An attempted cyberattack doesn’t have to mean a data breach. If you’ve got the proper defenses in place, combined with the right policies, then hackers simply won’t be able to breach your system.
Think of your business as a house on a street with loads of other homes. When a burglar comes by, they’re looking for the place that’s easiest to get into. If they see a house with CCTV cameras and bolted locks, they likely won’t try to get inside. But, if they see a house with a window left open, they may target it.
CCTV cameras and bolted locks are akin to solid cybersecurity policies. The open window is an example of what we would call human error; poor cyber security practices that make your business more vulnerable to attack.
These mistakes are surprisingly common, with IBM estimating that human error causes about 95% of security breaches today. The good news is that, with a few minor changes, you can dramatically improve your business’s cybersecurity.
Here are the common cybersecurity mistakes businesses make and how to avoid them:
Hoping you won’t be targeted
Small businesses have a terrible habit of thinking that cybercriminals aren’t interested in their data. This isn’t the case. Today’s hackers are after any and all sensitive data they can get their hands on. Moreover, compared to multi-national corporations, SMBs tend to have weaker defenses, making them the perfect target for cybercriminals.
In line with this, research estimates that 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, and these incidents cost roughly $200,000 – enough to put some companies out of business!
This isn’t to scare you, but you need to be proactive about cybersecurity. If you make the mistake of thinking you won’t be targeted, you likely won’t invest enough in cybersecurity, making you easy pickings.
So, start taking cybersecurity seriously. While it can be challenging to know where and how to invest your money, there are ways around this problem. We recommend working with IT consultants, who can help you to improve your security defenses at a reasonable price.
Neglecting employee training
Your employees are the first line of defense against data breaches. They can spot attempted cyberattacks before they wreak havoc if they are informed. On the other hand, if they don’t know what an attack looks like, they could cause a data breach.
Knowledge is power in the world of cybersecurity. Employee training should be part of your induction to new hires and incorporated regularly throughout the year for all employees. In particular, you should educate your people on good password practices and how to spot phishing emails.
There’s no one way to conduct training; you could opt for eLearning courses, lunch and learn sessions or even away days. The main thing is to ensure that your training is engaging. It can’t be treated as a tick-box exercise. You need to make sure your employees learn and retain the information they’re given.
Relying on anti-virus
Anti-virus is an integral part of a sound cybersecurity strategy, but it’s not a total solution on its own. Anti-virus defends against certain types of cyberattacks, but not all of them. Hackers use many other tactics to compromise networks without viruses, such as injections and denial-of-service attacks.
Moreover, cybercriminals often create and execute new malware variations, which anti-virus technologies won’t spot. Because of the shortcomings of anti-virus, you need to have a more holistic solution in place. No one security technology can entirely protect your company. You need an end-to-end approach with solutions that address your organization’s different risks.
Forgetting to patch
The WannaCry outbreak of 2016 is the most infamous example of the importance of patching. This ransomware outbreak, which shut down organizations worldwide, exploited a known vulnerability in Microsoft software – which the company had already released a patch for!
When your system asks you to update, it can be tempting to click the ‘remind me later’ button. But these updates are crucial to enterprise security. Where possible, we advise that you automate device and software updates on your employees’ devices. This means that updates will automatically happen after they are released, which takes the burden of your employees remembering to patch.
If your employees use their own devices for work, you should communicate the importance of patching in your employee training program.
Keep Your Business Protected With Help From Texas I.T. Pros
Texas I.T. Pros can help your Denton or Wise County business to improve your cybersecurity posture.
Reach out to us if your Denton or Wise County business is having difficulty with cybersecurity. Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.