Friday, August 31, 2012

Network Security: 4 Common Breaching Methods And The People That Use Them

VPNs still remain the single best way to insure that your business network is safe from prying eyes and thieves. But in spite of being one of the best methods there has been a few high profile cases that have given cause for us to question their effectiveness. Studies have shown that in most instances of security breaches, the breach could have been averted if the administrator would have known of the 4 most common methods used, and who the threat could have potentially come from.

4 Perpetrator Types

Often, knowing where your potential hackers could come from enables you to avert the situation long before it becomes damaging. These are the 4 most common types of people that could potentially hack your network:

Script-Kids - These hackers only want the bragging rights, but don't underestimate their power. Even though they won't steal everything that isn't nailed down, they will brag about the fact that they did it, and how they did it.
Political Maniacs - These guys want to either destroy your reputation, or possibly use your network to further their goals.
Monetary Thieves - These guys will want every credit card, bank accounts, and any other financial data. They will spend like madmen until you discover their hack.
Revenge Seekers - This category includes current and former disgruntled employees that want to get revenge on you and your company for whatever reason.

The 4 Common Hack Types

Security breaches can be avoided if you know how thieves gain access to your network, before they get started, according to experts. It has been reported that the 4 most common methods of gaining entry is:

Man-In-The-Middle Attacks - This hack requires the hacker to listen, (also called snooping or sniffing), for a client to log into the network. The hacker will then use the authentication packet gained to glean the log-in credentials.
Physically Accessed - When a device or machine is stolen that is network enabled. The device may have the passwords stored in a file, or even have the automatic log-in enabled. Even if the auto-log isn't enabled, hackers can decrypt the password files to get access.
Passing Information - Getting access to a specific network often happens due to an employee talking... in many instances this is a disgruntled employee. In the last few years this has become more prevalent.
System Exploits - Almost every hacker keeps up with system bugs and flaws in OSes, and security clients. This is because updating and upgrading systems can be a hassle, and often time consuming. Firmware, software, and security certificates are the mainstay of this category, and once a flaw is found, it is quickly passed around to the community.

It's Up To You

It's easy to see how these types of breaches and hackers can easily be thwarted, once you know the who and how. Security experts all agree that updating systems at least once per month, and if an employee is released, immediately eliminate log-in to your network, will eliminate most of thee threats. They also recommend changing passwords on a regular basis, and in the event a device is lost or stolen, change log-ins for that account.

Fields Marshall specializes in internet security, and advising people on VPN's, security technologies, and related services. He writes informational and educational articles for VPNReviewz, to learn more, visit

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