Top cybersecurity mistakes your SMB should stop making

Top cybersecurity mistakes your SMB should stop making

There’s a misconception that cyberattacks target only specific information, such as bank accounts and financial records. But this is completely untrue. As soon as attackers gain access to your small- or medium-sized business (SMB), they become privy to all of your data — and they will not hesitate to exploit it in any way they can.

With their foot in the door, cybercriminals can use tools such as Remote Desktop Protocol to gain full control over company data, employee information, and even intellectual property. This is why it’s important to always make the right decisions and investments when it comes to cybersecurity. For instance, you should avoid the following cybersecurity mistakes to ensure that your business data isn't compromised.

Focusing on trends and not on cybersecurity needs

New cybersecurity technologies can be great for many reasons: they're generally faster, more efficient, and easier to implement. However, if you don't know what you need or want from new technology, then that shiny new thing might not be of any use to your organization.

If you invest in the wrong things or use tech incorrectly, this can cause more problems than it solves. Every small business needs a cybersecurity plan, but too many companies invest in solutions because they're trendy and new, rather than because they offer the best protection.

To find out which cybersecurity solutions will be most advantageous to your SMB, understand the factors that impact your organization’s cyber risk profile. Remember that your organization has unique challenges, resources, opportunities, infrastructure, and people that determine what cybersecurity solutions you may need.

Not updating software automatically

Keeping software up to date is critical if you want to have robust cybersecurity. The latest software helps protect against existing threats, while outdated software may have vulnerabilities that leave your business susceptible to new threats.

However, most SMBs do not update their software as soon as new patches become available. This leaves a window of opportunity for cybercriminals to exploit unpatched systems, such as what happened in the infamous WannaCry ransomware attack.

One of the easiest ways to protect your business data is by automating updates. This removes the burden of manually installing patches or updates by taking care of all update tasks for you, so you’ll never miss security improvements again.

Having a weak authentication process

Securing information should be one of the top priorities in cybersecurity, but SMBs often neglect certain precautions, such as implementing strong authentication processes. For one, there is often no safeguard preventing employees from choosing weak passwords and reusing the same password across different platforms.

At least 6 out of 10 people use the same password for various web accounts. If any of those websites gets hacked or overridden by malware, it can result in stolen identities, damaged company reputations, and thousands of dollars lost in transaction and litigation fees.

Implementing a combination of passwordless authentication methods, such as biometrics, one-time passwords, multifactor authentication, and behavioral analytics, is much more effective in keeping your information secure compared to using passwords alone.

Putting cybersecurity training at the bottom of the list

Small businesses often cite lack of budget as their biggest obstacle in IT security training. But neglecting to train your staff in the best cybersecurity practices could even be worse than having outdated software or second-rate security solutions.

Some experts tout human error as the top threat to business security, with data breaches rooted in human error amounting to 4.23 million CAD annually. Because of this, employee awareness training should be a top priority when planning a cybersecurity strategy.

Your cybersecurity training should not only teach your employees what behavior is risky, but it should also explain the rationale behind your company’s security policies. If employees understand the reasons why security measures are in place as well as the potential consequences of a breach, they're more likely to follow the rules.

Every modern business should take cybersecurity seriously. Managed IT services like XBASE Technologies can help you set up EXponentially Better™ cybersecurity solutions that will quickly detect malicious activities so these can be contained before they cause significant damage. Call us today to get started.