iStock_000012767009XSmallMany companies focus their worries about network security on outside threats, and neglect to take measures to protect themselves against an internal invasion. It’s a common mistake to trust that no one within the company would launch any sort of attack, and this type of thinking may seem perfectly logical on the surface. After all, employees may have been carefully screened before being hired.


However, banks don’t leave money lying around in the break room, and retail stores generally have a locked vault which only one manager can open. This is because companies who deal with actual cash are aware that too much trust can be a dangerous thing.


The same principle should apply to companies whose most valuable asset is data. Unfortunately, many firms only configure their firewalls to protect against an external attack, which leaves them sitting ducks for internal security threats.


In order to protect the company network, all security updates and patches should be promptly installed. Internal threats can also be monitored via an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) or Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), but no system is perfect. Any security measures taken need to be monitored periodically to ensure that all threats are being caught by the system. Users should familiarize themselves with the system and be aware of any weakness which could allow an attack to slip through.


The goal of any network security measure is to protect the network while also allowing ease of use. This can feel at times like a bit of a balancing act, and it may be extremely difficult to maintain perfect security without ever compromising accessibility. There is no perfect method that will automatically work for every company, but consultation with a network security specialist should help sort out priorities and get a solid plan for protection in place. At the very least, companies should recognize the potential for internal threats, and take measures to protect the network and all sensitive data.