A Company’s Greatest Asset is also its Biggest Network Security Risk

When it comes to network protection, many companies believe their biggest security risk are hackers typing away at a keyboard actively trying to break into their systems. But the reality is that your company’s greatest asset is also likely to be the biggest risk to your network security. We’re talking about your employees. Simply put, network security solutions need to start with your staff.

What’s at stake? “Everything,” says Tony Haggerty, Security Engineer with Locknet Managed IT, an EO Johnson Business Technologies company. “An employee failing at that critical moment is the difference between a ransomware encrypted network, or a compromised email, or, business as usual with a safe network.”

Signs your company network is at risk

So, how can you know if your company isn’t paying enough attention to mitigating that network security risk posed by employees? Look for the warning signs.

“Maybe you’ve had a couple close calls where an employee nearly went out and bought those Apple Store gift cards (a hacker attempt to get your money), or maybe they opened that phony invoice and your other protections stepped in,” explains Haggerty. These are some of the many signs that you may need to pay more attention to the human factor in network security solutions.

Why do employees pose a risk to network protection?

Chances are, you’ve invested a lot in your network security. And there are so many security systems you may depend on, such as:

  • Antivirus/Antimalware programs
  • Spam filtering
  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
  • Firewalls
  • And much more

Maybe you even have a fully-staffed IT department with skilled IT professionals. With all of the investment you’ve made in security, it stands to reason that your organization should be safe. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

“Most of the time whether to execute that malware, or give up their user information, lies in the hands of the end user, not in trained IT staff,” says Haggerty. “Ensuring your end users make the right decision at that critical moment is the difference between having your network encrypted or not encrypted by ransomware.”

Addressing the human risk to your network security

Here are some practical steps you can take to address the human end of the network security solutions equation.

  1. Implement a security awareness training program for your end users. “They are affordable and will teach your employees the skills, and the confidence, they need to smell a phish,” says Haggerty.
  2. Balance technical protections with non-technical protections, so that you are investing in both. “Practicing defense in depth and having many layers of protection is critical to protecting your network,” Haggerty explains. “Just as no system is 100% perfect, end users can’t be 100% perfect, and you need to ensure other protections are in place.”
Network security solutions done right

Locknet Managed IT works with companies to deploy and maintain a security awareness program and address security comprehensively, from the ground up. We’ll work with your company and to determine the appropriate course of action for your network protection needs. When security awareness is done right, it becomes an integral part of company culture. That includes regular training of users, user testing and practicing security.

“Not only should you be talking the talk, you need to walk the walk,” says Haggerty. “Talk with your end users regularly, show them regularly why security is so important.”

From day to day tasks to keeping your company’s reputation strong, there are so many compelling reasons to invest in your company’s network protection. Contact us at Locknet Managed IT for more information about how we can help you forge lock-tight network security solutions.

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