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The Shocking Security Vulnerabilities Hidden in Workplace Software

Any business can experience security breaches at the software or network level. It’s common for headlines to report a virus gaining access to a company’s data or hackers from another country acquiring protected secrets.

If you want to protect your business from significant threats, you need to be aware of several common workplace concerns that can undermine your software security.

Common Security Issues That Affect Businesses

Although big, flashy hacking efforts tend to overwhelm security measures and use specially-coded software to access protected information, many common business vulnerabilities involve employees. Consider several security vulnerabilities that are tied to how your employees use workplace software.

  • The most glaring risk that companies face is also one of the most frequently overlooked: the wrong person can gain access to files because an employee neglects to log out.

Using that employee’s credentials, an unauthorized person could copy and distribute sensitive documents or change crucial settings on the machine or network.

  • A familiar vector for viruses is email. Phishing, trojan horse attacks, and other schemes either take advantage of hapless employees who click on unsafe links or target lax network security that fails to accurately screen attachments. 
  • Ultimately, your business is only as protected as your employees are loyal. In the past, companies have lost control of their secrets and competitors have gained proprietary information through corporate espionage. Such activities are illegal and can cause significant financial damage to victim companies.

To best protect your business, train your staff on these common issues and flaws. Often, employees don’t realize how vulnerable they are making your business until they have the proper training to observe and address these flaws.

Problems Associated with Your Workplace Software

Beyond the security vulnerabilities that employees activate through carelessness or lack of training, inherent software-related issues can compromise your workplace security, including backdoors, malicious programming, and PDF issues.

  • Sometimes, hackers compromise software through a backdoor. Usually, these built-in access points are intended for development and testing purposes and are patched up before release. Occasionally, those backdoors are not closed, and those who know about them can take advantage of this flaw.
  • Some viruses make changes to the operating system. These malicious programs create a backdoor for other viruses to access. Because the change takes place at the OS level, you may have no choice but to completely reformat the targeted computer and restore it to factory settings to restore it to your business’s control. Such situations can often turn into a hostage situation in which a hacker demands payment in exchange for not destroying a company or personal data.
  • Alternatively, software fails to protect your workplace from threats due to a problem with the code. Even the most diligent software engineers make mistakes, and occasionally, those mistakes will slip through quality control.

In those cases, the flaws can be so integral to the code that there is no way to fully protect your systems. The only defense is to entirely replace old software.

  • Hackers will generally target the most commonly-used suites of business software. These programs represent a valuable target due to how many companies depend on them. Viruses and malicious code that targets these programs are more likely to be effective. Businesses get into an ongoing battle against hackers as each entity tries to outmaneuver the other.
  • Another significant risk that companies must consider is the danger that comes from unwittingly installing malicious code. Often, hackers will use corrupted PDFs that your employees may open. When using standard software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Suite, the malicious code embedded in the PDFs have easy access to your larger system and other machines on the network.

Alternative programs, such as Kofax Power PDF, offer stronger PDF protection for your systems against malicious code.

The best way to defend your workplace and staff against hackers who would steal your data and harm your company is always to keep your software up-to-date. Frequently check for updates and new security developments, and always rely exclusively on trustworthy companies that produce high-quality workplace software.

Keep Your Digital Assets Safe in a Dangerous Environment

Although a security breach can happen to virtually any business, there are steps that you can take to minimize the risk. Consider the potential flaws outlined above as you examine the procedures that your business has in place to prevent digital theft and corporate espionage. Remain diligent and ensure that you and your staff members know which common errors to avoid.

Priya James: PRIYA JAMES is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Certified Ethical Hacker, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Author at GBHackers On Cyber Security

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