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5 common network security risks

In today’s digital world, it can be challenging to keep track of all the risks that organisations face on a daily basis. The threat of cybercrime is steadily increasing; the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has received 13% more cybercrime reports in 2022 than the previous year.

When it comes to network security, there are many potential points of weakness that businesses must remain aware of at all times. It is important for businesses to have a clear understanding of the various threats they might face and take steps to minimise their exposure to risk.

But do you know how network security risks could impact your organisation? Do you understand which threats are most likely to affect your business?

What is network security?

Network security refers to the systems and processes a business deploys to protect its infrastructure and data from unauthorised access. It can include a wide range of tools and technologies, including firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), and encryption.

Network security is crucial for any organisation that handles sensitive data. Businesses that manage healthcare data, financial information, or any other kind of private data need to ensure that their systems are secure from outside threats. If a malicious actor were able to gain access to your network, they could steal data, corrupt systems, or even cause your business to shut down.

Malware threats

Malware is any type of malicious software that threatens network security. There are many types of malware, but some of the most common types include viruses, worms, and Trojan horses.

Viruses are a type of malware that replicates itself and spreads quickly across networks. A worm is designed to attack network systems. Worms are self-replicating, meaning that they spread from computer to computer without assistance from a human operator. A Trojan horse is any malware that appears to be beneficial, but actually works to harm a network.

Malware can be distributed in a number of different ways. Some types of malware are distributed through emails or attachments, while others may be embedded in websites. Malware can also be installed on computers through infected USB drives.

Antivirus software, regular software updates, and network scans and monitoring will help defend your IT environment against malware threats.


A phishing attack occurs when someone attempts to trick individuals into providing sensitive information. Reports of phishing scams in Australia significantly increased between 2020 and 2021 by 61%.

Phishing emails may appear to be coming from a legitimate company or organisation, such as your bank. The phishing emails will likely include language to indicate an urgency or need for personal information, such as your login details or credit card information.

Phishing emails are often personalised to make them seem legitimate. These emails may have a different and difficult-to-detect domain name. By clicking on the link in the phishing email, you may actually be giving a malicious actor access to your computer and network.


A denial-of-service (DOS) attack is an attempt to overload a computer or network with requests and render it useless. A distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack is a DOS attack that uses multiple computers to make the requests, lending an increased level of potency to the attack.

The exact methods used in DOS and DDOS attacks vary. Some computers may be programmed to send a large number of requests to a network, while others may send requests from multiple computers at once. A DOS or DDOS attack may target a single network or multiple networks at once.

To prevent such attacks, ensure that your network has adequate bandwidth and enough resources to handle customer traffic. You should also install firewall software that allows you to monitor and control incoming traffic.

Social engineering attacks

Social engineering is a form of cybercrime that relies on tricking people into providing sensitive information or taking malicious actions.

Social engineering attacks may involve sending emails or making phone calls asking for information. They may also involve tricking individuals into clicking on links or opening files that install malware or compromise their computers. These attacks are often difficult to spot, and can result in significant losses for your business.

One of the best ways to mitigate against social engineering attacks is to train employees on how to identify malicious or fraudulent emails and websites.


A man-in-the-middle (MIM) attack is a network security risk in which an attacker sets up a computer to intercept communications between two parties. The attacker will then read and/or alter any data sent between the two parties.

Man-in-the-middle attacks often happen through public WiFi networks. An attacker can set up a computer on the same WiFi network as you and then use a program to read any data that passes between your computer and the network. They can also occur through your company’s own network. An attacker could set up a computer inside your network to intercept communications.

MIM attacks can be difficult to spot. To avoid a MIM attack on your network, you should use a virtual private network (VPN) or other type of encrypted communication.

Protect your network with help from the experts

Network security is crucial for any business that handles sensitive data or relies on computers and networks for daily operations. It’s vital for businesses to have a clear understanding of the various threats they face and take steps to minimise their exposure to risk.

The cyber security specialists at Steadfast Solutions can implement end-to-end security solutions that will protect your network from cyber threat, and manage your entire security environment for maximum protection.