For home Internet business owners, network attacks are serious business.
A network attack can compromise your security, leaving your computer and data vulnerable to threats.
As well as taking time to clear up, a network attack can slow down your productivity as you try to sort it out, lead to data loss, or even compromise your customers’ security.
With network security firm Damballa estimating that up to 18.5% of business computers may be infected with malware, it’s time to learn how to spot an attack – and how to prevent it.
Signs Your Network May Be Under Attack
As the article “How to Detect an Advanced Attack in Time to Actually Stop It” points out, there are several signs that your network is suffering an advanced security threat.
Learning these signs and how and where to look for them can help you detect and deal with an attack.
Some of the most common signs include:
• Unusually large files, which may contain information stolen from the network;
• An unusual volume of DNS requests or DNS requests from one specific client;
• A large volume of traffic from one URL, or repeated traffic from a URL at the same time every day;
• Failed log-ins or repeated log-ins at unusual times, such as at night;
• Traffic to or from blacklisted domains;
• Unusual spikes in email activity, which could point to a compromised account or phishing scam;
• Repeated warnings from security solutions, which are easy to overlook but which could point to a problem.
How to Handle a Network Threat
If you find your network is under attack, your first reaction may be to close down the network in order to stop the attack.
While this is an understandable reaction, it’s important that you gather some information first if you can. The more information you can get about an attack, the easier it will be for you to analyze it and figure out what action to take.
Some of the information to look to includes all system, network and application logs that pertain to the attack, along with compromised files and suspicious processes that are running.
Once you have the information you need, it’s vital that you neutralize the attack as quickly as possible.
You will need to disconnect the affected computer from your network, and may need to disconnect it from the Internet. You should make use of your firewall and security systems to deal with the attack, if at all possible.
Protecting Your Home Business Network
When it comes to the risk of network attacks, prevention is absolutely better than cure.
Take steps now to protect your home business network and you’ll be saving yourself a lot of stress and potential losses in the future.
Some of the ways you can do that include:
• Make use of security software and ensure it’s always up to date;
• Use encryption wherever possible, and certainly when it comes to your customers’ information;
• Be vigilant about which devices are allowed to log on to your business network and make use of authentication such as passwords or phone verification to prevent unauthorized log ins;
• Back up your data using a secure method such as a Cloud-based service;
• Be wary of sharing files and be sure they come from a trusted source.
As well as taking steps to keep your network secure, it’s vital that you build a contingency plan in case your network suffers an attack.
Part of the plan should be setting aside regular times for performing scans, checking your security and backing up your data. You should also draw up a plan of actions to take in the event of an attack.
Suffering a network attack can cause damage to your business and your reputation.
Prevent problems in the future by learning which signs to look for, and maximizing your network security as much as possible.
Photo credit: Image courtesy of hywards at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including branding, inbound marketing, keeping your network secure and social media.