Top IT mistakes and errors
Even the best of us is prone to human error, and the field of IT is no exception. Unfortunately, even small mistakes translate to consequences cascading into numerous complications and problems. Threat actors, too, are willing to take any advantage they can get, with malware exploding in numbers constantly, coupled with advanced threat techniques to circumvent the best defenses.
However, they all rely on a common error to attain true success. You’d be surprised how many common mistakes are still made in IT environments (or otherwise). And, with the expansion of remote networks and services, locking down business IT security is essential. The trick to beating these mistakes is knowing and identifying them.
Downloading Unsafe Executables
When we think of malware, we imagine it’s injected into our systems, home computers, and networks through brute force methods. However, a simple mistake is downloading a malicious executable. This can happen for a variety of reasons: it was mistaken for a legitimate program, it was downloaded from an unsafe domain, and/or it was accessed from a malicious link.
In an IT space, no executable file should be downloaded and accessed without knowing exactly what that program is. Set limitations or restrict what remote networks/workers can download to mitigate this potential problem.
While hackers have bolstered their efforts to bypass security, two-factor/multi-factor authentication is one of the easiest and simplest ways to add an extra safeguard to your devices. They are, at this point, considered standard practice in virtually any environment, especially IT. If not already, dual authentication should be enabled network-wide. Threat actors will attempt to breach IT networks from all sides, and therefore having one additional means to catch them is essential.
Passwords present a serious headache for everyone. When networks or websites are breached, these logins are exposed and often used to brute force accounts. Or, are sold on dark forums to use in phishing campaigns.
Even taking advantage of password managers is no guarantee of locking out threat actors. It does not mean, however, simplified logins are okay. In IT environments, the reverse is true. Enable and mandate a password policy where no single password is used across networks. Once again, if you use remote resources, this must be emphasized to protect your exterior networks.
Non-Recognition of Phishing Attempts
Perhaps one day we’ll finally achieve a meaningful level of phishing resistance. Until that day, phishing attempts remain the dominant path for attackers to infiltrate networks. Since its inception, phishing has expanded into numerous social-engineering techniques and taken advantage of modern technological developments. Vishing (virtual call phishing), text phishing, and email are the hacker’s main bread and butter.
Lacking phishing awareness in an IT space is incredibly dangerous for business internals. It’s critical to expand on phishing recognition, how to identify symptoms, and how to report them.
No Updates/Legacy Systems
Hackers and malicious actors are constantly evolving their tools to breach networks. In an IT space, you cannot afford to fall behind. Therefore, all relevant programs, software, and apps should be running their latest versions. Furthermore, remain aware of active exploits requiring patching – typically found in your data and server stack.
Dependence on legacy systems can also prove detrimental in the long run. An abundance of aging hardware or software risks systemic failures. Hackers also look at older programs to find active exploits and breaches, especially those no longer receiving updates. If you do utilize legacy apps and software, keep them internally facing and limit/prevent network access.
Accessing Unsafe Networks/Public Networks
No essential operation or IT task should be carried out on public wi-fi networks. These provisions are not encrypted or secured and allow anyone with a keen eye to view your activity, including passwords, credentials, and even critical files.
In a time where remote working is increasingly prevalent, the chances for sending traffic over public wi-fi or unsafe connections have increased. Again, mandating limitations and where staff can access the web should be baked into IT security policies.
Using Free “Software Tools”
IT should use only sanctioned software and apps. It’s tempting to use any free or open-source “tool” to reduce IT expenses, but this is playing with fire. Free software is either unsafe or malicious in nature.
One deceptive technique hackers have employed before offers a form of “free” anti-malware software, but upon use, it loads malicious programs into the affected system.
Avoid common missteps
Though it can feel redundant, it’s impressive how prevalent common IT errors are – even in secure spaces. But refreshers are helpful, and as the expansion and prevalence of technology continue, remaining aware of common threats and mistakes is still important. Keep our suggestions in mind, and you’ll hop over any serious complications in an IT environment.
If you’re still struggling, you can always reach out to Bytagig for help. For more information, contact us today.
Bytagig is dedicated to providing reliable, full-scale cyber security and IT support for businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups in a variety of industries. Bytagig works both remotely with on-site support in Portland, San Diego, and Boston. Acting as internal IT staff, Bytagig handles employee desktop setup and support, comprehensive IT systems analysis, IT project management, website design, and more. Bytagig is setting the standard for MSPs by being placed on the Channel Future’s NexGen 101 list.