7 Dangerous Things Cybersecurity Professionals Don’t Want Your Business To Do
According to the Cybersecurity Venture Annual Crime report, cybercrime will cost businesses $6 trillion dollars every year. That is why we constantly hear the news of data breaches, cybersecurity attacks, and hacks. Poor security posture by businesses is one of the main reasons why hackers succeed in stealing your sensitive business data.
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In this article, you will learn about seven things cybersecurity pros don’t want your business to do.
1. Ignoring Software Updates
Are you still using older versions of the software? If yes, then you are putting your security at risk. Older versions of software contain bugs, security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers to break into your systems, access and steal your data and launch deadly cybersecurity attacks. That is why it is important to update your software to the latest version. Yes, installing updates is a hassle, but you can automate the process by enabling automatic updates. It will automatically update your software when the new version is available.
2. Using Passwords as a Single Factor Authentication
Passwords are no longer the safest method for user authentication and authorization. If you are still using passwords, make sure you follow the password best practices or implement two or multi-factor authentication. Use a combination of alphanumeric characters and symbols to make it difficult for hackers to guess your passwords.
Avoid using dictionary words as your password. Never use passwords as the sole user authentication method as they can easily be guessed or stolen. Using multi-factor authentication might make the login process more cumbersome for users but will also add extra layers of security. This means that even if hackers succeed in stealing your account credentials, they won’t be able to access your accounts.
3. Connecting To Unsecured Public Wireless Networks
With businesses expanding beyond the borders, we will see more and more business executives go on business trips. There are instances where you are in a place where it is hard to find an internet connection and want to get some work done. That is when you connect to a public wireless network in a café or hotel room. Hackers are waiting for this opportunity to strike and won’t miss out.
Most public wireless networks use WPA or WEP which are weak protocols. This makes it easy for hackers to steal your data in transit while spoofing on your network. The best way to stay safe while using a public Wi-Fi network is to use a VPN. It will mask your IP address so that no one can track your activity online. VPN also lets you overcome location-based content restrictions and keep your browsing sessions private.
4. Downloading Suspicious Attachments
Imagine receiving an email that contains a malicious attachment. It seems like it came from a genuine source. When you check-in, the email address also looks like that of your friend or family member. You click to open the email to find an attachment that claims to be something important that you must open and read. You clicked on the download button and the malicious attachment lands on your system and starts wreaking havoc on your system. Always scan attachments before downloading and download attachments only when you know they are safe.
5. Falling Prey to Phishing Attacks
Social engineering attacks such as phishing attacks and spear-phishing attacks are common types of cybersecurity attacks targeting businesses. Hackers know that employees are the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain which is why they launch these types of attacks to trick users into sharing their sensitive information.
Businesses should invest in cybersecurity training of their employees and increase awareness, so their employees don’t fall victim to these attacks. Test their knowledge by coordinating mock attacks and drills on your own network. This will tell you how strong your cybersecurity infrastructure is when it comes to dealing with phishing attacks. More importantly, it will reveal how good your employees are at identifying and protecting themselves from social engineering attacks.
6. Clicking Malicious Links
There is always one or more employees in your company who are curious and due to this, will click on every link sent to them via email or instant messaging service. What’s worse, they don’t realize that they are not only putting themselves in hot waters. Always check the source of the link and where the link points to before clicking on it. Most employees don’t even bother checking links before clicking them and end up getting their systems infected. This gives hackers an opportunity to use the infected computer as a ladder to reach and infect other systems and compromise your entire infrastructure.
7. Not Taking Data Backup
Before the advent of ransomware attacks, very few businesses even bothered to take backup of their data. Even today, most businesses consider data backup as a hassle and a tedious process. That is why they become soft targets for cybercriminals.
If you don’t want to take a complete backup of your data every day, make sure to back up your critical data stored on the dedicated server, data center, and databases so you don’t lose it in case of a disaster. Invest in DDoS protection and regularly test your backups. Just like software updates, you can also automate data backup processes and save yourself from the hassle. You can easily restore your data from backups even if it gets stolen, corrupted or lost.
Hackers are always looking for opportunities to pounce on and businesses offer them that opportunity by constantly making big cybersecurity mistakes. Whether it is connecting to unsecured wireless networks or using weak passwords, not taking backups of their critical business data or clicking on malicious links without checking where it is pointing to, all these mistakes put them in hot waters and they end up paying a hefty price for it. If you want to keep your data safe, you should stop making these mistakes and take cybersecurity measures that can keep your data secured from unauthorized access.
Which is the biggest cybersecurity mistake you have ever made and what did you learn from it? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.