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In our society today, threats to our networks have become a major problem. Many companies have been victims of network threats such as hacking. Therefore, proper management of risks needs to be put into practice so that a secure network, which is a necessity of many companies, may be realized. Managing risks within a network may be challenging since a company has to balance business operations and governance.
Vulnerability is a weak spot in a network that may lead to a security threat such as hacking as mentioned above. Hackers are no longer are not only motivated by fame and prestige but by profit. They are employed and funded by other companies that are illegal and they want to acquire some information or data from a certain company. The ability for these illegal companies to access unauthorized data and information from another company is due to lack of a proper network management system. The risks that are associated with network mismanagement are data losses, long rebuilding times of a network and delayed performance of a company.
For a company to a proper network management system, it has first to assess the risks that can or are there in a company while accounting for the time and money required in catering for the risks. This will ensure that there is a proper time plan. Also a company has to understand common attacks that may occur on the network like the attack of a virus due to lack of turning on the internet firewall and establish a full list of potential vulnerabilities that accompany the risks stated. The use of appropriate tools to check the existing security state of your network is also a crucial measure in ensuring network security. These tools should be able to check for updates and other common configuring errors in the network.
Hardware risks and vulnerabilities
There are a number of risks that can be experienced in a network. They include hacking which is also known as illicit entry to a network. Illegal personnel can gain access to a network without the knowledge of the owners. The motive of the hacker may be to gain certain data from the network that contain marketing strategies for the case of companies or for fame that he/she is an expert in hacking.
The second risks that can occur to the network are corruptions by viruses from the internet and illegal people who insert hardware like flash disks to the network computers. This may lead to complete breakdown of computers and the network at large or loss of important information from the computers. Foreign hardware from other computers may carry viruses to the network and thus corrupting it.
Unintentional risks caused by internal personnel or the employees of the company. For example, an employee may want to test certain software on the company’s computers. The software may not be compatible with the existing operating system leading to its breakdown. This kind of risk may also be caused by exercising unauthorized configuration changes to a network. An employee may decide to make some configurations on the computers like system restores. This may lead to complete loss of data from the computer.
Causes of network vulnerabilities
The causes of network vulnerabilities that the company can experience are mainly managerial reasons First of all, more physical networks, ports and protocols increase the connectivity of a company thus increasing the chances of network vulnerability. Increased connectivity creates a wide design of the network thus many people or hosts can access the network and there are high chances of unauthorized people accessing the information that they are not supposed to access. A complex or large system leads to unattended points in a network thus becoming very difficult to manage. This also increases cases of vulnerability.
Secondly the use of passwords that can be easily guessed like birthdays lead to high vulnerabilities to illegal access. Harmful spyware on the internet also increase chances of vulnerability to network risks. When a computer in the network accesses the internet, the spyware immediately enters it. This spyware may cause the administrator to run unchecked user inputs that lead to direct executions of commands in the stored databases in the network. This may lead to corruption of the company’s data. Ignorance to the risks experienced from former vulnerabilities like the crash of a software and later using it in the network may also lead to loss of data.
Risk management plan
In order to deal with the above named risks to a network, there are certain management plans that need to be put in to practice so that a secure network is established. One of them is a proper configuration management. This is a very crucial aspect of a network since configuring a network will ensure that there are no accounts that are vulnerable to hacking, all the machines in the company are running up to date copies of operating systems and that all the data in the organization have back up in case there is a data loss.
Proper and active firewalls should be put on the in internet connection of the organization so that any unauthorized spyware trying to enter the network cannot gain access. These spy wares are either blocked or deleted from the network in case they try to gain accesses. The firewalls also block unknown software that the employees of the company try to test on the computers thus reducing the risks of data losses and system break downs.
Finally, the use of trusted operating system and software is also a very efficient way of curbing risks on the network. Trusted here means that the operating systems and the software have successfully worked for another company and incase of any malfunctioning of the software, the manufacture company is ready to compensate for the losses experienced.
The recent management systems have called for proper network management systems due to the increased data insecurity levels in their systems. More intelligent hackers have come up due to the increased technology advancements though this has also been an added advantage on the side of network management since the more the advanced a network is, the more it is secure. Total network security is however a very difficult thing to achieve since the hackers who try to illegally access our networks are the very same creators of those software that are being used in our networks.