In 2019, a data breach exposed the personal banking information of 9.7 million customers of Desjardins, a Canadian bank with over 7.5 million members and $400 billion in assets. The settlement reached over $200 million, and that doesn’t include the legal costs, reputational damage, and lost time spent cleaning up the mess. This illustrates the importance of mitigating network vulnerabilities.
What Are Network Vulnerabilities?
In the digital age, businesses rely heavily on IT networks for their day-to-day operations. With the increased use of technology, there is an increase in cyber threats and vulnerabilities. In this blog, we will explore the various types of network security threats that modern businesses face.
Networks allow businesses to connect with customers and partners, share information, and access cloud-based services. An IT network is a group of interconnected devices, such as computers, servers, and other hardware, that share information and resources. Network vulnerabilities are weaknesses in the network infrastructure that can be exploited by hackers to gain unauthorized access or cause harm to the network.
Types of Vulnerabilities in Network Security
There are many types of vulnerabilities in network security, far too many to explore each in depth. Different vulnerabilities leave you open to different types of attacks in network security. Let’s explore some common network vulnerabilities that businesses should be aware of:
Weak passwords are a common cyber vulnerability that businesses must address. People often set weak passwords because they are easy to remember, but they are also easy to guess and can be exploited by cyber threats.
To mitigate weak password vulnerabilities, IT teams can implement several measures. Firstly, they can require employees to use strong passwords that are at least 8-10 characters long, contain a mix of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters. Secondly, they can mandate that employees change their passwords regularly, typically every 90 days.
They can also deploy multi-factor authentication (MFA) to provide an additional layer of security to employee login credentials. Lastly, they can implement password managers to generate complex passwords and securely store them. By taking these steps, businesses can reduce the risk of weak passwords and improve the overall security of their IT networks.
Using outdated software is a significant risk for businesses as it can leave a network susceptible to cyber threats and vulnerabilities. Outdated software can have known security vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited by cybercriminals, leading to data breaches, system crashes, and other harmful activities.
To mitigate the risks of outdated software, IT teams can take several steps. Firstly, they can regularly scan their network for outdated software and update it as needed. Secondly, they can implement automated software update tools to ensure that software is always up-to-date. Thirdly, they can segment their network to ensure that outdated software is isolated from other systems and cannot be used as a point of entry for cybercriminals.
Additionally, IT teams can consider implementing vulnerability scanners and penetration testing to identify any vulnerabilities that may exist in their software and network. By taking these steps, businesses can mitigate the risks of outdated software and maintain a secure IT network.
Phishing attacks are common network vulnerabilities in which cybercriminals use deceptive tactics, such as fake emails, websites, or messages, to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information or installing malware. Phishing attacks can lead to significant data breaches and financial losses for businesses.
To mitigate susceptibility to phishing attacks, IT teams can take several steps. Firstly, they can implement email filters to identify and block suspicious emails that may be phishing attempts. Secondly, they can conduct regular phishing awareness training for employees to educate them on how to recognize and avoid phishing attempts. Thirdly, they can implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) to add an extra layer of security to user credentials.
IT teams can also use tools such as DNS filtering and web content filtering to block access to known malicious websites. By taking these steps, businesses can mitigate their information security vulnerabilities from phishing attacks.
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Malware is a type of software that is designed to cause harm to a computer system or network, typically by gaining unauthorized access, stealing data, or causing system crashes. Malware can enter a network through various means, such as phishing emails, malicious websites, or infected attachments.
To mitigate susceptibility to malware, IT teams can take several steps. Firstly, they can install and regularly update antivirus and anti-malware software on all systems. Secondly, they can restrict access to unauthorized websites and prevent downloads from untrusted sources. Thirdly, they can deploy network segmentation to isolate infected systems and prevent the spread of malware.
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Additionally, IT teams can conduct regular vulnerability scanning and penetration testing to identify and address any weaknesses that could be exploited by malware. By taking these steps, businesses can reduce their susceptibility to malware and better protect their network and sensitive data.
Mitigate Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities with Sunco
In conclusion, cybersecurity vulnerabilities are a significant concern for modern businesses. There are various types of vulnerabilities in network security that can leave a network open to cyber threats and attacks. Weak passwords, outdated software, phishing attacks, and malware are common network vulnerabilities that businesses should be aware of. Mitigating these vulnerabilities is essential to maintaining the security of a network and preventing cyber threats and vulnerabilities.
Sunco Communication and Installation Ltd. is a managed IT and communications service provider serving Canada for over 20 years. Contact us for a consultation and quote.