In 2021, the average cost of a data breach was $4.24 million.
If your company is slacking on cybersecurity, you’re courting disaster. Hackers don’t need to invade your company’s digital systems and shut them down to threaten its survival. They simply need to steal your data; a stealth act that can go unnoticed.
Thankfully, you know the consequences of a data breach. This is why you’re keen on implementing company cybersecurity measures. But why do breaches keep occurring even when organizations are trying to prevent them?
In many cases, it’s because these organizations are making some mistakes. In this article, we’re fleshing out some of the most common cybersecurity mistakes businesses make.
Table of Contents
Thinking Your Business Is Too Small to Be Attacked
54 percent of small businesses don’t have a cybersecurity plan.
Why is this the case?
There are many reasons, but one of the most common you’ll hear is small businesses believe that their enterprises are too small to be cyber-attacked. Yet, close to 50 percent of all online attacks now target small businesses.
From a hacker’s perspective, a small business without any cybersecurity measures is an easy target. Why should they waste their time penetrating large organizations that have put up strong firewalls when there’s a small business that has literally left its doors open?
You won’t hear cases of small business cyberattacks on the news. Only the large organizations make it there, but this doesn’t mean small businesses like yours are not a target. Across the country, millions of small enterprises are feeling the pain of cyberattacks.
Thinking Your Business Doesn’t Have Anything That’s Valuable to Hackers
Are you neglecting your cybersecurity because you think there’s nothing valuable hackers can steal? That’s like leaving a house open because you’re yet to move in. It’s true that empty houses aren’t a prime target for burglars, but there are some who will go in and vandalize it.
The same applies in the world of business and cybersecurity. Even if your business doesn’t collect and store any form of data, hackers can still break in and vandalize your digital systems. In fact, cyber vandalism can cause permanent damage to your digital assets.
Also, hackers are always looking for ways to test their penetration systems and technologies. Sometimes they’ll just attack an organization not because they want to steal, but because they want to see how effective their weapons are.
Using Weak Passwords
People use weak passwords because they believe they aren’t a target for cyber fraud. We’ve already debunked this. Your small business is a prime target.
Think of a password as a door. In your home, if a burglar is to break in, they’ll use the door. The more doors your house has, the more potential entry points for a burglar.
Did you the average business has 191 passwords? This means there are 191 potential openings for hackers. Having one weak password undoes the value of having 190 strong passwords. An experienced hacker will break in within seconds and steal your data or vandalize your assets.
As such, it’s crucial to ensure all the passwords used to access your organization’s digital systems are strong. Don’t leave the responsibility to create passwords to the system users. Left to their own devices, most employees will choose a password that’s easy to remember. Most of the time, this is a weak password.
You should also make it company policy that every user changes their password after a certain period of time. This way, you make it harder for any hackers that might have already been in the process of cracking the old passwords.
Failing to Train Your Staff
An organization’s employees are often the biggest weak link in cybersecurity. The main reason for this is they lack adequate cybersecurity knowledge.
You can’t blame your workers for not knowing much about cybersecurity. An accountant is an accountant, not an IT specialist.
It’s your responsibility to give your employees the additional training they need to enhance their cybersecurity awareness. Unfortunately, most small organizations don’t do this. Again, it’s either because they don’t believe they’re targets or they don’t have the funds to invest in employee training.
Regardless of your reason, you have no choice but to invest in your employee’s cybersecurity training. Any time you’re wondering whether spending money on employee training is worth it, think about the cost of a single data breach.
Weak Company Cybersecurity Policies
Does your company have cybersecurity policies?
Probably. But how comprehensive are they?
Some organizations create policies that focus on things like passwords and system access. Yet, there are physical measures that must be taken to complement these policies.
For example, do you allow your employees to leave company promises with work laptops and other mobile devices? Sometimes all a hacker needs to do is steal the laptop and they’ll have access to your organization’s digital systems.
Therefore, ensure your policies cover the physical aspect of cybersecurity as well.
Failing to Hire Cybersecurity Pros
Many small businesses don’t have in-house cybersecurity professionals. The budget just doesn’t allow it.
While there are many cybersecurity measures you can implement on your own, you can only do so much. Cybersecurity is a full-time job. Your systems need to be monitored round-the-clock.
It’s desirable to have an in-house team, but if you can’t afford it, outsourcing is a cheaper, more efficient option. Check out https://www.velocityit.net/dallas-it-company/ to see what outsourcing IT services can do for you.
Put Company Cybersecurity First
In the digital age, company cybersecurity comes first. It’s commendable if you’re already taking steps to keep the bad guys out, but are you committing any of the mistakes fleshed out above? If you’re, correct them before it’s too late.
The Most Common and Costly Cybersecurity Mistakes Made by Businesses
Cybersecurity is a critical issue that affects businesses of all sizes. Despite the increasing awareness of cyber threats, many businesses still make costly cybersecurity mistakes that can compromise their data and reputation. Some of the biggest and most common cybersecurity mistakes businesses make include:
- Neglecting software updates: Neglecting to install software updates can leave businesses vulnerable to cyberattacks. Software updates often contain important security patches that protect against known vulnerabilities.
- Poor password management: Poor password management practices, such as using easily guessable passwords, can be exploited by cybercriminals. Businesses should implement strong password policies and consider using multi-factor authentication.
- Lack of employee training: Employees are often the weakest link in an organization’s cybersecurity defenses. Regular training on how to identify and prevent cyber threats is crucial in preventing attacks.
- Neglecting backup and disaster recovery plans: Failing to have a backup and disaster recovery plan in place can be devastating if a cyberattack hits a business. Regular backups and testing of disaster recovery plans can help minimize the impact of a cyberattack.
- Not having a cybersecurity strategy: Many businesses do not have a formal cybersecurity strategy in place. Having a clear and well-defined cybersecurity strategy can help organizations identify and mitigate potential cyber threats before they become a problem.
By avoiding these common mistakes, businesses can significantly reduce the risk of cyberattacks and protect themselves against the financial and reputational consequences of a breach.
Keep watch on our blog for more cybersecurity and technology insights.