In the post-pandemic digital age, no business is immune to cybersecurity threats. The latest findings suggest that cyberattacks will cost the 11 GICS sectors around $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.
Therefore, companies need to be extra vigilant to keep their physical and digital assets safe. One way to do that is by learning what can hinder your progress or processes.
In this post, we’ll share the seven biggest cybersecurity mistakes that put your business at risk of disruptions, data loss, financial theft, and other damages.
1. Falling for Common, Preventable Cyber Attacks
One of the worst mistakes your business can make is falling for the most common (usually preventable) attacks in the industry, including (but not limited to):
- Ransomware, etc.
These attacks have been around for a long time and can be easily avoided by popular anti-malware software, awareness, and regular training.
Awareness is extremely important because cybercriminals actively upgrade their tools and employ new malicious practices daily.
2. Little or No Backup
Every modern business has different types of data that must be stored and secured. Some examples would be customer information and financial records.
Most of this data is highly sensitive. Yet many businesses don’t make regular backups and pay thousands of dollars in recovery once they get hacked.
Fortunately, you can use several cost-effective solutions to avoid this basic cybersecurity mistake.
For instance, most IT professionals recommend the 3-2-1 data backup rule, which requires making at least three copies of data on two storage types with at least one physical (offsite) copy.
For example, you can use:
- Cloud backup services;
- In-premises servers;
- External hard drives, etc.
This way, even if one of the backups gets hacked–you’ll have a few more protected storages at your disposal.
3. No Data or Traffic Encryption
One of the most common cybersecurity mistakes is investing all of the security efforts and resources in defense tactics.
However, you must realize there’s no way to keep your business 100% secure from hackers. Therefore, you need to shift some of your efforts into concealment tactics.
Today, encryption is one of the best solutions you can adopt to protect your assets from theft or manipulation. By encrypting your data, you can make it virtually unbreakable.
One of the ways to do so is by using a reliable VPN service that’ll hide your IP address and encrypt your data from snoopers.
4. Trusting Public WiFi Networks
In the post-pandemic age, many people work remotely from their homes, cafes, parks, or other public places.
Many of these places offer access to free public WiFi networks as a value offering. However, these connections are incredibly dangerous, as hackers use them as hunting grounds for the following attacks or more:
- Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attack;
- Session hijacking, etc.
One of the best ways to secure your network is by using a virtual private network. A VPN encrypts your IP and online traffic so no hackers can’t find and get into your systems. Visit the website to learn more about VPNs.
5. Using Default or Free Security Software
Many businesses worldwide rely on default or free security software and avoid buying extra tools. In doing so, they fail to take full advantage of these solutions. For instance, paid anti-malware solutions add multiple layers of protection to prevent cyberattacks, such as 128-bit encryption, two-factor authentication, etc.
Many unpaid software solutions also come with annoying ads than can affect productivity and share your information with third parties. Hence, it’s recommended you opt for paid solutions, especially for:
- Network security;
- Password management;
- Security monitoring;
- Firewalls, etc.
6. Irregular Updates
Updates are an essential part of security management. Delaying them can put your IT infrastructure at risk of attack.
Using outdated software means that security weaknesses like bugs won’t get fixed on your machines.
Moreover, addressing threats and improving the overall user experience won’t be easy if you don’t update the programs you use.
Updating software can be a vexing task. However, it can stop hackers from exploiting weak entry points and result in more stress and pain. So, do your due diligence proactively. For instance, you can also turn on automatic updates according to your schedule.
7. Poor Failure Planning
One thing you must remember as a business owner is that cyberattacks aren’t always preventable. So, one of the biggest cybersecurity mistakes you can make is not planning for the aftermath of a breach.
For instance, you need to have the tools and resources to survey the damage and record the details.
You also need to notify those affected, including customers, and employ the right strategies to reverse some or all of the damage.
For example, if a hacker steals your data, you can initiate a data recovery program using your backup.
Now that you’re aware of the seven major cybersecurity mistakes that put your business at risk, it’s time to assess your IT infrastructure, policies, and security capabilities to ensure you don’t make any of them.
Of course, this process might take time and require investment and external intervention. However, it will be worth it in the long run.