The prospect of incorporating the latest technology and moving towards a data driven culture is too good for a business to resist, regardless of its size. However, technology often comes with a price, and that price is in the form of data loss, theft, malware infecting your database, noncompliance due to poor security, and much more.
While a number of factors can arise as a result of poor implementation of technology solutions, the end result is more or less the same, and that’s a sizeable amount of your financial resources going either to lawsuits from customers and/or partners, or penalties as a result of noncompliance.
Technology can certainly hyper scale your business and reduce costs, but poor implementation does exactly the opposite of that. As technologies like enterprise solutions, networking architecture, cloud systems, and databases continue to evolve, so does the threat landscape. Here are some threats your business is bound to face if you fail to implement and integrate technology solutions properly.
It’s shocking to say that most CEOs and high level executives in IT-driven firms fail to realize the network security threats that they are exposed to. Earlier this month, the US government networks were hacked, leaving sensitive data of more than millions of government officials exposed to scrutiny. When the networks and database of countries aren’t safe, then what reason do you have to think that yours are?
The two most common types of threats that networks face are from logic attacks and resource attacks. Logic attacks can occur in any organization as hackers will look to exploit the existing vulnerabilities in your systems and software. For instance, if there is an outdated plugin on your company website, it could expose you to potential malware or spam attacks. Logic attacks generally compromise the network security and the system as a whole. This gives hackers access to corporate data, some of which can be highly sensitive.
On the other hand, resource attacks are commonly intended to compromise physical components, i.e. the RAM, CPU, or even servers. Resource attacks are carried out by sending multiple IP packets of forged requests, which when combined with malicious software can almost completely derail your systems. Malicious software in resource attacks consist of source codes and communication frameworks that allow attackers remote access to your systems.
System and Solution Threats
Just when you thought that you had figured out your networking capabilities and security parameters, you still become exposed to data theft or loss. This can arise because of a number of reasons, the most common of which is poor integration of the technology solutions.
When integrating your new solution in your operational workflow, you have to realize the domino effect it has on the other systems and processes in your business. For example, let’s say that you just bought an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution to automate the purchasing process in your business. Now if the IaaS is not comprehensively integrated with the purchasing department, supply chain management, and procurement process, it leaves many loopholes on which your entire network can be compromised.
Similarly, if the ERP solutions in your business are not integrated properly with onsite and offsite processes, there is a good chance that you may be welcoming vulnerabilities in your system that can easily be exploited by even a novice attacker.
Remember that whatever solutions you deploy in your business, make sure that you conduct risk assessment and consider implications of failing to integrate technology properly. During your risk assessments, instead of completely incorporating the solution, integrate it with one process. This allows you to determine any potential threats your business may face as you start to integrate it with other critical systems. It can also help avoid any potential pitfalls that arise with poor implementation, including compliance to industrial and federal regulations.
Other Evolving Threats
The potential for growth in security threats is catastrophic to say the least, especially as with each passing minute, you leave your systems compromised. In fact, resource attackers today are so sophisticated that they build cloud based infrastructures that support malicious attacks and software. This allows an attacker to easily build an infrastructure that integrates with the IT networks and systems in your organization!
When it comes to integrating technology, we must consider the ongoing and long term threats we may face. For a technology driven firm, it is a continuous process than a one-off fix. From the security threats we have faced in the past decade, these trends are now becoming a reality:
- Cloud Computing – With the growing emphasis on cloud as the primary source for data storage and mining, deploying virtual infrastructure and analytics, we should realize the growing security risks associated with the technology.
- Malware – Malicious attacks are and will continue to be the public enemy number one for networks and databases. The best way to avoid malware attacks is to regularly update the latest available versions of the solutions you deploy, including plugins. Also make sure to run security assessments of your network and database for any suspicious activity.
- No Network Left Behind – Hackers are increasingly targeting both physical and virtual networks, servers, and databases. This exposes your business and in some cases, the industry specific data to cyber threats, which often results in hefty noncompliance penalties.
- Mobile Threat – With the increasing usage and dependence on mobile devices, we should realize that we have completely new security challenges that arise with them. For example, an already prevalent malware in your smart phone may expose your confidential corporate data to risk if you connect it with your office network.
Over the course of time, security parameters have become more refined and are regularly updated to deploy information regarding new and upcoming threats. However, with the increasing importance of technology in the business cycle, it is clear that we are more exposed today than ever before. While a firewall and good antivirus software can watch your back, poor integration can only degrade the overall security framework, making firewalls and antivirus redundant in the process.