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5 ways to effortlessly spot and eliminate hidden threats in your network

by Mic Johnson

The internet has been a boon for enterprises. One major risk that comes with the internet, however, is cyberattacks. IT admins need to ensure that the internet does not become a gateway for threats affecting their enterprise networks.

 One major responsibility of IT admins is to identify and remove threats infiltrating their network. However, with digital transformation in the picture, identifying these threats lurking inside the business network has become more challenging than ever.

Can a threat go unnoticed?

 Cyberattack patterns have evolved. From conventional breaches to modernized bot attacks, diversified attack patterns are on the rise. One of these evolving threats is the hidden threat.

 What is a hidden threat?

 Hidden threats are malicious lines of code that stay concealed inside your network and extract large amounts of data. Cybersecurity researchers have stated that some threats can go unnoticed in a network for years.

 What can a hidden threat do?

Hidden threats can cause great harm. Here are some real-life examples of what a hidden threat is capable of:

  1. Stealing your organization’s data using corrupted software

  2. Obtaining sensitive medical records leveraging non-compliant third-party technologies

  3. Breaking into your retail network through point-of-sale devices and gaining unauthorized user privileges

  4. Gaining complete control over your corporate network and revoking your access to it using a malicious file downloaded through a specific web browser by an unwitting employee

What you can do to stop these threats from entering your network

With multiple ways for a threat to enter the network, IT admins need to be able to visualize their business network at a granular level and take action to secure every entry point. Here are five ways to eliminate the risk of hidden threats in your network:

 1. Keep an eye on your valuable assets

IT software used for production must be constantly monitored and maintained to ensure no security breaches occur. If software is not properly maintained and monitored, it can pave the way for a threat actor to enter your network. Unpatched software is another way hidden threats enter the network, which is why it’s so important for IT admins to patch software quickly.

To secure valuable assets, IT admins also need to approve or restrict applications used by employees on their work devices, validate if there is any malicious activity running in any software, and monitor the health status of software.

 2. Seize control over your outsourced technologies

As enterprises grow, they’re bound to start using technology to increase productivity. Such technologies require constant evaluation on both security and working parameters. IT admins need to have authoritative control over the outsourced technologies used to secure their environment. IT teams also need to be able to view complete data on outsourced technologies, so they can immediately spot and respond to any anomalies.

 3. Reinforce your device connectors

A common access point for threats is a device port, be it a physical port present on a device or a port that is connected to any networking components. IT admins must have control over all their network’s ports. They must be able to block or allow the use of physical drives, like USB drives. IT admins need to secure all networking ports so that no attacks can enter their network.

 4. Secure your browsers

From the early internet days, browsers have been an easy entry point for threat actors. Some common threats that show up on browsers are cross-site scripting and SQL injection attacks. These attacks inject malicious code into a business network and, over the years, have evolved, which means that IT admins need to evolve as well when it comes to managing end-users’ browsers and protecting employees and the enterprise from browser-based attacks. IT admins need to block unwanted data transfer from browsers and manage all the supported components like plug-ins and extensions for all browsers in use across the organization.

5. Scrutinize your device communication layers

IT admins need to understand how communication takes place in a business network and be able to keep tabs on these layers to prevent any damage caused by hidden threats. IT admins must validate every communication made between their production server and devices using tools like traffic filters, firewalls, and Secure Gateway Server. 

Instead of relying on multiple tools, use an integrated solution

With so many responsibilities to juggle all at once, IT admins cannot waste time moving between independent tools that each do their own part in securing the business network against threats. Instead, IT admins need a single, feature-rich solution that can offer a single console through which they can carry out their network security tasks.

 Looking for a tool with all the endpoint management features you need in one place? Try ManageEngine Endpoint Central, a unified endpoint management and security solution.

Author bio:

Nisangan is a speaker and technical specialist with ManageEngine who has a keen interest in cybersecurity. He specializes in endpoint management and security to provide the right solutions to businesses looking to secure their IT.