Over the past few months, it seems almost impossible to go a full week without hearing about a ransomware attack, data breach, or cyber attack on a high-profile business. These recent cybersecurity issues have become a huge business for hackers all over the world, and recent successes make it all but certain that these attacks will not only continue but accelerate. What is hard for many small to medium-sized businesses to fully understand is that no matter how small your business is, you are a target. The reason that even small companies have become targets for cybercriminals is that they are not merely after sensitive data anymore. Hackers are now just as interested attacking many smaller, less protected systems with ransomware as they are going after a huge company. After all, huge companies have more protection, better disaster recovery plans, and are less likely to pay off hackers because they have taken steps to protect against attacks. Small to midsize businesses are becoming sought after targets as the success rate for attackers is higher and more frequent with smaller and less protected businesses. This trend has lead to numerous smaller paydays with less effort than going after a Fortune 500 company’s network. In this article, we take a look at network monitoring and how it can help your business. Network monitoring watches your systems and cyberinfrastructure to help detect attacks and intrusions before they can successfully take hold of your network. Here are a few of the things you should know about network monitoring and how it works.
Resource Usage Monitoring
While ransomware has been getting a ton of press lately, there are other reasons that hackers pursue the networks of small to midsize businesses. One of the main reasons that hackers will attempt to gain access to a network that may not have data that is valuable on the dark web is to utilize system resources for their own purposes. Anybody who owns a business knows that purchasing servers, networks, and data center resources are a costly proposition. That is exactly why hackers seek to avoid these costs when sending spam emails, hosting malicious resources, or even mining cryptocurrency which has been akin to the gold rush for many hackers in recent months.
When you have a company that you know and trust monitoring your network’s resources it is easy to spot anomalies and shut down malicious activity quickly. For instance, if a 25 person company that usually uses 48% of their network’s resources suddenly starts using 95% it will prompt a call to your network monitoring company to see if there is any reason for this influx in activity. If the company then tells their network monitoring company that they did indeed double their staff over the past week and everything else checks out with the server logs, a discussion about upping company resources will be coming soon. If there was no change the network monitoring company will take a deep dive into the source of the usage to make sure there is no malicious activity taking place.
Software & Service Patch Management
Just about every company and network consists of a patchwork of software, applications, and services that allow the company’s day-to-day operations to be conducted. A single missed software update or patch can leave your entire system vulnerable to an attack. Many people do not realize that the Panama Papers that consisted of 11.5 million leaked financial documents that took down some of the most wealthy and powerful individuals across the globe was partially made possible by a single outdated plugin on the financial institution’s website.
It is very difficult for a business to carve out time to check every program or software that handles their email, website, customer relationship management, human resource documentation, bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, etc. This is why it is so important to have a game plan in place with your IT company and internal personnel to make sure that all software used by the company is kept up-to-date and patched.
ABSS Networks is consistently monitoring all of our client’s networks for patches that need to be applied, security vulnerabilities, known exploits, malware signatures, and resource usage anomalies that would suggest the network is in danger. If you are not currently employing professionals to monitor your networks and critical software/systems, now is the time. Hackers are no longer aiming only to defraud large corporations. They are now looking for small ransomware payouts and free server resources they can easily gain from smaller, less protected companies.
We hope this article has been helpful and hope that if you have any questions you won’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable team here at ABSS Networks.