Cyberattacks are one of the most pressing issues facing small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) today. A successful attack can damage your company’s reputation, cost thousands and thousands of dollars and even put you out of business.
The impact of a cyberattack is dependent on your security defenses. If you have the right solutions and protocols in place, you should be able to deter attackers from stealing your sensitive data. On the flip side, if you’re negligent or, perhaps, naive about cybersecurity, then you could end up in the hot seat.
Unfortunately, many small businesses find themselves in the latter category. They either bury their heads in the sand about security or are misinformed about what proper defense entails.
To help your company move forward with confidence, here are the most significant cybersecurity mistakes that businesses make, which you should avoid:
Mistake 1: Assuming You Are Not a Target
Ponemon’s Global State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium-Sized Businesses report found that two-thirds of small businesses experienced a cyberattack in the last 12 months.
Just because you’re a small organization, that doesn’t mean cybercriminals won’t notice you. In fact, cybercriminals may prey on you for that exact reason, banking on the fact that, because you are a smaller company, you are less likely to have complex defenses in place.
Moreover, there are more potential entry points for cybercriminals in the hybrid world than ever before. Your employees’ email inboxes, cloud applications and websites are all vulnerable.
To get ahead, you need to be proactive about cybersecurity and secure your infrastructure before it’s too late. If you need support, then consider outsourcing your IT support to third-party experts who can help you implement the right solutions to protect your business.
Mistake 2: Forgetting About Employee Training
The ‘human factor’ is a crucial part of cybersecurity. By this, we mean the role that employees have to play in data breaches. According to a study by IBM, human error accounts for 95% of cyber security incidents.
Why? Because cybercriminals often need a human trigger for a successful attack. A phishing email, for example, only works if an unwitting employee clicks the link.
To that end, you need to arm your employees with the tools and knowledge to protect themselves and your company from cyber-attacks. The best way to do this is through regular security training that teaches your employees about common threats and how to spot them.
Mistake 3: Depending Solely on Anti-virus
Anti-virus is an essential part of cybersecurity, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. While anti-virus detects some threats, attackers are constantly creating new malware types that your anti-virus won’t catch. Furthermore, some attacks don’t even use malware at all, making anti-virus redundant in some scenarios.
To protect your organization, you need to take a multi-layered, strategic approach to security that incorporates a range of different solutions for complete cover.
Mistake 4: Seeing Cybersecurity Investments as a Cost Drain
Investing in cybersecurity can seem like an expensive undertaking. Some businesses would rather risk the cost of an attack over investing in bolstering their defenses. However, a proactive approach is far better from a financial perspective.
This is because, according to IBM, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $4.2 million per breach. This takes into account factors like downtime, compliance fines and customer relations management.
The cost of investing in cybersecurity is minuscule in comparison. So, rather than seeing security as a cost drain, we recommend looking at cybersecurity investments as a potential cost saving in the long run.
Mistake 5: Allowing Your Employees to Use Weak Passwords
According to Verizon, over 81% of breaches used stolen or weak passwords in 2020. If your employees use weak passwords or use the same password across multiple accounts, you are vulnerable to credentials compromise.
Implementing a solid password policy program is a surefire way to boost the security of your business – and it doesn’t cost a thing.
If you want to go a step further, we recommend implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA). This mechanism uses two or more authentication methods to verify a user, rather than just relying on a username and password.
MFA is a great way to verify that your users are who they say they are if your employees work remotely.
Get a cybersecurity audit to reduce your risk of a data breach
How secure is your network against today’s cybersecurity risks? Pro Tech Guy can help your Framingham or Natick company with a cybersecurity audit to identify and address any weaknesses.
Contact us today to learn more. Call 508-364-8189 or reach us online.