I Changed My Mind About Network Security. Here’s Why
2 years into the pandemic and the dust looks settled within enterprises with regards to the new normal of working where most employees begin and end their daily work routines at the comfort of their homes. The relative calm surrounding remote work policies may be enticing enough to suggest a comfortable network security paradigm coming into existence. But unfortunately, not all are on the bright side.
A 2021 survey conducted amongst security professionals globally pointed out that nearly 54% of respondents found incidents of work disruption in their organization owing to issues in network security.
However, on the plus side, this is a downward trend as previous surveys pointed to even bigger percentages. Nevertheless, network security continues to be a matter of prime importance for enterprises and with the digital taking center stage, it is inevitable that enterprises get their acts together and create a sustainable roadmap for their security credentials. Very often, leaders go in search of the best practices in network security and race to implement them but very seldom do they realize that in the case of network security, it is equally important to be aware of what not to do.
In this regard, let us examine the top six bad practices in network security that every enterprise needs to avoid for success in the digital economy.
Poor Password Standards Implementation
The first line of defense against any form of cyber-attacks on a business system is the login credential. A weak password is an open invitation for exploitation by bot attacks. Weak passwords can easily be cracked by modern text generation engines deployed by fraudsters.
While end-users of the system can be continuously educated about the need to maintain a strong password, it is ultimately the enterprise network security that is to be blamed for such a lapse. Their failure in imposing a strict standard for password combinations that can be used in the system is the first culprit. Have a policy in all login interfaces which accepts only passwords having hard to crack combinations and also make it mandatory to change passwords over a fixed period of time like for example every 90 days.
Lack of Alignment between IT and Business units
In several enterprises, there exists a challenge wherein IT defines security policies that are not very favorable to business process execution and periodic revisions in working styles. This results in IT becoming a major roadblock for innovation in the business and may even lead to situations where business users seek ways to work around the IT team to implement digital initiatives. Such a poor alignment can result in shady security credentials for the underlying network and can become a breeding ground for fraudsters and cyber imposters.
It is important for leaders to establish a platform of seamless communication and collaboration between IT and different business units. Their mutual needs should be discussed, debated and possible solutions need to be worked out together. IT should refrain from being a department that says “No” as an answer to every ticket raised to them for support. Instead, they need to transition into an enabling unit that responds with “How can we help” to ensure seamless and responsive network support for new digital innovations that business teams want to experiment with.
Untracked Software Installs
Employees are often left with a free choice to install software or apps on their work devices to help them work comfortably in a remote environment. Organizations that fail to keep track of such installations will face a huge challenge as 3rd party software is a prime target for cybercriminals to place their traps and enter into corporate networks. It is advisable to have a track of all approved software that employees can safely install on devices that connect to their work network frequently. Exceptions need to be closely monitored and their risk levels constantly assessed and reported to ensure that the network remains risk-free.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) can help resolve security threats that target login interfaces and password verification systems. Microsoft recently revealed that nearly 300 million fraudulent sign-in attempts happen every single day on their cloud services. But for enterprises, enabling MFA requires more than just the latest digital infrastructure. If your business is continuing to promote legacy protocols like SMTP for data and file exchange, it is impossible to enable security measures MFA since SMTP doesn’t support it. Hence, even if multiple applications that the business has, leverages MFA, fraudsters can still exploit the vulnerability of less security in outdated browsers and email applications within the enterprise network.
The Temptation for Everything New
In the race to win over digital-savvy customers, enterprises often keep adding newer digital applications into their technology landscape. To keep up with the rising scale of digital influence, they add new security tools and platforms to keep an eye out for any threats. But the problem is that when there is a cascading of new applications and security protocols that different departments, as well as IT, need to handle, it is quite obvious that they will forget or have lower priority for upgrades to existing systems in place. This will open up such older systems to a threat landscape that is constantly learning and evolving to evade enterprise security checks.
It is never advisable to let the guard down for enterprise network security thinking that there are enough defense mechanisms in place. The threat landscape is constantly evolving and businesses whose core domains are non-tech are likely to be less prepared on their own to deal with newer challenges.
Get in touch with us to have a first-hand advisory on securing your enterprise’s network infrastructure and enable seamless support for your business’s digital ambition without worrying about security risks.