IT is the backbone of most companies, empowering staff, improving inter-company communication, and streamlining workflows.
Top five IT risks facing companies in 2020
IT powers modern business, but this all-encompassing influence does not come without risk, unfortunately. Here are just some of the risks companies face through technology in 2020.
1.Outdated hardware or software
Outdated hardware can pose significant problems to your network – not just from a speed point of view but also due to its vulnerabilities to attack. While most manufacturers provide patches through the reasonable lifecycle of a product, there will still come the point where hardware needs to be replaced. It is highly unadvisable to chance running unsupported hardware on your network.
Equally, the software must be regularly updated to the latest versions. The most common reason for software updates is to address security loopholes and make them safe from attack.
One of the easiest ways to mitigate against security breaches caused by outdated tech is to employ the services of a managed IT company like the Techware Corporation who will inspect all your connected devices and perform a security audit on your entire operations.
2.The threat from mobile devices
Smartphones and tablets have heralded an entirely new way of working for many companies, allowing employees to work remotely, on the move, unconstrained by cables and desks.
While mobile networking has brought considerable benefits to many sides of work, it has also brought considerable risks – namely in lost or stolen devices and the potential for mobile devices to bring malicious code to your network.
- While your company network is adequately locked down (or should be), your staff’s mobile devices can provide a very easy backdoor entry for malicious code. This practice is commonly referred to as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and poses significant threats to networks if not addressed.
- Also, when a device is lost or stolen, it may contain apps with direct access to your network.
Ransomware is malicious software that enters your company network and effectively locks down processes or files, then demands a fee (or ransom) to restore access. In some cases, the malware may also threaten to publish the data if the payment isn’t made
4.The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is very much in its infancy but promises to bring significant benefits through the world of automation and connected devices. Unfortunately, more devices connected to your network means, potentially, more entry points for an attack. While it’s relatively easy to lock down machines and devices running common software packages, many devices run proprietary software, each carrying its own potential risk. Before venturing too far into the IoT, it’s essential to do a risk assessment, covering each potential security flaw.
5.Your people and the threat from inside
Recent reports have cited internal staff as the cause of up to 95% of all corporate security breaches. Rather than these being malicious, most are caused by pure ignorance on the part of the staff – normally through opening seemingly innocuous attachments or straying into infected pages on the internet.
Your staff must be trained to understand the dangers posed online. After all, anyone who has access to your network also has an inherent responsibility for its security. Train staff to be aware of the dangers caused by phishing, email attachments, social engineering attacks, and the other common risks online. Even just reminding them to update their passwords can help!
The risks to IT networks from attacks are genuine and continue to rise, year on year. While the use of the internet and networks continues to grow, there are some basic precautions you can take to improve your company’s security online.