5 Common IT Security Risks and How To Keep Your Network Safe

April 19, 2021

5 Common IT Security Risks and How To Keep Your Network Safe

In today’s digital world, one of a business’s largest assets is its website. Instead of customers walking through the front door of a storefront, leads and sales are generated through your website. Now, instead of a business owner and their employees being robbed, they need to prepare for network security risks. Let’s discuss five of the most common network threats and how to protect your company’s network from them.

Computer Viruses

Computer viruses can create devastating problems for IT networks. 53% of all computers in use in the United States have experienced at least one computer virus.  Recently there have been virus attacks on a global scale; corrupting files, stealing information, and disrupting daily operations of the targeted companies. In a worst-case scenario, a virus can completely wipe out a company’s hard drive, which would halt business operations altogether for a long period of time.

To protect yourself from computer viruses, you should be smart about opening emails or clicking links that are not recognizable. You can also take the following steps:

  • Install a firewall
  • Conduct proper maintenance
  • Use IDS/IPS to track potential packet floods
  • Use network segmentation
  • Use a virtual private network (VPN)


Hackers illegally access websites and devices with the intention to steal personal and financial information in order to commit crimes like theft. A hacker can do a lot of damage to an account or device, and once the hackers gets into your system, they have free rein. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to track who the hacker is since they use cutting-edge technology, often from outside of the country, and are able to escape punishment.

To protect yourself from the threat of hackers, you should: install antivirus and antimalware software, make sure your security software is updated regularly, and disable connections such as Bluetooth and WIFI when you aren’t using them. This will prevent unknown persons from accessing your network or stop them in their tracks if they do. It is also important to train your employees on the warning signs of hackers so they can report anything out of the ordinary.

Adware and Spyware

Adware collects data on your computer with your consent through the User Agreement docs in software updates. You can tell adware is on your computer if you see pop-up ads or notice that your computer’s processor internet connection is running more slowly than usual. 

Adware can also be added to your computer without your consent, this is called spyware, and it is considered malicious. Spyware can record personal information like credit card numbers, email addresses and passwords, which puts you at risk of identity theft.  

The steps to preventing spyware are very similar to those used to prevent hackers. You need to change your passwords and install antivirus protection on your computer immediately.

Computer Worms

 A computer worm is a piece of software that copies itself from computer to computer without human interaction. Computer worms spread and replicate very fast, which means within hours, they can be put on to all of the computers in your business network. Many worms use email to reproduce and then use Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express to spread. Again, having proper and up-to-date antivirus software on your network is crucial to detecting these programs and stopping them in their tracks.

Lack of a recovery plan

Security attacks happen frequently, so it is important to have a recovery plan in place for when it happens to you in order to minimize the damage that occurs. Unfortunately, most companies do not have any such plan in place or are even aware of the external risks. Most companies only have preventative measures in place but no recovery plan.

If you are attacked, you need to monitor all financial accounts, change your passwords and notify other users on the network to do the same.  

Some network security threats are used to steal information, while others are used to disrupt your business’s productivity and processes. Either way, they are dangerous and disruptive but, for the most part, preventable.  ABM offers IT security to our clients, where we monitor your network for breaches and potential breaches, including email filters. We are recognized as a Fortinet partner and will work with you to give you the peace of mind that your data is secure. If you are ready to take your IT security to the next level, we are here to help.