Network Security: Don’t Leave Your Virtual Doors and Windows Open

Imagine designing a new home. It’s likely you’d focus on the
overall layout first and then move on to the layout of each room. From there,
you’d incorporate important features, like your heating and air conditioning
systems, plumbing, and maybe a surround sound system. Maybe you’d start
selecting appliances. And of course, you’d want input on the design and décor
of your floors, walls, and ceilings.

But what if your contractor forgot to include locks on your
doors? Or used easily shattered glass for your windows? What about installing a
security system or screens to keep out pests? No matter how functional or
beautiful your home is, your investment isn’t worth much if it’s vulnerable to outside
threats.

But that’s often the case for many organizations that build
out their network organization. They design an efficient, state-of-the-art
solution with an attractive interface, but they forget a key component: network
security. In effect, they’re leaving their doors and windows open to the
internet equivalents of home burglars and pests – the hackers, cyber
terrorists, worms, and moles.

Network Security Shouldn’t Be an Afterthought

Often, security is added retroactively, when the damage is
already done. Many companies don’t recognize that they have a problem until
after their digital walls have been breached. And what’s even more dangerous is
that some may not even realize that an attack has occurred at all. Often, the
attacks are designed to be surreptitious. The longer an attack goes undetected,
the more information can be stolen.

A single cyber-attack can tear down what a company has spent
years building, resulting in:

  • The loss of intellectual property and
    proprietary data
  • Disruption to services for days, weeks, or
    months
  • Permanent damage to your brand loyalty and
    reputation
  • Legal costs associated with compensating
    customers for loss or identity theft
  • Compensation related to delays in meeting
    contractual obligations
  • Loss of customers to competitors
  • An increase in insurance premiums

So just how common is cybercrime? Both small businesses and
corporations are at risk. In my next post, I’ll talk numbers.

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