Hacking can sometimes seem like something that just happens to other organizations. But the growing list of major enterprises that have fallen victim to hacking should make it clear that it can happen to anyone. Here are three ways hackers can get into business IT networks.
Of all the items on this list, phishing is undoubtedly one of the most prevalent ones to your business. Some people are under the misconception that phishing is a scam of the past. This is a dangerous lapse of judgement.
Every year, there are over one trillion phishing emails that make it to people’s inboxes. Yes, you read that correctly. Trillion with a big T. The sheer quantity of phishing emails that have the potential to reach your employees is a threat on its own. After all, it only takes one lapse of judgement for hackers to gain access to your network.
But quantity isn’t the true danger of phishing; it’s quality. These kinds of schemes have become much more sophisticated over time. Hyper-targeted scams, known as spear phishing, can be almost indistinguishable from real emails. Often, these will apparently come from a colleague or boss—and ask for some specific, sensitive piece of information. Accustomed to giving this kind of info to a peer, someone might unwittingly hand it over without realizing it’s a scam.
These sorts of scams, where a hacker poses as someone you know or an innocent party, are often referred to as social engineering scams. The idea is to gain your trust by being well-disguised as a trustworthy party. Sometimes these scams come with an attachment or link in the email. Opening this, or clicking a link, might infect your devices with malware to gain access to the network.
It’s important to protect against this kind of network infiltration. One of the best ways to do this is simply through education. Make sure your employees understand the dangers of social engineering scams like phishing and spear-phishing attacks, especially those who have access to critical data and info. You can also turn to Internal and external penetration testing as a means to prevent these kinds of system and data breaches.
While education is often one of the best ways to protect your business from dangerous cyber-attacks, it’s not a foolproof method. There are always going to be people who don’t take your directives as seriously as needed, or who make a mistake.
Recycling passwords is one of these areas where people tend to not follow best practices. It’s estimated that almost 60 percent of people use the same password for everything. This means that all personal and business accounts are secured by the same sequence.
Unfortunately, it’s not terribly difficult for hackers to discover these passwords though some simple legwork. Hackers just need to discover the passwords of an employee, then try using that to log into their work account. Doing this can give them instant access to highly confidential material.
It’s difficult to protect against this kind of threat. But it can be done much more effectively when using SOC or security operations center as a service. This new wave of network security is making it more viable for enterprises to respond to developing threats and shut them down before they get out of control.
When thinking of cyber-attacks, many people get an image of some shadowy figure behind a screen in a dark basement. While that’s a scary bad guy, often the true culprit is someone you work with every day.
Research from IBM showed that over 60 percent of attacks come from people inside an organization. Of these, about three-fourths are malicious, while the other quarter were unintended. Think about it: People on the inside are going to be the most privy to sensitive information. This gives them the perfect doorway to hack into enterprise networks.
No one wants to think about hacking and cyber-attacks. But these are very real parts of the world today. It’s essential for organizations to consider how to defend against and mitigate security breaches, such as by remote penetration testing.
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