Network Hackers – Inside and Outside

Michael Accetta

On May 22nd In IP Solutions, IP Surveillance Video, IP Tech Tips

As our industry continues to integrate IP enabled devices, security installation companies need to be aware of how to prevent and deter hacking attacks that might cripple a networked security system. All networks whether strictly local or connected to the Internet are potential targets for hacking attempts and intrusions.

The two types of damage that hackers can achieve are network disruptions and theft of data. A network disruption can effectively shut down a business enterprise until the full functionality of the network has been restored. Data theft can include sensitive company plans for products or marketing, financial information, or other valuable computer files. Probably the two types of data that are most coveted by hackers are credit card transactions and social security numbers.  We have all read about various companies who have been hacked with millions of credit card records stolen within the past few years.

The first thing to consider is what motivates hackers to do what they do. There are two types of potential hackers: those who are within the network and those who are outside attempting to get into the network through the Internet. Inside hackers are typically disgruntled employees who may attempt to hack into devices on their local network “just for fun” or to achieve some goal. Consider the number of times students have hacked into high school and college networks and changed their grades to their benefit. Insiders might also attempt to steal data files including customer lists and proprietary product information in order to either sell the information to a competitor or perhaps provide that info to the their new employer when changing jobs within the same industry. Inside hackers are the most dangerous as the PCs or other devices they are using are within the local network and are behind the primary firewalls that protect the LAN from Internet-based hacker attacks. Inside people may have access to the telecom closets and other connection points where it is easy for them to hook up a rogue device such as a Wi-Fi access point which can provide access to the network from smart phones and tablet Wi-Fi computers.

Hacking attempts from outside the network can be spawned by disgruntled former employees, random attacks, or by individuals who are paid to invade specific networks to either disable them or steal information.

Security dealers need to know what vulnerabilities may exist in the IP devices being installed, and use common sense security functions to prevent unauthorized access to devices, such as the use of strong passwords and password encryption.

ADI offers a number of training opportunities throughout the year that provide more information on IP installations. Click here to check out the upcoming training events taking place at your local ADI branch.