Network Vulnerabilities: Stay Ahead of Hackers

Majority of the time, the resolution of a mystery story is to “think like the bad guys.” In true Sherlock Holmes style, applying attention to detail while putting yourself in the shoes of the hacker helps prevent bad things from happening. Coincidentally, this strategy is particularly applicable to apply to your business’ network security. To stay ahead of hacking, you need to think like a hacker.

Try to Hack Your Network

If the goal of a hacker is to connect to your business’ network through unsecure Wi-Fi and download data from your file —- would he or she be able to? Is your network “door” open to cyber intruders who can access your system?

Here are a couple of situations that are part of a penetration test, a systematic method of evaluating a network for common weaknesses.

  1. Open Ports Test
  2. DDoS Defense Test
  3. Malware/Virus Test
  4. Client-side Attack
  5. Server-side Attack
  6. Credit Card Theft Test
  7. Bandwidth Test

Other free tools include Nmap (featured in the Matrix Reloaded and Die Hard 4), Browserscope and PCFlank.

Determine What to Defend

If you were trying to get into a fortress, what would you do first? Probably evaluate the perimeter and see if there are any unguarded areas. The logic still applies in the cyber realm – take an inventory of all PCs, servers, mobile devices, firewalls and switches that are on your network. A weakness in any of these areas could be a targeted vulnerability.

Identify Weaknesses and Correct Them

After you have thought about your potential vulnerabilities, threats and defenses, be sure to create an action plan. Training employees on password hygiene is a quick and easy first step. To take your protection to the next level, purchasing security software and hardware is the next step, however, it requires budgeting and resources. 

It’s always a difficult pill to swallow discovering that your business’ data may have been at risk without even knowing it. Remember, it’s worth thinking like the “bad guys” if you can keep your network safe from cyberattacks!

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