Unless you're a cybersecurity expert, there's a good chance that most of your familiarity with securing a network boils down to password protection. Network security services providers, though, have to look at many more vectors than just direct attacks on password systems.
It's good for anyone who has a network to understand what these vectors are. Not only does it allow you to better understand what you're paying for, but it makes it easier to assess how your organization faces particular risks.
Who Needs a Key?
While it's not a perfect analogy, there's something to the idea that a password functions as a key. Although hostile actors are happy to try to jimmy the lock, there are other ways to break in. Just as a burglar might break a window if they can't get through the door, a hacker without a password might look at buffer overruns, unpatched programs, or open ports to get into a network.
Traffic upticks are often the first tells that something is up on a compromised network. Without monitoring in place, you might go months or even years without notices that a hostile party is moving data in and out of your network. Network security services firms lean heavily on monitoring as the early warning system to detect that other measures have failed.
Locking Down Privileges
One way to try to contain network breaches is to limit the privileges of all users on the system. No one should be capable of doing more with their credentials than absolutely necessary. Even admins prefer to only escalate their privileges when a task calls for greater access.
Why does this help? First, it contains any compromise of a single account to whatever that account's privileges allow. If someone in marketing only has read-write access to a few files in their department, that's a much smaller vulnerability than if they can alter operating system files.
Second, the internal threat should be taken as seriously as the external one. While it's easy to imagine hackers breaching your network, every user is a potential threat. People can't snoop where they don't have privileges.
Many of the most common vulnerabilities are patchable, and vendors do patch them. If you're not regularly performing updates, though, you may be vulnerable long after something should have been fixed. For example, a cybersecurity services technician will want to patch routers, modems, and switches against potential overruns caused by inbound junk data. Once a vendor has a patch available, a professional can remotely order updates to all systems on the network.
For more information, contact a network security service in your area.