It can be difficult for any business to ensure that they have data protection and encryption that can prevent hackers from getting into their system. Many businesses don’t even know the potential risks that their system poses because it doesn’t have the latest protection. One of the major breaches comes from an exposed IP address. Currently, this is the biggest weakness for most businesses that don’t protect their networks.
Hackers can exploit a business IP address and download important information by violating your network. An IP address stands for internet protocol, and it is a unique combination of numbers that identifies your network when you sign on the internet. There are a number of different attacks that cyber criminals plan using a company’s IP address.
How Cyber Criminals Get Your IP Address
If your business is online, it can be easy to find out all the information a criminal need to find your IP address and other private information. They can follow your employees’ online activity, as well. If your employees visit certain risky websites while on your business’ network, it can be as easy as adding a tracker and waiting for the IP address to pop up when they connect.
Once your IP address has been discovered, they can use it to find your location and even use open source data applications to find other information about your databases, click here to learn more.
How to Spot IP Address Weaknesses
Once a cybercriminal has access to your IP address, they can mount a variety of attacks to gain private, sensitive information about your business and customers. One way that they can use your IP address is to replicate it and download illegal content, and they can launch attacks against your network. If they have your IP address, it’s easy to mount a DDoS attack, which break your corporate servers with fake visitor traffic and makes sure that no one can connect to your website.
This can cause an interruption in your services for customers as well. Other criminals use an IP address with geolocation to learn the location of your company, which can lead to even more risks. While nothing may happen at your business’ location, ransomware has become extremely problematic for small businesses to handle.
Set Up a VPN
If your company doesn’t already use a VPN to access the internet, then you should start. A VPN assigns you a different IP address through a mask, and it can give you higher encryption so that you can connect to your network with a proxy. That redirects traffic to other IP addresses and ensures that your own IP address isn’t easily accessible without hacking through layers and layers of protection.
You can get a VPN easily through a hosting provider. However, you should pick a company that sets up VPNs for businesses and has deeper level security. With a VPN, you should be able to completely access the internet without having to deal with any threats to your IP address.
Train Employees and Add Guidelines to Your Handbook
In many cases, cyber criminals use social engineering to get employees to reveal information about a business, including your network protocols and IP addresses. For example, if your employees use any kind of messaging applications on your own network, then they could be vulnerable to hackers who use malware like the application Skype Resolver, where they can find your IP address simply by connecting with you over Skype and other messaging applications.
Your employees need to be trained properly to recognize threats, especially when they work in IT and security. Personal devices and laptops should be prohibited from accessing your network unless they have monitoring software installed by your IT team. This allows you to see what your employees are doing online when they connect to your network, and it allows your IT team to push security updates as needed.
It’s best if guidelines in your handbook include penalties for those who access prohibited sites while using a personal device at work or a business computer. You should prevent any online activity that opens up risks to your system.
Update Your Firewall and Network Security
How is your network set up to protect your business? Your firewall and network should be protected against unauthorized access at all times. You can change the administrative password frequently and use strong encryption to make it even more impossible to discover.
If you are using a store-bought router, then you must change the settings so that it uses a strong password and has the firewall turned on. In most cases, the default password for your router is the same for everyone, which means it’s easy to break into if not updated.
When you have guests using WiFi at your business, you should set up a second network with its own password and security that doesn’t have access to your sensitive business and customer information.
Add More Security Layers
There are plenty of ways to further protect your system, such as adding anti-ransomware protection and adding encryption to all of your databases. You should also make sure that access is limited to only the parties who should have access to your network settings and security. Otherwise, it can be difficult to track who accessed your network at what time.
It’s important that you add security layers like malware protection that prevent phishing and spyware from being added to your website or email service provider. It can block malicious URLs and blocking bad sites that can corrupt your system in minutes.
If you haven’t already protected your system, then it’s time to start thinking about who has access to your network and whether your business information is at risk. If you aren’t setting up your own servers, websites, and databases, then you could be opening yourself up to a security problem you can’t resolve either. It’s important to have an IT team who can assess these risks and focus solely on protecting your business’ networks every single day.