How Secure is your Computer Network?

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you know that securing any computer, especially a business computer network, is an increasingly arduous, but fundamentally essential process.

Recent media attention has caused us all to focus on Viruses, Malware and especially Ransomware – all of which present risk of potentially devastating loss of data and personal information, but another more targeted threat is being increasingly seen in the business computer marketplace. Targeted penetration attacks are being performed by hackers in order to gain access to legitimate email accounts to execute very clever email fraud attempts that are much harder to spot and put a stop to than traditional spam type scams.

Business Computer Security HackerThere are ways to mitigate this threat of course – complex password policies, upgrading standard basic modems to UTM (Unified Threat Management) Firewalls, and more recently the use of multi-factor authentication.

To access most business computer environments you need a connection to the network (this can be either sitting at a device in the place of business or a remote connection to a virtual desktop of some kind) and a username/password combination. This is a good basic measure of security, but a skilled hacker can find ways and means of obtaining or simulating what is required to subvert these conditions.

Multi-Factor authentication adds one or more extra layers to this security matrix. One of the most common examples would be that you sit at your computer, enter your username and password, then the authentication server sends a text message to your mobile phone with a randomly generated pin number that you must type in before you can login.

The advantage of this is that security is increased drastically – as well as a password and access to the network, someone trying to logon needs physical access to your specific mobile phone. The downside of course is that time is added to the login process – not such a big deal if you log in once a day, but if you follow security best practices and have your computer require login to exit the screen saver then it can become quite tedious.

Security is a balancing act – the more secure your environment, the harder it is to access it – even for the people who are authorised. To take it to the extreme, the most secure computer is one that is turned off. If you need help assessing your security needs and finding the best balance for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us.