Network Security Threats: 5 Ways to Protect Yourself

team working on network security

Connectivity is essential for accomplishing anything in an organization. Unfortunately, connectivity is a double-edged sword: the more an organization’s information is available to its team and stakeholders, the more exposed it is to network security threats.

It’s up to tech support specialists to lock down an organization’s network, preventing threats before there’s even an issue. Unfortunately, cyberattacks are increasing: in 2020 alone, many industries saw a threefold increase in attacks

An unsecured network is like locking your front door, but leaving the back door unlocked. While it won’t prevent every attack, network security is a common-sense first line of defense to protecting your organization.

Malicious parties are after your organization’s data. The best way to protect an organization from network threats is to prevent them from the start. This means taking a proactive approach to your IT policies. Learn about some of the most common threats facing your organization’s network security, as well as 5 tips to protect your network. 

Common threats and how to identify them

A network attack happens when someone tries to gain unauthorized access to your network. Usually, the intent is to steal data, leak files, or infect the network with malware. Most cyberattacks have a financial motivation, holding an organization’s data hostage until they pay a ransom

Network security prevents unauthorized access to your systems. It includes several layers of protection around your organization’s network that give you greater peace of mind. It can’t prevent every threat, but a solid network security plan will mitigate the damage of a breach, saving your organization precious time and money. 

Every network attack is different, but organizations face common threats like: 

  • Employee device theft
  • Employee privilege or access abuse
  • Power surges
  • Hardware failures
  • Malware
  • Ransomware
  • Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks
  • Email phishing

There are so many ways for criminals to attack your network. This is why it’s so critical for technology specialists to take network security threats seriously.

How to prevent network security threats

But how can you secure your network against threats? Organizational networks are more complex today, thanks to increased connectivity, IoT-enabled devices, and remote work. This makes network security even more challenging for organizations’ internal teams. 

Flexibility is great, but it can leave your organization open to threats. Try these 5 network security best practices to safeguard your organization against cyber threats without compromising on the employee experience.

1. Monitor traffic and behavior

Network security threats often sneak in quietly. This is why it’s so critical for organizations to monitor their traffic and behavior. If you know your baseline, it’s much easier to pinpoint abnormal behavior that could be a malicious party. With the right network monitoring dashboard, you can view incoming and outgoing traffic to stop an attack before it’s too late. 

2. Divide your network

If an attacker manages to get into your network, they have access to everything. By dividing your network, you create several subnets in your system. Instead of keeping all of your eggs in one basket, this approach keeps your different networks separate. This way, an attacker has limited reach and does less damage in the event of a breach. 

3. Whitelist

Employees are definitely the wild card of network security. You don’t want employees visiting malicious websites or clicking on suspicious links. That’s why many organizations enable a whitelisting program. With whitelisting, your team manually approves specific websites and limits access to unknown or unapproved URLs. 

4. Access control

It’s unfortunate, but internal network security threats are a real problem. This is why it’s so important to implement access control for every user. For example, an employee doesn’t need access to a certain system, they shouldn’t have access to it at all. This prevents employees from accessing unauthorized information, as well as preventing access if an attacker steals their credentials. 

5. Automatic updates and patches

Out-of-date software is a hacker’s best friend. If you forget to update your software, you’re leaving the door wide open to network security threats. Regular updates and patches keep software running optimally, but they also fix known security vulnerabilities. Partner with providers like Dice to automate software updates for greater peace of mind. 

How can Dice help?

Network security threats are persistent. It’s important for organizations to never let their guard down, and to implement solid security measures that prevent breaches. No matter the size of your organization, network security threats have the power to stop you in your tracks. 

While these 5 protective measures are a great starting point, your organization needs a strategy in place for full network protection. Dice Communications helps schools, government agencies, hospitals, and other organizations maximize their network security with modern solutions. See how Dice can streamline and safeguard your organization. 

Learn More About Information Security

Security isn’t a one-and-done solution. Understanding the risks your business faces is the first step to protecting it. Dice Security Awareness training helps you and your organization understand:

  • Technology and threats to information
  • Evolving systems and networks
  • Basic security measures

Download the training compiled by the experts in the field and learn more about how to protect your assets.

Download the Security Awareness Training