IT Security Services in Cape Town

The Top 7 Network Security risks and how to combat them

O
ne of the most important jobs a network administrator has to carry out is to supervise network security. Any computer networking service is susceptible to attacks from outside sources. What are those sources and how can you combat them with a network security setup?

 

Hacking and the use of firewalls

Any network is susceptible to being hacked. Network administrators need to employ firewalls to protect their network. Firewalls are applications that are designed to block any unauthorized access to the network. Network security companies or computer network consultants can advise you as to the best or appropriate firewall for your business network.

 

Emails and malware

Emails often contain attachments that themselves contain malware in the form of trojans, worms or viruses. Workers on the network need to be briefed on the dangers of opening an attachment that can potentially release malware onto the corporate network. The latest generation of malware will propagate itself without even being opened. Network administrators need to employ appropriate anti-virus and anti-spyware programs on their network.

 

USB storage devices

USB storage devices in the form of memory sticks, flash drives and external hard drives are an extremely high security risk because they are so small and can be moved around easily. This also makes them vulnerable to viruses and malware, which can be transferred from one computer to another both either on your network or between a worker’s home PC and the network.

 

Neglecting security audits

Network maintenance is the day to day work of a network administrator and one of the essential jobs he has to carry out, but that is so often neglected. Ideally a network security audit should include at least the following:

  • Defining the scope of the audit by creating a master list of assets, and defining a security perimeter.
  • Creating a list of potential threats such as password lists, the vulnerability of physical assets, data backups, access to sensitive customer data, emails, long distance calling, access to client lists etc.
  • Examining past threats and possible future threats.
  • Prioritizing assets and potential vulnerabilities
  • Putting network access controls into operation
  • Applying anti-intrusion measures
  • Employing identity and access management
  • Creating backups and a backup policy
  • Email protection and filtering
  • Preventing physical intrusions

Network security audits can easily be overlooked in a busy office environment, but nonetheless are an essential part of a network administrator’s job.

 

Network password policies

The easiest way for any hacker to gain access to any of your company’s computers is through obtaining passwords. Workers should be trained in how to use more secure alpha-numeric passwords that are not easily broken by password-guessing programs.

 

Staff training

It is essential for network support personnel to train workers in all aspects of the network, and this includes training in the implementation and use of the particular anti-virus software used by your company.

 

VoIP and IP telephony

IP telephony refers to any communication services that are handled by the Internet rather than traditional public telephone lines. VoIP is rapidly taking over from traditional phone lines in many companies because of the increasing availability of broadband and high speed Internet. However, these systems are extremely vulnerable to attacks by hackers, who can access mailboxes, customer data and even record telephone conversations.

This lists just the top 7 security threats to your network – there are many others. As a network support company we are well versed in network security in Cape Town and can advise you on any issues that you may have regarding network security. You may contact us for further information.