5 Network Security Threats and How to Protect Yourself

Cybersecurity is so important today because of everyone’s reliance on technology, from collaboration, communication, and data collection to e-commerce and entertainment. Every organization that needs to provide services to its customers and employees needs to protect its IT “network”, meaning all applications and connected devices, from laptops and desktops to servers and smartphones.

While traditionally these would all live on a “corporate network”, – today’s networks are often just the devices themselves and how they are connected: over the internet, sometimes via VPN, to the homes and cafes people work from, to the cloud and data centers where services reside. So what threats does this modern network face?

Let’s look at them in more detail.

#1 Misconfiguration

According to a recent Verizon study, misconfigurations and misuse now account for 14% of breaches. Misconfiguration errors occur when configuring a system or application to be less secure. This can happen when you change a setting without fully understanding the consequences or when an incorrect value is entered. Either can create a serious vulnerability – for example, a misconfigured firewall can allow unauthorized access to an internal network, or a misconfigured web server can leak sensitive information.

#2 Outdated Software

Software and application developers constantly release updates with patches to cover vulnerabilities that have been discovered in their code. Patching these vulnerabilities across an organization’s entire network of devices can be time-consuming and complex to implement, but it’s essential. If you don’t update your software, firmware, and operating systems to the latest versions as they come out, you’re leaving your network exposed. A vulnerability scanner will give you a real-time inventory of all software that needs to be updated, as well as detect misconfigurations that reduce your security, so you can stay as secure as possible.

#3 DoS Attack

The two previous threats are typically exploited to breach networks and steal information, but a denial of service (DoS) attack is meant to shut down your network and make it inaccessible.

This can be done in many ways, either with malware, flooding the target network with traffic, or sending information that triggers a crash, such as requesting overly complex queries that lock a database. In each case, the DoS attack prevents customers or employees from using the service or resources they expect.

DoS attacks often target the websites of prominent organizations such as banks, media companies, and governments. Although DoS attacks don’t usually result in data theft or loss, they can cost you a lot of time and money to deal with. A properly configured content delivery network (CDN) can help protect websites against DoS attacks and other common malicious attacks.

#4 Application Bugs

A software bug is an error, defect, or defect in an application or system that causes it to produce an incorrect or unexpected result. Bugs exist in every piece of code for all sorts of reasons, ranging from improper testing or messy code to a lack of communication or inadequate specification documents.

Not all bugs are cybersecurity issues or vulnerable to exploitation where an attacker can use the flaw to access the network and execute code remotely. However, some bugs like SQL injection can be very serious and allow attackers to compromise your site or steal data. Not only do SQL injections leave sensitive data exposed, but they can also allow remote access and control of affected systems. This is just one example of one type of application bug, but there are many more.

Injections are common if developers have not received sufficient security training, or when mistakes are made and code is not reviewed, or when combined with inadequate ongoing security testing. However, even when all of these things are done, errors can still occur, which is why it is still ranked as the #1 threat in OWASP’s Top Ten Web Application Security Risks. Fortunately, many types of injection vulnerabilities (and other application-level security bugs) can be detected with an authenticated web vulnerability scanner and penetration testing for more sensitive applications.

#5 Attack surface management

Can you secure your business if you don’t know what internet-connected assets you own? Not effectively. Without a complete and up-to-date inventory of Internet-connected assets, you don’t know what services are available and how attackers can attempt to break into them. a walk in the park as computer parks grow and evolve almost daily.

When companies try to document their systems, they often rely on manually updating a simple spreadsheet, but between configuration changes, new technologies, and shadow IT, they rarely know exactly which assets they own or where. But discovering, tracking, and protecting all those assets is an essential part of strong security for every business.

A vulnerability scanner is a dynamic, automated tool that can keep track of what’s exposed to the internet and restrict anything that doesn’t need to be there – like that old Windows 2003 box that everyone has forgotten about, or a web server that a developer created for a quick test before leaving the company…

It can also continuously monitor your cloud accounts and automatically add any new external IP address or hostname as a target. And it can help with “asset discovery” when businesses need help finding their IP addresses and domains that they don’t even know about.

What does this mean for you?

Attackers use automated tools to identify and exploit vulnerabilities and gain access to unsecured systems, networks or data, regardless of the size of your organization. Finding and exploiting vulnerabilities with automated tools is simple: the attacks listed above are inexpensive, easy to perform, and often indiscriminate, so every organization is at risk. All it takes is one vulnerability for an attacker to gain access to your network.

Knowing where your vulnerabilities and weak points are is the first and most important step. If you spot your vulnerabilities early, you can fix them before an attacker can exploit them. A vulnerability scanner is a cloud-based service that identifies security vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, and software. Vulnerability scanners provide a continuous service that scans for network threats and vulnerabilities – everything from weak passwords to misconfigurations or unpatched software – so you can deal with them before attackers exploit them.

Vulnerability management made easy

Intruder’s Network Vulnerability Scanner is powered by industry-leading scanning engines used by banks and governments around the world. It is able to find over 11,000 vulnerabilities and focuses on what matters, saving time with contextual results. With noise reduction, it only flags actionable issues that have a real impact on your safety.

Network Security Threats
Intruder offers a 30-day free trial of its vulnerability scanner

By analyzing both your internal and external attack surface, Intruder monitors your publicly and privately accessible servers, cloud systems, websites, and endpoints. Fewer targets for hackers means fewer vulnerabilities to worry about.

Organizations around the world trust Intruder’s Vulnerability Scanner to protect their networks with continuous security monitoring and comprehensive scanning.

Kevin M. Risinger