This is where your cybersecurity system may be letting you down

By Jonathan Crowl

The enterprise workplace is filled with web-connected touchpoints that offer improved agility, productivity, efficiency and computing power. Unfortunately, those same touchpoints can also represent security threats, especially if your organization’s cybersecurity system isn’t comprehensive in how it protects the entire network.

When there are gaps in security, executive leaders need to enlist the help of IT and other departments to address these weak spots and minimize the risk of a security breach. Here’s a look at some parts of the office where cybersecurity systems are most vulnerable to compromise:

Your unpatched software

One of the biggest threats to your enterprise security also comes with the simplest solution. Software patch updates may be a nuisance to download and install, but diligent updating may be the easiest way to upgrade your security in an instant. According to Heimdal Security, up to 78 percent of internal enterprise vulnerabilities could have been stopped if those devices and organizations were up-to-date on their software patches.

Before you make any other efforts to upgrade your enterprise cybersecurity, take time to ensure all devices have been updated with software patches. If you have a mobile management platform in place, ask IT to manage all enterprise devices and ensure patches are promptly installed as soon as they’re available.

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Your office printer

The IoT can be a dangerous domain if you haven’t secured the web-connected products in your enterprise. Nowadays, IoT solutions are found everywhere in an enterprise — the office printer, security cameras and even the break room refrigerator may be web-connected. That’s a problem if security threats are able to infiltrate these devices, providing a pathway into your mobile network and giving them the ability to take over these devices.

Recent attacks using distributed denial-of-service strategies have brought down large corporate websites by hijacking hundreds of thousands of devices to flood websites and overwhelm servers. That means it isn’t only your own office printer that presents a security risk to your company. Theoretically, you’re also threatened by any office printer at any other company where lax security measures make the device easy to infiltrate and hijack.

If your enterprise mobility management or managed mobility services platforms don’t offer adequate IoT security services, consider an over-the-top solution from a third-party vendor specializing in IoT security. These security fronts can provide additional protection to technologies that can often be overlooked vulnerabilities.

Your wifi router

Every business, large or small, needs wifi in the office, but this presents its own security risks. Routers can be particularly vulnerable touch points if they aren’t properly secured. TechHive recommends that enterprise organizations ask IT departments to change the default settings on all routers so their gateways and security vulnerabilities are less accessible to potential threats.

Also, ask IT to examine the firmware of the routers and determine whether the WPS should be enabled or disabled. If there are security vulnerabilities on older routers, they either need to be patched or have the WPS disabled.

Your BYOD policy

Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how well they’re managed by the enterprise. According to Crowd Research Partners, one in five organizations suffer a mobile security breach, and 35 percent of IT resources are eaten up by security threats affecting BYOD.

BYOD offers many vital benefits to organizations, but the potential security challenges are concerns for many companies. The research notes the biggest inhibitor of BYOD adoption is concern about security. The solution is to adopt a mobility management platform capable of providing this much-needed security specific to BYOD. Managed mobility services offer flexibility in managing data, permissions, user profiles and containerization to facilitate BYOD without compromising security.

Your own IT admins

As Harvard Business Review points out, IT admins can have access to the company’s entire mobile infrastructure, which gives them access to sensitive data, device information, email accounts, passwords and more. One small mistake can create a big problem. It’s possible to send the email to the wrong address, access company data over an unsecured network or even fall prey to common phishing or malware attacks. One moment of lapsed attention can put the entire company at risk.

The best thing you can do here is to establish strict policies governing how IT admins access the network and provide regular training and/or encourage your admins to go outside the company for periodic security conferences, training sessions and educational opportunities. Because of their technical knowledge, training plans and policies can be developed in collaboration with IT admins, who are well aware of the risks they face. Help them create standards that will protect themselves from making grave mistakes.

Your employees

Human error is far and away the leading reason why companies suffer security breaches. Even a secured environment and an effective enterprise policy can only do so much when it comes to preventing cybersecurity issues from hitting the organization. If you want to truly mitigate these risks, executive leaders should invest in education and training for employees.

When new technologies are implemented, employees should be taught how to properly use those solutions and understand which behaviors and actions could create potential security risks. This training shouldn’t be a one-off approach — consider regular training and educational sessions to help your employees avoid simple mistakes that expose a vulnerability.

No cybersecurity system is perfect, especially when vulnerabilities can be found throughout your office. However, addressing these common security gaps will give your company the best shot at avoiding compromise and keeping threats at bay.