5 Common Cyber Security Mistakes Small Business Make

The Internet is full of hackers lurking and waiting for businesses to make security mistakes and wreak havoc. A breach in security means company downtime, low ratings, lost client trust, stolen data, or even compliance fines. It also can threaten the long-term survival of your business.


However, if you’re like some small business owners that probably don’t think about cybersecurity, take it seriously. In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the security mistakes that small businesses make and things you can do to stop them.

1. Failure to update software

The best way to protect your business from hackers is to update your security software regularly. Outdated software was one of the reasons why WannaCry crippled thousands of systems around the world. This ransomware attack targeted computers running on the Microsoft Windows OS. With organizations that failed to install Microsoft’s security update from April 2017 being at the center of the attack, leaving their systems vulnerable. Check out some recent news here


Most security software companies recommend an update at regular intervals to correct security concerns and improve functionality. Small businesses sometimes neglect the importance of this when tied up with sales, day-to-day operations, and countless priorities, thus causing a security issue and exposing themselves to hackers.


Your business needs to update its software and maintain a high-end regularly to their network of systems and applications. Most modern software updates automatically but make sure you configure and agree to install updates when prompted. 


2. Having untrained staff handling security

Cybersecurity is very crucial and should not be taken lightly. Handing over the cybersecurity of your company to a person who is not technically sound is a recipe for disaster no matter how secure your security software and firewall is.


Cybercrimes have become sophisticated and can look legitimate to untrained, and unsuspicious eye. Only a trained person can be aware of the potential risks and will be able to mitigate them. You should regularly train both your in-house and remote employees to use secure protocols in the event of an attack.


However, if you’re not ready to train your employees, and none of your existing team has the technical expertise — then consider taking on an external consultant to bridge the gap.


3.  Not using strong passwords

Weak passwords allow cybercriminals to access your computer. Once they get past your password, they can steal your identity and creating a significant nightmare for you and your business. This is the reason why most security software prompts you to use a strong password and alerts you if your password is weak. 


Unfortunately, most people often opt for the least safe options — i.e., hometowns, birthdays, pet names, and common idioms. For an experienced hacker, discovering such passwords is simple. Effective passwords should be completely impossible to guess. To strengthen your passwords, let it have more than seven characters. Use a mixture of upper case and lower case characters, numbers, symbols, and they should be changed periodically.


Storing these passwords in a secure password manager can help you remember them. It’s also recommended you enable two-step verification whenever possible to provide an extra layer of defense.


4. Failure to back up

Back up is something that most businesses tend to overlook. Backing up your data is a simple way to safeguard against device failure, malicious activity, and theft. If your files are backed up, you can clean up the system with peace of mind, install new software and restore the files.


However, in the absence of backups, businesses are unable to function in the wake of hard-hitting cyber attacks. This would mean a loss of confidential data and can leave your company in jeopardy.


There are many ways to backup your data, and you need to consider the most effective way for your businesses. We recommend backing up your systems online as well as offline regularly, and check the quality of the backups periodically. Nothing is frustrating than having your systems compromised and then realizing that your back up is useless.


5. Failure to monitoring user activity

Failing to monitor user activity is another mistake small business owners made when it comes to cyber-security. While most business owners think that having an antivirus program on their network is enough protection to fend off the potential hack, but you have to do more to keep your network safe.


Monitoring your employee’s online activities can help you quickly find the source of a security breach in the event of a cyber attack. Most cyber-attacks are initiated through email attachments. Monitoring your employee’s activities will help you know which of your employees opened the email and give you an easy way to reprimand them accordingly.


You need to protect your data by monitoring for threats and knowing how to address any security breaches that arise. Failure to do this means you fail to understand what you need to protect, which opens the door for attackers.


 Final Thoughts

Cybersecurity is the least priority of most organizations, but the danger posed by cybercriminals is severe that most small businesses find it challenging to recover from the loss. By steering clear of these common cybersecurity mistakes, you can strengthen your cyber defenses, safeguard your data assets, and ultimately lower your odds of getting hacked. 


However, if you have questions about cyber threats or want to protect your business, please contact Prosnet.com.au today. We offer you the best solutions to help your business stay proactive in the event of an attack.


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