Network security is and should be the primary concern of IT professionals in Houston and around the world. Why? Well, when over 75% of businesses dealt with at least once successful network breach by hackers in the last year—it sure does bring to light the sobering reality of network vulnerability. That vulnerability usually isn’t due to sophisticated attacks and cinematic hacking sequences. No, rather it comes down to a pretty simple weak link in IT security in Houston—human error.
Even though most managed IT companies in Houston install state of the art firewalls, encryption software worthy of military standards, antivirus software and more—the downfall that usually is the wild card is employees grave security mistakes.
Okay, But What Does Kanye West Have To Do With IT Security?
We are amusingly glad you’re probably asking this to yourself. On a very serious note, Kanye West last week, gave the world an example of two HUGE network security mistakes—on national TV. Meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office this past Thursday, Kanye wanted to show Trump a pic of emerging technology regarding a hydrogen-powered car on his iPhone. As he proceeded to lean across Trump’s desk Kanye made two huge mistakes.
Inputting Password In Front Of Onlookers
Knowing he was on camera, being filmed— Kanye put in his password on his phone to unlock it, in full view of the cameras—HD cameras that picked up his password as easily as if he had told them himself.
Using A Generic Password
His password itself was the second major gaffe. Kanye’s password to unlock his iPhone? A very generic “000000.” It is the second most unforgivable password mistake second only to “123456.”
The ideal network security efforts for organizations typically involve advanced devices and programs such as next-gen firewalls, antivirus software, and encryption programs. Despite these effective tools, the first line of defense should always start with the employees of the company.
Now, granted with modern mobile device security checks, one would have to guess that someone would put in such an easy password on the first 3-5 tries. After that, most mobile devices go into lock mode or wipe the data if that option has been set.
Still, it is just an example of the huge risk that employees pose to network security, even if your services are managed by the best managed IT service in Houston. If employees are not properly trained on security protocols and best practices, as well as setting uniform policies—your network is at a huge disadvantage, being susceptible to some or all of these three most common mistakes.
Top 3 Mistakes Employees Make With IT Security In Houston
Think you can just assume all employees know the proper protocols and vulnerabilities of your network? Think again, if employees were as knowledgeable in that field as you assume them to be, they would be handling your managed IT services in Houston internally! No, the fact is most employees know how to use the network and computer systems to facilitate their exact scope of tasks and to them, it either just works, or it doesn’t and they call…IT. So, it is no surprise that the three most common mistakes are quite unfathomable to IT professionals in Houston.
This one is a huge problem in many of the companies we provide our IT services and training to. An employee, especially one who thinks they have created an unbreakable password—tends to repeat the same password over and over again for every account or system. As IT professionals in Houston, we understand that choosing the perfect password is an easy task, but picking a different password as perfect for every single account or system can be very tedious and hard to manage.
After all, perfect password formatting should be a combo of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters and be at least 8 characters long. Unfortunately having to come up with multiple perfect passwords is almost unavoidable given how many systems and accounts or applications require password authentication.
For this reason, many employees will just use the same password for every single system and even their own personal accounts and devices.
What does this mean to a hacker? An easy hack—figure out just one password and you have access to everything, and we mean everything.
Using Unsecured Networks
Wi-Fi has been great for personal and businesses in regards to being connected to the internet from anywhere these days. It has also, however, caused havoc for IT professionals in Houston and security consultants all over. That is because Wi-Fi transmits packets of information over the air and if it’s not a protected and encrypted network—anyone can snatch that data right out of the air.
For example, it’s not uncommon for employees to meet at a coffee shop or restaurant for a meeting and use the complimentary Wi-Fi. Often, if it a place they routinely visit, their devices automatically connect without them even knowing. Sure it’s great to be able to work from the Starbucks but if their network is unsecured and unencrypted—you could be giving someone confidential corporate information and sensitive data without you ever even knowing. This is why with Marimons managed IT services in Houston—we never shut up about using secured networks, VPN’s when on public Wi-Fi and more. Our clients may get sick of hearing it, but they thank us when their employees follow protocols that keep their data safe during attempted attacks.
Neglecting Physical Security
So far we’ve talked about somewhat technical aspects of security. As one of the top IT services in Houston where we see a lot of breaches, however, is not technical at all. Have you ever been at your computer at work and stepped away for a coffee refill and left your computer without logging off? It’s ok to admit it, you won’t be punished—for long. We kid, but in all seriousness neglecting personal devices and honestly, common sense measures is a huge source of network security holes.
In fact, a recent study concluded that about 60% of all supposed hacks were not hacked at all—rather, they were insiders taking advantage of a lack of device security. Of those attacks, 75% were maliciously based, where the perpetrator grabs an unlocked device and siphons what data they can. From there, they can use it to their advantage—or, as more recently seen on the news sell that data via various channels including the dark web. When you walk away from your device leaving it unsecured or unlocked—you are putting you and the company in serious danger of a breach.
What Can You Do To Mitigate Security Mistakes?
Most of your employees aren’t actively seeking to let attacks happen or trying to sabotage your company with security holes. The more likely scenarios are they simply lack the knowledge that most IT professionals in Houston already have had ingrained into their daily routine.
You know when you contact your managed IT service provider in Houston and they sound overly obsessive about passwords and user permissions? That is why—they, like us, literally eat, sleep and breathe thinking about IT security—the difference is, we are superior at it and make no apologies for that confidence.
If you really want your office as secure as possible contact us to manage your IT services and consult and train your employees on proper network security procedures and policies.
When you bring on Marimon, you bring on the best in IT solutions, security and seamless integration for all of your business activities. Contact us today for a free consultation and secure your business today!