8 Cybersecurity Mistakes Every Business Should Avoid Making
No matter the size of your business, cybersecurity should form part of your core operational priorities. Given that you handle all kinds of internal and external data, you should ensure that you can protect this information from any breaches. Having a cyber-secure business network can enable you to trade with your business partners without the risk of unnecessary exposure due to cyberattacks.
Do You Need A Cyber Security Service Provider?
As a business owner, you may find yourself letting a few lapses here and there that can jeopardize your cybersecurity. These lapses may seem minor and non-material but can provide a window for cyberattacks which can sometimes be irreparable. One of the major steps you can undertake to secure yourself is to get a cybersecurity service provider (CSP).
As you may get tied up with other operational duties, having a cybersecurity service provider can relieve you of the worry of cyber safety. Most of these CSPs offer a range of cyber security solutions and can ensure your business’s network is up to date. With a CSP, any sensitive data your business handles can get the constant monitoring, storage, and security it requires.
Cybersecurity Mistakes You Should Avoid
As mentioned earlier, you may often overlook minor activities or lapses that can weaken your network’s security. For cybersecurity, every loophole matters. Cyber-attackers are always on the hunt for weak points, and as such, you should take every precaution to close these loopholes. Read on below to find out some of the loopholes you may be creating.
Weak Passwords And Ease Of Access
Due to the many accounts, you access each day, you may create passwords that would be easy to remember. Even though this means you can easily access your accounts, it also provides an easy access point for cyberattacks. For this reason, you need to create passwords that are a bit more complex and classified as strong. For example, having a password with your place and year of birth (e.g., Paris1950) can be weak. But a passphrase like ‘[email protected]’ may be a stronger password.
As part of your cybersecurity protocols, you should ensure this is a practice that all team members carry out. Additionally, your systems administrator can configure a time-lapse. This is where the network prompts users to change their passwords after a certain period. Apart from this, you can also have multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that whoever is logging in to your network is who they are. MFAs can be in the form of a one-time pin (OTP) to the user’s mobile phone. The MFAs help provide an additional security layer to your network.
Using Business And Personal Devices Interchangeably
At times, in an attempt to promote remote working, you may use personal devices to access your business network. This can be as simple as accessing your work emails on your mobile device. This need for convenience can create a convenient hole for a cyberattack.
You can minimize this by providing your staff with work phones. However, as you give work mobile devices, sensitize the team members on separating personal browsing from work browsing. This will ensure the two internet activities don’t increase your risk of cyberthreats.
Not Training Your Staff On Cybersecurity
Research suggests that staff can be a major source of data breaches in a business. Sometimes your staff may not recognize pointers like phishing emails, unsecured websites, and unknowingly exposing sensitive data. Therefore, you should ensure that your team members receive regular training on cyber security. This training should touch on recognizing cyber threats, what to do, and what steps to take if they find themselves in a cyberattack.
Furthermore, your team members should receive sensitization on various security protocols like password strengths, not accessing personal social media accounts on business devices, reporting stolen or lost work devices.
As they form part of your first and last line of defense, ensuring you give regular cybersecurity training and updates to your staff can help you cover some loopholes to your network.
Assuming That It Can’t Happen To You
Because you run a small or medium-sized business, you may assume that there’s nothing to gain from attacking your network. However, it’s important to note that cyberattacks are mainly about information, and any network is a potentially rich source.
Additionally, avoid assuming that you have the best cybersecurity and no one can break it. Such an assumption can lead you to lax some everyday measures. This laxity is all that a cyber attacker needs to penetrate your network. Therefore, to be cyber safe, you should assume that there’s a risk for a cyber-attack for every keystroke in your business.
Skipping Software Updates
During your busy work sessions, you may get pop-ups to update your certain software. Some of these updates may require you to restart your machine. However, as you have a schedule and don’t want to lose time, you opt out of the update. These software updates can be a lifeline for your device against cyber threats. Running the software updates may have to delay your work schedule. But, it can help reduce your risk of exposure and is less costly than losing data to cybercrime. Overall, you should ensure your network and security software are up to date.
Assuming Cybersecurity Is An IT Issue
Although your network security measures may originate from the IT department, upholding them is everyone’s responsibility. Therefore, every team member shouldn’t practice cyber hygiene because IT says so but because it’s a business cybersecurity protocol. Assuming that IT takes care of network security can lead some team members to expose sensitive data putting the business at risk.
Not Deactivating Or Deleting Accounts
Due to changes in business structure or staff departure, you may have inactive accounts. These accounts won’t get regular monitoring like the active ones and can create backdoors for cybercriminals. Thus, you should ensure to close, deactivate, or delete accounts or websites that are no longer in use.
Relying On Anti-Virus Software Only
Anti-virus software effectively prevents malware that the software developers already know. However, cybersecurity is constantly changing, and attackers frequently create trojan horses and other viruses. Attackers can also use different ways to gain access to your system illegally. Even though having up-to-date anti-virus software is essential, you should also employ other preventative measures. These measures can include ensuring your system has a firewall and having an offline backup for your data.
To conclude, any activity on the internet exposes you to cyber threats, and any mistake increases your cyber-attack risk. Therefore, to maintain good network security, you should ensure you can avoid these mistakes and practice cyber hygiene all the time. As a rule, you can develop cybersecurity protocols that can help all team members uphold safe internet use.