll instantly be able to heighten network security, all before bringing in the professionals.
How a Hacker Works to Get Into Your Network
Let’s begin with learning how a hacker works to compromise your network:
The Phishing Attack
This is not only the most common form of attacking your network, but it’s also the easiest to perform. Even marginally skilled hackers can set up a phishing attack, which at the very least will allow the hacker to infiltrate your network.
So how does such an attack take place? The cybercriminal will send an email with a malicious attachment or link on the email. If someone within your network clicks on the link or downloads the attachment, it will give free access to the hacker and whatever malware or spyware they included within the attachment.
The thing about these kinds of attacks is it doesn’t matter how great your network security is. If you’re freely opening the door to a hacker, the hacker will walk right in. Our staff can help set up security protocols to scan through emails prior to opening and to catch most malicious files even after the email has been opened. But the best way to prevent these kinds of hacks from taking place, to begin with, is to simply avoid opening the emails.
You will need to talk with your staff about network security and the importance of not opening emails from suspicious or unrecognized senders. Additionally, if there is any question about the authenticity of a sender, all you need to do is look at the sender’s email account. This is often a dead giveaway to a fake, fraudulent sender. And if there are further questions (such as if it looks like it’s possibly from Amazon, PayPal, Google, or another high-profile sender), it’s possible to copy the full email address and then paste it into a search engine. Your answer as to its authenticity will show up with the search results.
Poor Usernames and Passwords
Usernames are not difficult to obtain. Sometimes there isn’t much you can do about it. Your username is displayed within the website, and you’ll need to provide this username when logging in or to individuals who need to email you content. As there isn’t much you can do about your username security; you need to focus on the strength of your password. Many hacks occur by digital brute force. Basically, a hacker will gather enough information on you or a user and then continue to punch in varying password options until they unlock your account.
There are a few ways you can strengthen your password (while reducing the chance of a hacker sneaking into your account). For starters, stop filling out games or questions on social media. You’ll often find questions posted on social media such as, “What was the name of your first pet?” or “What was your first car?”. These questions are never just to ask a basic question. It is to gather information about you and anyone else answering. Why these questions? Because these are common password reminder questions (you know, the questions you select and answer when setting up a profile, just in case you forget your password). So avoid filling any of those out.
Second, it is good to enable multi-step authentication for any password you have within your network. A multi-step authentication process heightens the security measures of anyone logging onto your network. If you have just a basic username and password setup, anyone can gain access, just as long as they have this general information. With another step, which can range from a fingerprint scan to having a specific USB dongle inserted into the computer, it ensures only you can access the network through your account (and that only your employees can access the network through their own accounts). The best way to enable these kinds of multi-step authentications is to take advantage of the services offered by an IT service provider. This is something we can provide you with here at Charlotte IT Solutions.
It’s Time to Take Your Network Security Seriously
By now you should have a better understanding of how a hacker works. Hacks don’t just happen to large businesses. Yes, international corporations and multi-billion dollar businesses can provide a windfall of information and financial gain to hackers, but these are especially difficult to hack into, not to mention federal authorities are more likely to be monitoring hacks of this size. The same is not true with a smaller business such as your own. While less national attention is paid to smaller company hacks, a hacker can cause catastrophic damage to your business. That is why you not only need to do what you can to protect your business network, which includes hiring a professional IT service provider, such as our team here at Charlotte IT Solutions. We don’t mess around when it comes to network security. We’ll perform a complete audit of your network, then craft a security solution built specifically for your business and your business only. To find out just how we can help better protect your business, give our customer service staff here at Charlotte IT Solutions a call.