Lax cybersecurity can be a devastating blow for any business. While a system breach might not spell the end of the company, it damages reputation and customer confidence, as well as having a host of compliance issues. Here is a comprehensive list of the most common cybersecurity mistakes, and how you can avoid them.
Thinking that you’re exempt
Don’t assume that just because your company isn’t a huge, well-known business, that you aren’t vulnerable to attack. Every business, no matter how small, are open to attack – it’s not just those that handle personal data that can fall victim to a breach of their cybersecurity. Cyber criminals carry out their illegal doings in all corners of the online world, attempting to infiltrate networks, and take valuable assets, whether that is personal information, money, or other sensitive data. To avoid this, make sure you take the possibility of attack seriously, and minimise risk by bringing in qualified experts to conduct audits, identify weaknesses, and provide solutions.
Lacking knowledge of where your data lives
Chances are, data is the foundation on which your company is built, and what sustains it. It is exchanged within the company itself, as well as with external sources, too. “The moving of data means that it is paramount that a detailed, in-depth knowledge is required, as to where the data is travelling to, where it lives, and who has access to it. Failure to do this means you fail to know what you need to protect, which is open season for attackers!”, – explains Jayne Ward, a Data Manager at Academized and Stateofwriting.
Focusing on border security
Cyber hacking has progressed a lot in recent years: so much so, that concentrating solely on border defences will mean that adversaries will almost inevitably be able to hack your system, and, once they have made it in, they will be able to acquire privileges to make them appear as trusted users, and evade detection for a long time. Cybersecurity should adopt a far more holistic approach – make sure that all defences are strong, and your chances of them being breached diminish considerably.
Neglecting to update
It is impossible to guarantee that your cybersecurity will always prevent attacks, as networks are so expansive, that there are too many opportunities for a potential breach. However, by avoiding updating your network and failing to understand the structure of it, the ease at which an attacker can enter your system increases dramatically.
Only relying on anti-virus technology
Not all cybersecurity attacks come in the form of malware or viruses, and so using anti-virus technology alone will not protect you from attacks. The world of cyber hacking is constantly evolving, and new tools to penetrate systems are always being developed, with attackers increasingly using malware-free tactics. Bearing this in mind, while it is important to keep anti-virus software up-to-date, it is equally vital to be able to identify threats in their other forms.
Taking on the task alone
Protecting an entire company network from cyber-attacks is a mammoth task, and the skill set it requires is no mean feat to master. There is a huge, worldwide shortage of effective cybersecurity skills, so, chances are, you will need help. “Attempting to do the most with the human resources you have – especially if they lack to sufficient skills – will only increase the likelihood of your security being breached. Bring in the experts to help you, or liaise with another company to share resources”, – says Lillian Ramirez, a Security Manager at Paper Fellows and Bigassignments.
Considering cybersecurity to be solely an IT problem
It is not just the IT departments problem to keep the network protected. As aforementioned, a holistic approach is required to ensure the entire network is consistently protected. Make sure everyone in the company is educated on how to protect information, guard company secrets, map data flows, and what they should avoid doing. Have clear policies and processes in place, and regular meetings with the board, so that everyone is fully aware of how to respond to any potential threats, and how they should operate on a day to day basis.
Cybersecurity is something that should be taken lightly. By ensuring that the proper parameters and security measures are in place, and that everyone in the company has proper training on how to minimise risk, you can massively reduce the likelihood of having your network breached.