November 24, 2014
There are a number of security systems available that can help you protect your computer network from unauthorized access. However, there are a number of internal vulnerabilities, which are not commonly considered to be a threat, but have the potential to seriously infect your system.
Some of the common network security threats are:
- USB Drives: These are one of the most common means of infecting a network. USB drives are small, inexpensive devices that can be used to share data between computers. Once a system is connected with a USB drive, most operating systems allow automatic running of programs, even the malicious ones.
- Laptops and Netbooks: Laptops and Netbooks of people outside the company, if connected to company’s computer network can also transmit codes that can hamper the security of a network. These portable devices may also have many system codes running at the back end to search for and infect internal networks. These malicious programs can also provide an easy access to a company’s important information like salaries, phone numbers, addresses, medical records, employee passwords etc.
- Wireless Access Points: These provide immediate access to the network to any user within the network range. With security vulnerability in wireless access points, hackers can penetrate a computer system to get hold of confidential information. Most of the wireless AP protocols such as WPA and WPA2 are susceptible to attacks if strong passwords are not used.
- Miscellaneous USB Devices: Apart from USB drives, many other devices such as digital cameras, MP3 players, scanners, printers, fax machines etc. also pose a threat to the security of a network by transferring infected files from one system to another.
- Employees Borrowing Others’ Machines or Devices: Borrowing or sharing devices within the office can also cause an employee to inadvertently access restricted areas of the network. Thus, it is important that the passwords are strong and frequently changed.
- The Trojan Human: These are attackers who enter the websites in the camouflage of an employee or a contractor. These types of swindlers are capable of gaining access to the secure area of the network, including the server room.
- Optical Media: Just like the USB devices, optical media such as CDs or DVDs can also be used as a source of network infection. Once installed and run on a system, these portable storage devices can steal and disclose confidential data to other public networks.
- Lack of Employee Alertness: Besides the intimidations from digital technology, the capacity of human mind to store information also poses a major threat to a network’s security. Employees should be alert to note who is around them when they log on to their system or while reading confidential documents in public places.
- Smartphones: Today, phones are no less than mini-computers having the capacity to perform complex tasks. Hence, smartphones also pose the same security threat as a laptop, netbook or US devices.
- E-mail: Emails are commonly used to communicate, send and receive files within the business networks. However, this facility can often be misused for malicious purposes. Confidential messages can certainly be sent to any outside target and many viruses can be transferred through emails.
Make sure you keep a note of all these potential threats and take the necessary steps to prevent your internal network from getting infected.