5 Signs Your Business Needs to Ramp Up Network Security Measures

What if you fell prey to a ransomware attack? As of 2023, more than 72 percent of businesses worldwide were affected by a ransomware attack.

What if there was a data breach and your healthcare records were exposed? More than 88 million people in the US have been affected by data breaches, up 60 percent in 2023.

If you don’t see your business in these statistics, congratulations. But as the saying goes, “It’s not a matter of if, but when.”

Network security is all about implementing measures to protect your computer network from unauthorized access, misuse, modification, or denial of service. It’s about using various technologies, processes, and policies to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of network resources and data.

You have policies in place. You’ve approached security from a number of different angles. But what have you done lately?

Unexplained network slowdowns and performance issues

Slowdowns and performance issues can arise from several situations. As more devices and users connect to a network, the available bandwidth gets divided among all users, leading to slower speeds for everyone. This is especially true in crowded areas or during peak usage periods. Network congestion can be exacerbated by bandwidth-intensive activities such as video streaming or large file downloads.

Faulty or outdated network infrastructure components such as routers, switches, or network cables can hinder the flow of data and negatively impact network performance. Outdated or improperly configured networking software, firewall restrictions, or settings conflicts can all lead to performance issues.

Businesses or organizations that underestimate their network capacity needs may experience performance problems as network traffic surpasses available bandwidth. Regular capacity planning and the implementation of quality of service tools help allocate bandwidth appropriately and prioritize critical traffic, thus preventing slowdowns. Network monitoring tools and software can provide detailed insights into network performance, enabling administrators to take appropriate action.

Frequent data breaches and security incidents

Have you noticed an uptick in data breaches, near misses, or security incidents? They don't have to be substantial for you to take notice and do something about it.

Several factors contribute to increased frequency of data breaches:

  • Internal actors, such as disgruntled employees or contractors with access to sensitive information, can intentionally or unintentionally compromise data security.
  • Cybercriminals utilize deceptive emails, text messages, or calls to obtain login credentials and gain unauthorized access to systems or networks.
  • Inadequate implementation of security protocols, outdated software, and using weak or easily guessed passwords create vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit.

Relying on third-party vendors or contractors who may have less stringent security measures in place, making their systems an entry point for attackers.

Increase in phishing attempts and social engineering attacks

Phishing attempts and social engineering attacks, known collectively as social engineering, have seen a significant increase in recent years due to several key factors. One contributing factor is the sheer volume of personal information available online, including email addresses, phone numbers, social media profiles, and other personal details. Cybercriminals exploit this wealth of information to craft sophisticated phishing emails and messages that appear legitimate, making it challenging for users to discern fraudulent communications from authentic ones.

The growing digital literacy gap and lack of awareness regarding cyber threats among users make them more susceptible to falling prey to social engineering attacks. With the increased reliance on remote work, online transactions, and cloud-based platforms, attackers have ample opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities in online systems, including email, social media, and financial services, to manipulate and deceive unsuspecting victims.

It is crucial to prioritize cybersecurity awareness and cultivate a culture of diligence and caution to protect yourself and your digital ecosystem from harm.

Unusual account activity and unauthorized access

How many people have access to your systems? How many are utilizing accounts in a way that's necessary for their positions?

Not sure?

While advances in technology have made our lives more convenient, they have also opened up new opportunities for cybercriminals. One of the most concerning issues faced by internet users is the occurrence of unusual account activity and unauthorized access to personal accounts.

Unusual account activity refers to any activity that deviates from your regular online behavior or usage pattern. This could include sudden and unexplained changes in account settings, unauthorized transactions, unexpected password resets, or unfamiliar devices accessing your accounts. When you notice such unusual activity, it is crucial to take immediate action to prevent any potential damage to your data information and finances.

Unauthorized access occurs when someone gains entry to your online accounts without your knowledge or permission. This could happen through various methods, including password guessing, phishing attacks, malware infections, or exploiting security vulnerabilities in the websites or applications you use.

In both cases, having a monitoring system in place is crucial to avoid potential pitfalls.

Outdated or vulnerable network infrastructure and software

Do you rely heavily on network infrastructure and software to facilitate their day-to-day operations and ensure seamless communication?

As technology rapidly evolves, so do the threats and vulnerabilities that pose a risk to these crucial components of our digital systems. Outdated or vulnerable network infrastructure and software can have severe consequences, including data breaches, network downtime, and financial losses.

  • Is any part of your infrastructure - routers, switches, firewalls, and more - outdated?
  • Are the software programs you use for daily routines vulnerable and susceptible to exploitation?
  • Do you have a patch management system in place?
  • Are any of your programs at the end-of-life, increasing your risk of security breaches?

By adopting proactive security measures, organizations can protect their network environment and data from unwanted intrusions and minimize the potential damages these vulnerabilities can cause.

If this is you …

Protecting your information and customer data is key. If you’re vulnerable in any of these areas, now is the time to do something about it.

It starts with evaluating your current environment. We help assess your overall security health and recommend ways to improve. Only then can you implement a complete security plan that provides a tailored solution  for you.

Need help? Give us a call today.

For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.