Avoid These 5 Common Cybersecurity Mistakes

Avoid These 5 Common Cybersecurity Mistakes

Top 5 Common Cybersecurity Mistakes to Avoid 

The tech landscape has hit unprecedented milestones this year. With the rollout of user-friendly AI engines, expanding computing power, and increases in datafication, we can see the future of technology and the opportunities it presents. 

However, these types of massive tech advances also come with inevitable risks. Reports have shown bad actors are now using AI engines to create malware and other threats to cybersecurity. Cyberattacks have increased 3,000% from 2020 to 2021, showing cybercrime is exponentially ramping up.

And small to medium-sized businesses (or SMBs) are not immune to these types of attacks. In fact, they may be more of a target due to a lack of investment in cybersecurity and less likely to survive a cyberattack because of their size.

So, how do we adapt to these increasing cyber threat levels? Let’s explore the landscape of cybercrime, and discuss the most common cybersecurity mistakes so you can take action to keep your business safer.

Cybercrime: What It Is and How It Impacts Businesses 

Cybercrime consists of any criminal action involving computers or digital devices. The term “cybercrime” encompasses any illegal digital action, from cyberbullying and identity theft to cyberattacks. 

Cyberattacks are a type of cybercrime, but they typically involve a type of attack mechanism designed to steal information, disrupt operations, or otherwise cause harm.  Cyberattacks include:

  • Phishing attacks
  • Malware infections
  • Ransomware attacks
  • Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks 

Cybercrime By The Numbers

As you can see, cybercrime takes on a variety of forms -- and as technology becomes more sophisticated, those forms evolve in sophistication as well. 

To understand the severity and threat to businesses, consider the following cybercrime stats: 

The numbers are in: cyberattacks and other forms of cybercrime are growing in frequency and intensity, and small to medium-sized businesses are the most vulnerable to attack. 

What Are The Top 5 Major Threats to Cybersecurity?

You can see how businesses, especially of a smaller scale, must increasingly be on guard against cyberattacks. But without knowing what you’re up against, it’s impossible to form a defense plan. 

Here are the most common cybersecurity mistakes SMBs make, and how to correct them before it’s too late. 

Consumer Data Isn’t Properly Secured

In order to operate efficiently, all businesses keep customer data on file, some of which is sensitive information. As a business, it’s your job to ensure data is kept private and secure to protect your customers. An attack that results in compromised data may sully a business’s reputation and result in loss of clientele.

So how do you ensure that data is kept secure but still accessible to employees who need it? There are many safeguards, but you should always start with encrypting data and restricting access to only those who need it.

Phishing Attacks That Ruin Business Operations

The first instances of phishing attacks occurred in the mid-1990s, but phishing hasn’t gone away over the years. Instead, it’s only gotten more sophisticated. 

Today, cybercriminals can create incredibly convincing phishing emails that look like they’re from legitimate sources. Some threat actors have even started to use AI to create more believable phishing emails designed to promote more click-throughs. 

A successful phishing attack has the potential to cause huge financial harm, business interruptions, data losses, and often reputation damage. But you can steer clear of these dangers by hosting regular security training for employees so they know the signs of a phishing email and how to report it immediately. 

Unpatched or Outdated Software Program Vulnerabilities

Updating software regularly shouldn’t be an annoying task – it’s a safeguard against potential attack. 

Outdated software is more susceptible to cyberattacks, and it’s precisely these vulnerabilities cybercriminals look for and exploit. By keeping your software up-to-date and ensuring employees do the same, you put one more measure of protection in place against potential cyberattacks.

You should also regularly audit and pentest your software for any vulnerabilities you may have missed. 

Ransomware Holding Businesses Hostage

Ransomware is a form of malware that locks you out of your own systems and makes your computers inaccessible. Perpetrators often demand a ransom (hence the name) in exchange for the decryption key to access your systems again.

Ransomware causes losses both from the downtime of having inaccessible systems, plus the financial aspect if you actually pay the ransom. But you should never pay off a ransomware attacker as there’s no guarantee they’ll actually give you the key, and it can leave you susceptible to future attacks.

The best way to defend against ransomware is by keeping your software updated and investing in good ransomware protection. You should also keep your data backed up in case a lockout does occur, and keep employees up-to-date on security policies to prevent inadvertent breaches.

Malicious Malware Plaguing IT Networks

Malware is software built with the purpose of damaging your computer systems. It can steal critical information like login credentials and compromise your entire network. 

Again, as with most forms of cyberattacks, the best way to avoid informational or financial losses due to malware is by setting up preventative measures. Investing in network security and anti-virus software are key in defending against malware attacks of all kinds, including Trojan horses, worms, spyware and more.

Take Advantage of Cybersecurity Consulting

Now that you understand the importance of investing in cybersecurity, it’s important to choose a cybersecurity company you can trust. 

Complete Technology has a team of IT experts who are highly experienced in identifying vulnerabilities and prescribing practical solutions. Contact us to discuss cybersecurity services today, and we’ll help you set up defenses that can save you and your business from future attacks.

FREE eBook: The SMB's Guide to Cyber SecurityLearn More Here
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