Network Blind Spots: A Silent Threat to Your Cyber Security

 In Blog, Cloud Service Providers, Cloud Services, Cloud Solutions, Managed IT Service Providers, Managed IT Services, Managed Network Services, Managed Service Provider, Managed Services, Watchguard

The threat of a network breach can be one of a company’s greatest fears. The threat of data loss, privacy concerns, and unauthorized access to proprietary assets has far-reaching implications. Even worse, though, is the idea of network blind spots. Like a slow gas leak, these invisible breaches evade detection and slowly poison the network they have invaded. 

As commercial networks become larger and more complicated, it becomes increasingly difficult to monitor every nook and cranny. That creates an environment ripe for a patient hacker to snake their way into your system. 

How Network Blind Spots Happen

WatchGuard posits that the leading causes of network blind spots are too many alerts and too few staff to deal with them: 

“The average security operations center (SOC) receives 174,000 alerts per week… security teams were only able to review and respond to about 12,000 of those alerts… even small- to midsize businesses are impacted by nearly 4,000 cyber attacks each day.

Forty-seven percent of organizations are seeking IT security and cyber security skills for their teams in 2019. On average, it can take up to 8 months to adequately train a security analyst… just to have ¼ of those professionals switch to a new company within 2 years.”

When too many alerts have to be monitored, it’s easy to miss subversive threats. 

Threats to Your Network

There are four major reasons why network blind spots have become increasingly common. These shifts in technology, office culture, and the knowledge available to hackers have bred this new threat and created a serious concern for businesses and their IT systems. 

  1. The BYOD movement in offices opens countless doors in your network. A rogue app, a lack of antivirus software, or unintentionally accessing sites that are created to steal information all create an opportunity for invisible breaches to happen. 
  2. Shadow IT, in which employees install unapproved servers or software without consulting with the IT team. Even employees who have no intention to create vulnerabilities are doing so because they often don’t have the knowledge to regularly patch and maintain these programs. 
  3. It’s easier than ever to install your own wireless access points. These Rogue Wireless Hotspots are ideal targets for cyber criminals who are looking for an open door to your network, 
  4. One of the most difficult network blind spots to detect are botnets. They are capable of installing software on your network devices that disguises its access to your systems as normal network traffic. 

Finding and Preventing Blind Spots

Installing and maintaining powerful network security tools is the best way to close vulnerabilities. These tools can help you create trend data of normal network data, then alert you when deviations from the norm occur. Creating protocols for BYOD offices, software installation, and hotspot usage can help you hold your employees accountable for keeping your data safe. Perhaps most importantly, you need to understand your network and ways that it can be exploited. WatchGuard offers a webinar that can help you identify and prevent possible attacks. 

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