Avoid Common Cybersecurity Mistakes Businesses Make

Wednesday, April 25, 2018, 12:00 PM | Leave Comment

Even big companies suffer from security vulnerabilities and this fact makes them prone to data breaches.

For example, in July 2017, as a result of a cybersecurity incident, personal data such as Social Security Numbers, addresses, birth dates, and drivers’ license numbers of almost 148 million people were stolen from the database of Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting agencies in the U.S.

Bear in mind that apart from financial problems caused by such incidents, your reputation is at stake.

Research studies have shown that 60% of SMBs file for bankruptcy 6 months after a cyber attack.

But before you start worrying, try to eliminate risks by avoiding some of the most common cybersecurity mistakes.

  1. The it-won’t-happen-to me mentality

    Many small business owners think that their company is of no interest to cybercriminals. This is an expensive and dangerous misconception because more than 50% of businesses which earn less than $10 million a year fell victim to cyber attacks during 2016.

    Hackers have started targeting smaller companies mainly because it’s much easier to break into their databases since they usually lack advanced security mechanisms, as well as because their owners are more likely to pay the ransom.

    Another important reason lies in the fact that cybercriminals can exploit small businesses in order to gain access to large enterprises they cooperate with.

  2. Overlooking the basics

    It’s very easy to forget about simple things such as password strength, backing up your data, or maintaining security after an employee resigns.

    Almost 20% of medium-sized and 37% of small businesses use weak passwords, according to a security report.

    One of the most frequent mistakes is using the same password for several accounts and not changing passwords on a regular basis.

    Also, your network should be structured in a segmented manner so that it’s possible to prevent or at least minimize access to sensitive data.

  3. Failing to conduct a risk assessment

    In order to be able to improve your security, it’s of vital importance to have a risk assessment performed by a certified cybersecurity consultant.

    Even if you’re convinced that you and your staff are doing everything properly, there are numerous data vulnerabilities across your network.

    Don’t forget that you’re sharing files and documents with various individuals and companies on a daily basis, which subsequently leads to an increased possibility that there are cracks somewhere in the data flow system.

    Creating a data flow map will help you keep track of your sensitive data and improve your overall cybersecurity.

  4. Not providing employee training

    If your staff doesn’t know the first thing about of cybersecurity, your whole company is at a risk.

    Remember that all of them receive a lot of emails every day and sometimes it’s enough that just one of those emails contains a malicious link and boom – your whole database is compromised.

    Phishing schemes, for example, can be very hard to recognize if you aren’t tech-savvy. Emails sent by hackers are disguised as being from a trusted source, and some of them even use an email address very similar to some respectable company’s email address, thus luring unsuspecting people into opening the email and even clicking the infected link.

    By keeping your employees informed about the latest scams, cyber threats, and procedures to avoid them, you can protect your business and reputation.

  5. Not using data encryption

    One of the best and most effective ways of protecting your sensitive data is by means of encryption.

    This method practically translates your data into a secret code, meaning that only the person who has the key can decipher it. This means that your data will be safe even if a breach occurs.

    By switching from HTTP to HTTPS you will secure your website and prevent hackers from intercepting your traffic and stealing information. This technology is mandatory if your website has the user registration and login functionality, and if it accepts credit cards.

    Not only will the green padlock in your address bar keep your clients’ data protected, but it will also indicate to your potential customers that it’s safe for them to trust you with their personal details.

These 5 mistakes can wreak havoc on your business so make sure that you fix them before cybercriminals take advantage of your lack of security awareness.

Author BIO

Lauren Wiseman is marketing specialist, business writer entrepreneur. She helps clients grow their personal and professional brands in fast-changing and demanding market, strongly believing in a holistic approach to business.

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