Five Mistakes IT Teams Make to Compromise Network Security

March 03, 2016 | Posted in:

Business Continuity, IT Consulting, IT Strategy, Managed IT, Network Design & Implementation, IT Security

Posted by Joe Sawyer

Risks_and_Solutions.pngAlthough data breaches are common enough to show up in news headlines on a weekly, sometimes daily basis, it's something none of us want our businesses to experience. In fact, an organization's IT staff is regularly putting practices and securities in place to try and prevent network compromises from occurring. However, it's not only employees who make mistakes that compromise network security. Listed below are five risks and their matching solutions to keep networks healthy and cybercriminals at bay. 

Workstation Patching 

This is a  simple exercise and yet, it is often the last item on the "to do" checklist.  

Risk:  New security vulnerabilities are appearing every day and without routine patching, networks are open to vulnerabilities.  The majority of these compromises can be avoided by patching.  On occasion, shortcuts are taken with patching, therefore creating openings for cyberthieves to break in. 
Solution: Invest more time to ensure these patches are done each week, or look to a third party to help.

Password Policy

Creating a stringent password policy enhances computer network security. 

Risk: Hackers are doing everything they can to get into your online account and steal your sensitive data such as banking statements, credit card statements, and healthcare records.
Solution: Set a password policy for your workstation to change every 45-90 days to minimize the risk and to stop the attacker from getting into your account.  In addition, practice utilizing complicated passwords and ensure the same password isn't used across various administrative accounts. This way, if cybercriminals obtain one password, it won't allow them to get into all of your accounts. 

Password policies are easy to establish and make it more difficult for cybercriminals to catch on to a company's poor habits. 

Network Monitoring and Alerts

It's imperative to login and see when your server storage space is reaching full or critical capacity, but have you decided when it's time to take action? Or, worse yet, what if you forget to check?

Risk:  By not regularly checking your storage server capacity, you can cause your network to crash, resulting in downtime and loss of productivity.
Solution: Develop a road map and policy around server storage capacity, including the actions that need to be taken when you are close to running out of space.  Utilize a solution that allows for a proactive approach to monitoring the health of your network and that alerts you to any issues before they cost you downtime. 

File Availability and Recovery

What is your data availability strategy?

Risk: Loss of data can happen due to a simple human error, system failure, or malware or ransomware attack.  This can cause valuable downtime for an organization resulting in loss of revenue and even the loss of current or prospective clients.
Solution: Test your current backup strategy to see if it works and is reliable.  If you don’t have a backup strategy, ensure that your senior leadership teams and IT teams are discussing a proactive approach.

Outsourcing When It Makes Sense

The challenge of growing revenue while responsibly managing cost forces difficult choices, and IT budgets are no exception.

Risk:  Trying to do it all yourself: network reliability, storage, backup, and security are all key aspects to productivity in the workplace. However, not everyone in the organization has the skillset to cover all IT gaps. Small to midsized businesses likely have limited resources which is why it's important to understand where outside knowledge can and will benefit the organization. 
Solution: There are many different models available to ensure you make good strategic use of your IT dollars and get the most out of ITThe key to getting it right is to understand where it’s crucial for your internal staff to make contributions, and when working with a partner makes sense for your business. To begin the process of optimizing your network, take advantage of a complimentary Network Assessment


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