Top cybersecurity mistakes and how to avoid them

Top cybersecurity mistakes and how to avoid them

Despite all the news about the increasing number of cyberthreats, there are still people and businesses who take cybersecurity for granted. One mistake is all it takes for a hacker to breach your network, which can lead to loss of profit and revenue, reputational damage, and losing your clients and customers.

There's no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to cybersecurity. However, there are mistakes you should avoid to protect your business from potential cyberattacks.

#1 Thinking you're not a target
If you think your small business is safe from a cyberattack, think again. When it comes to cyberattacks, hackers prefer to target small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) because of their cybersecurity negligence, and the inability to possess the same level of security larger enterprises do. In addition, SMBs don't have the money to invest in proper cybersecurity solutions, making them prime targets for cybercriminals. Fortunately, partnering with a managed IT services provider (MSP) like Athens Micro is an inexpensive option for SMBs with a limited IT budget.

#2 Clicking on compromised links
Phishing is one of the most frequently used attack vectors by hackers because of how easy it is to trick unmindful users to click on compromised links. Hackers will use deceptive emails and attach a malicious file or link, which will likely steal personal information or download malware into the victim's computer.

#3 Not updating your security software
Having the latest security software installed on computers but not updating it regularly is a crucial mistake a lot of SMBs make. Ignoring or delaying patching your security software with the latest updates is like leaving the door open for hackers to access your company's network. That's because it's easier for cybercriminals to exploit devices with outdated software compared to those that are regularly updated. So the next time you see a notification for a software update, apply it immediately to ensure your security software performs optimally.

#4 Using weak passwords
Employees using weak passwords is one of the chief reasons hackers are able to steal valuable information from businesses. Unfortunately, there are a lot of users who still use weak passwords because they’re easier to remember than those containing a complex combination of letters and numbers.

#5 Using the same set of credentials across multiple accounts
Some people hate memorizing different sets of login credentials, so they just use a single set of credentials for multiple accounts. However, if a hacker manages to steal those credentials, they will gain access to all the accounts the user has, one of which can be to your company’s network.

#6 Not using multifactor authentication (MFA)
MFA is an additional authentication step designed to provide an extra layer of security to your accounts. It verifies your identity using credentials aside from your username and password. They include:

  • Fingerprints
  • Retinal scan
  • Facial recognition
  • One-time authentication codes
  • Physical keys

Hackers unable to provide the additional authentication steps will not be able to break into your network. Unfortunately, some businesses don't use MFA, making their systems easy to hack.

#7 Unregulated mobile devices at work
Some companies permit employees to use their personal devices to complete their tasks. While this may help increase productivity, it also exposes your company to cyberthreats. Infected devices that connect to your company's network can spread malware that can compromise your entire infrastructure. The best way to mitigate the risks is to implement a policy that will regulate all personal devices connecting to company systems.

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#8 Not backing up your data
Data lost during a disaster or cyberattack is a major cause of downtime that can result in lost profit and revenue. Back up your company data in the cloud or an on-premises data center to ensure your business will continue to operate even after a big catastrophe.

#9 Not training your employees
A big part of data breaches can be attributed to human error. Phishing scams and social engineering techniques are successful because their victims fail to recognize them as a threat. Other errors are as simple as sending sensitive data to the wrong person or failing to store data in a secure location. To reduce or eliminate human errors, conduct regular security training for all your employees.

These may seem like small mistakes, but they can greatly compromise your company's cybersecurity defenses if you don't take the time to address them. This is where an MSP like Athens Micro can help. Our cybersecurity services will provide you with advanced threat protection to keep your data safe from cybercriminals. If you want to learn how to improve your company's network security, download our free eBook today.

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