Hackers employ a variety of tools and methods to break into networks, and the best way to be armed against their attacks is to know how they do it. It’s important for administrators and their fellow IT staff members to be aware of how hackers launch attacks and what programs they use to facilitate network access. Being armed with this information better prepares IT staff to detect and prevent attacks that can result in downtime or the spread of damaging viruses.

To help you educate your staff about hacker attack methods and tools, we’re offering a free PowerPoint presentation download, “How hackers attack networks,” which is based on an original presentation by Indiana University Southeast network security specialist Adrian Crenshaw. It offers insights into the ways hackers can gain access to your networks to cause mischief, steal sensitive data, or prevent users from accessing network services. This presentation introduces some common attack methods and programs and looks at ways you can prevent such attacks. You can use it not only as an information resource but also as a tool to educate your IT staff and users about the security threats they face and should be prepared to handle.

Education is key
Hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the means they employ to break in to networks, and education of IT staff and users is becoming the critical component that can help prevent network intrusions. IT professionals are realizing more and more that the biggest problem with network attacks isn’t necessarily the techniques and tools of the hackers, but the lack of knowledge on the part of users and staff about the importance of security and the basic steps necessary to maintain security.

This presentation gives you the opportunity to introduce some basic concepts and some of the simple details that many IT professionals overlook when it comes to securing data. One of the problems organizations face is that software is generally designed to be easy to use and thus attempts to simplify things. However, as the presentation points out, making things easier can also result in security loopholes that hackers can exploit.

Social engineering threats that hackers use to manipulate IT staff members and end users are among the most difficult to handle because they prey upon the one thing that technology cannot effectively safeguard: human nature. As many IT professionals now realize, protecting a network begins with the people who have access to it. Thus, educating your staff and users is the key to maintaining the security and privacy of your network data. And you can get the process started by downloading “How hackers attack networks.”

In addition to this presentation, you can find security-related information from many other sources, including the SANS Institute and CERT Coordination Center, and you may also want to download our “Security resource list for administrators.” These resources provide valuable information to help supplement what the presentation covers.