May 9, 2021

Top Cybersecurity Mistakes to Avoid in 2021

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Cyber Security2021

Top Cybersecurity Mistakes to Avoid in 2021

With technology expanding by leaps and bounds every day, it's no wonder that small business owners want to make use of innovations that allow their businesses to thrive. Unfortunately, as reliance on technology increases, so do the risks. Cyber threats are a growing issue around the world, and without proactive measures, businesses face the potential for significant damage that could be irreparable. With this in mind, it’s critical for SBOs to take a proactive approach when it comes to cybersecurity.

Thinking You’re Not a Target

According to Microsoft, small businesses are at an exceptionally high risk of a cyber attack. 43% of all data breaches are committed against smaller companies. With an average loss of more than $180,000, many of these companies — 60%, to be exact — go under in six months or less after an incident. The single most important thing you can do is to accept that your business is at risk and take steps to prevent your data from becoming vulnerable.

Assuming Remote Employees Have a Secure Setup

Now that you understand the threat, it’s critical to be proactive. If your systems aren’t fully protected against security threats like malware, phishing attacks, ransomware and other issues, you could easily become the victim of a cyberattack that could bring your business to its knees. The best way to protect your company and your data is to have a strong IT infrastructure in place, as well as a disaster recovery plan that you can quickly execute in the event of an attack. Make a plan to partner with a data protection solutions company to protect your digital assets. The ideal firm offers a robust data management program with continuous monitoring and expedient disaster recovery protocols to ensure your assets remain secure.

Relying Solely on Antivirus Software

If you choose not to outsource protection, you may think that installing antivirus software on each machine is enough. It is not. Inc explains that antivirus software fails for a number of reasons. One is that it only tests for known viruses. Just as alarming, most companies forgo scanning because it bogs computers down. Another significant concern with trusting antivirus software is that criminals know how the software is written and they can design their attacks around it. While using antivirus software is a smart move, this must also be supplemented by things like firewalls and employee training, as well as teaching your staff how to recognize social engineering attacks.

Creating Weak Passwords

Bad passwords can negate monitoring, training, and antivirus software. LastPass explains that hackers can easily find passwords by using bots that test common combinations. “Password” and “12345” might be easy to remember, but these and other single words and number combinations are the worst possible digital lock you can put on your accounts. Create stronger passwords — and insist that your employees and customers do the same, by having a different password for all of your accounts, both personal and professional. You could also use a password manager or create a long-form password that includes numbers, letters, special characters, and unusual spellings.

Understand that cybersecurity threats are real. Even if you are a company of one, if you have customers, bank information, or sensitive data, you are a target. Hackers know that you likely do not have the same financial and technology resources as large companies to protect yourself, and they can exploit all of your weaknesses. While the above will not guarantee that you won’t become a target, rest assured that failure to implement these and other cybersecurity measures will greatly enlarge the bull’s-eye and make you more susceptible to digital damage.

Image via Pexels

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