What do hackers see when they look at many company’s IT networks? One word: opportunity. An opportunity to steal a company’s data, hold it ransom, sell it, exploit it, and cause financial and brand damage that some companies may never recover from.
Hackers are so good at what they do that it could be hours, days or even weeks before a company realizes that its data has been compromised.
Unknowing Victims of Cyberattacks
According to a recent Nationwide Insurance survey, nearly half of business owners have been victims of cyberattacks and didn’t even know it. When surveyed, 13% of business owners responded that they had experienced a cyberattack. However, once shown a list of common attacks, 58% of owners realized that they had indeed been a victim of an attack. That 45% gap shows that there is a lack of understanding about what constitutes an actual cyberattack. The survey also found that more than 20% of cyberattack victims spent at least $50,000 and took longer than six months to recover.
The risks that companies face have changed, and no organization, large or small, is immune from hackers and cybersecurity threats. There are multiple ways that hackers use to gain access to a network, and this often is accomplished not from a remote location but by compromising the actual physical security system on site.
Hacking Data Through the Physical Environment
Hackers may use social engineering techniques to trick a security guard into allowing them to pass by an access point and enter a facility. Once inside, they can quickly find the server room and steal a server, or slip a laptop computer into their bag and walk out. Alternatively, they can simply plug into an IP port and grab data or install a back door so that they can easily access the network at their convenience later.
To a hacker, any device on the Internet of Things (IoT) is a potential attack surface. They can search for one that is vulnerable – it could be anything from a smart thermostat to an access control system – and hack into it to gain access to the organization’s network.
Finally, a hacker whose ultimate goal is to physically enter a facility can find a vulnerable networked security product and disable it. Once inside the facility they can cause all types of mayhem including theft, vandalism and more.
A hacker with access to the network has free reign to commit a multitude of crimes, as has been widely publicized by some companies unfortunate experiences. Hackers gaining access into a network will steal intellectual property, install malware to prevent anything that’s connected to the network from working correctly, or hold data ransom for a hefty price.
Managing the Entry with Security Entrance Solutions
Security entrances can help strengthen your physical and cyber barriers to prevent hackers from gaining access to the organization’s network. From a physical entry perspective, security portals can eliminate the possibility of social engineering by using an access control system plus internal biometrics to verify the identity of the person entering and ensure they are authorized to be on the premises. These highest-security entrances also eliminate the possibility of piggybacking or tailgating to enter a facility.
By detecting any attempt for a non-authorized individual to enter, security entrances can compile data for analysis and correlation with other information, providing management with valuable metrics that can be used to help mitigate risk in a variety of ways.
On the cybersecurity side, it is important to choose a reputable manufacturer who uses best practices to reduce the product’s vulnerability to being breached. Finally, the installer must ensure the entrance is set up correctly and all measures have been taken to eliminate potential weak spots that could be seen by a hacker.
Securing your company’s network is an ever-more critical and necessary part of business operations. Your IT staff needs to work hand in hand with physical security personnel to be sure you are fully protected. From a hacker’s point of view, security entrances can be a powerful preventive solution to thwart them in their goals.