Network Security Threats: Is Your Business Prepared?

Cyber-attacks continue to pose a significant threat for businesses of all sizes – but this is especially true for small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs), who struggle to dedicate the same resources to cyber security as larger corporations. As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, and the tools they use more advanced, it is increasingly important to implement strong cyber security practices.

What is Network Security?

Network security refers to the practices and policies used by businesses to protect their IT systems from cyber-attacks. It is essential for preventing data breaches that cause:

  • financial loss
  • erosion of consumer trust
  • data loss

In order to implement network security solutions effectively, it is crucial to understand the most common malicious activities.

Ransomware

Ransomware is one of the most disruptive forms of cyber threats. These attacks encrypt a victim’s data, preventing them from being able to access it until a ransom is paid. The Australian government does not support payment of these ransoms. Giving in to the cybercriminal’s demands encourages the behaviour, and can carry severe consequences for the business.

A simple way of protecting against these attacks is to ensure all important data is backed up to several secure, on-site and off-site locations. Other methods, such as strong antivirus software and advanced firewalls, will also help.

Phishing Emails

While phishing scams are well-known, they are still an effective attack, largely due to human error. Phishing is an umbrella term referring to fraudulent contact attempts, designed to trick employees into providing sensitive information or clicking malicious links. These attacks commonly take the form of emails, which often go to great lengths to appear as though they are from legitimate sources, making them difficult to detect.


Employee training, and strict policies regarding sensitive company information, are effective measures for preventing phishing scams from succeeding. It is also helpful to implement advanced email filtering solutions, as these will help catch phishing emails before they reach the target’s inbox.

IOT and the Expanding Attack Surface

The Internet of Things (IoT) includes devices such as wearables, smart sensors, and smartphones. A well-connected IoT offers enormous benefits for businesses, improving everything from operational efficiency to customer engagement. However, it also significantly increases the network attack surface due to the interconnected nature of the IoT. Many IoT devices also lack security software capabilities, making them easy targets.

It is critical for businesses to prioritise security when adding new devices to the IoT, in order to minimise the attack surface. Network security and endpoint protection are important tools for accomplishing this. IoT device software should also be regularly updated.

DDoS Attacks

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack floods the company website with traffic, preventing legitimate users from being able to access it. This can cause significant downtime in business operations, which in turn leads to financial loss.

Traffic should be monitored, to identify and prepare for potential attacks before they occur. From there, traffic filters can be used to block suspicious activity. Cloud-based hosting can be used to improve the bandwidth available, making it harder to successfully flood the systems. Minimising the attack surface area also helps, by reducing the potential for attacks.

The Role of a Comprehensive Security Policy

A solid network security strategy is integral to protecting business assets and maintaining trust with customers. This strategy should include:

  • Comprehensive policies
  • Ongoing education for all employees regarding cyber threats 
  • Strict security measures
  • Technological tools to assist where humans cannot. 

This must be supported by regular cyber security audits and updates to company policy – businesses need to adapt in alignment with emerging threats. 

Update Your Security with Expert Assistance

By staying informed about the latest threats and adopting a proactive security approach, businesses can better prepare themselves to deflect potential attacks.

Platform 24’s IT industry experts specialise in cyber security solutions, with a particular focus on network security. We employ a wide range of preventative measures to protect your data, and can assist with recovery in the event of a breach. Book an audit to find out where your biggest security gaps are.

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