Cyberattacks are becoming more rampant and dangerous by the minute. They do not just target consumers, but corporations as well. Given this, it’s essential to stay protected from these threats to secure company data.
Security can be a confusing topic for many, and as an effect, it produces many exaggerations, half-truths, and fallacies. Believing in these could open your organization up to many modern-day risks such as cryptojacking and malware, among many others.
Here are five cybersecurity myths that put your company in danger:
Myth #1: Small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are too small for the bad guys to care about
SMBs have a notion that large organizations are the only ones being targeted by cybercriminals, thinking that they have nothing of value to be stolen. However, the opposite is true. According to the 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report by telecommunications company Verizon, 58% of all cyberattacks target small enterprises. While the reward might not be as high as it would be with larger companies, cybercriminals still target SMBs due to their negligence in cybersecurity.
Once SMBs have been attacked, it’s highly likely that they will shut down due to a lack of preparedness and disaster recovery plans. All things considered, businesses of all sizes are at risk, and doing their part in staying safe will always be vital.
Myth #2: A strong password is enough to keep data safe
Creating a strong password is one of the most obvious things to do when it comes to protecting sensitive data. However, because cybercriminals now use a trial-and-error method called brute force attacks to guess passwords, strong passwords are no longer sufficient. Weak passwords such as “123456,” “qwertyuiop,” and “passw0rd” are that much easier to steal yet remain to be used by many, making matters worse.
Longer and more complex passwords that contain personal information aren’t a great option either. Hackers have perfected the art of gathering personal information — like birthdays, pets’ names, and maiden names — on social media. Then they plug that information into specialized programs that try every combination of those data points until the password is guessed correctly.
To augment cybersecurity, implementing multifactor authentication (MFA) can be helpful. MFA makes account holders use an additional verification method on top of their password. For instance, once your employees enter their login credentials, they’ll receive a four-digit code on their personal smartphone. The validity of this code expires within minutes, making time-consuming brute force attempts futile.
The technology ensures that it’s really the account owner signing in, and not an unauthorized third-party entity. Through it, the risk of breaches becomes significantly lower.
Myth #3: Anti-malware software is enough to protect against threats
It’s always helpful to install antivirus and anti-malware software on your business’s computers. However, these programs aren’t designed to protect your data from everything. In fact, antivirus software programs are notoriously bad at mitigating newer threats such as zero-day exploits and ransomware. While they provide broad endpoint protection as the first layer of defense, these applications are no longer enough to keep your business safe.
Here are some solutions you can use to battle cyberthreats:
- Use spam filters on your emails
- Regularly update computer software and install critical patches
- Use firewalls and VPNs to further reduce the possibility of data breaches
You can also partner with a managed IT services provider (MSPs) such as F1 Solutions. F1 has a team of security experts that proactively monitors your IT infrastructure 24/7/365.
Myth #4: Cyberthreats are mostly external
Why would some of your own employees be the cause of security breaches? It might be due to carelessness and lack of proper training, desire for personal gain, or professional revenge. Some of them might also be using their own devices for work, unknowingly exposing your data to hackers. If you’re not monitoring your IT infrastructure properly, it could result in massive data theft and loss of revenue.
To minimize risks, regularly look into problems such as untested applications that might be conflicting with your existing software, access to malware-ridden websites, and rogue hardware that can cause disruptions within your network.
You can also turn to access management solutions such as Azure Information Protection and Microsoft Intune. The former classifies data based on sensitivity, and makes it possible to add visibility and control permissions to your data. The latter manages mobile devices being used to access corporate data and applications, such as email.
Myth #5: Cyberthreats are solely the problem of the IT department
Your IT department has a big responsibility of implementing and reviewing policies to keep your organization safe from threats. However, they cannot carry all of the work by themselves. Your employees should also play a part in keeping company information within your network.
According to a study by internet security firm Webroot, many users fail to recognize threats due to lack of training. Phishing scams were ranked as a primary threat, while human error was also cited as a probable cause for security gaps.
Train employees regularly about the best practices on cybersecurity. One effective method would be to conduct “live fire” exercises. These are simulations of attacks to see how teams will react to certain threats. From there, they’ll respond better to cyberattacks in the future.
Send a fake phishing email to everyone in your staff and see how many will click on the included links and attachments. Use the findings to develop security awareness training to the most concerning areas.
Cybersecurity will always be a constantly evolving endeavor, and protection should not simply become a “set it and forget it” thing. There will always be new malware and attack methods that will be devised by cybercriminals. The least firms can do is to be fully informed and well-prepared, and not believe in myths that will bring more harm than good.
Don’t fall for fake news when it comes to the best practices for your IT infrastructure. F1 Solutions offers a comprehensive IT solution that will help you address all of your security concerns. Contact us today!