In cybersecurity, misconfigurations occurs when important security settings in devices or software are not turned on or are set up in ways that provide hackers with a way of attacking the network. Misconfigurations are an enormous cybersecurity risk because it is easy to forget to implement security settings on new devices or not know enough about a new application to configure it correctly. While some misconfigurations can go unnoticed for years, others are actively exploited by hackers, and here are some of the most common misconfigurations small businesses should look out for!
Using Default Credentials
Having default credentials for new devices can make accessing them and onboarding new employees easy, but they also provide malicious actors a quick way into your network if a single one becomes compromised. Even a few clues to a company’s default credentials getting leaked can lead to malicious actors launching multiple attacks on as many devices as they can find on your network in order to try to gain access and launch an attack. Small businesses should make unique passwords for all their devices as soon as they come into use on their network.
For small businesses, leaving a network port open is one of the more common misconfigurations because it is easy to connect a device needed to do work to your network and then forget to either disconnect it or secure it properly. An open port is an endpoint on your network that is able to receive information and commands from the outside sources, and malicious actors can use an unprotected port to launch attacks and gain access to the network. Every device and application that has access to a small business’ network should have multiple layers of security protecting it to stop this from happening!
Network traffic can be logged to have a record of the interactions between network systems, devices, and applications. Having logging disabled can be make troubleshooting network problems or finding malicious activity happening in your network extremely difficult. If a malicious actor knows a company’s network traffic is not properly logged, they will be able to lurk on the network and soak up information for as long as they want before launching an attack. Even if you can’t understand network logs, they can make a huge difference when working with a local IT consultant to improve your cybersecurity, so it should always be enabled!
Misconfigurations can be extremely difficult for small business owners to spot if they aren’t experienced with cybersecurity best practices. A single device using old credentials or one open port can be all hackers need to launch a ransomware attack or steal sensitive company information. Our security specialists here at Robinett Consulting recommend small businesses work with an IT consultant in order to have access to regular cybersecurity checks, helpful security tools, and regular check ups on your network to ensure your business won’t be an easy target for malicious actors!
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