Data breaches can be expensive and can take valuable time away from where your focus needs to be. According to recent research, 43 percent of cyberattacks target small businesses and cost $200,000 on average.
Want to learn how to keep your customers safe and save valuable resources while you’re at it?
Keep reading this guide to learn frequent mistakes with web security that small businesses experience to avoid common cyber threats.
1. Weak Password Setup
Nobody likes having to answer security questions to simply sign in, but the fact of the matter is two-step authentication is a necessity in this day in age.
With so many looming cyber threats, companies must take action to protect themselves, their employees, and their consumers from potential cyber-attacks.
According to Verizon’s data breach investigations report, 80 percent of breaches that were caused by hacking was due to weak and reused passwords.
The best practices for password management include:
- Creating long, complex passwords (over 8 characters)
- Contains a lowercase, uppercase, number, and symbol
- Enable password encryption
- Two-step authentication
- Using different passwords
- Rotating every 90 days
Using strong passwords will help mitigate cyber threats and will help to deter potential hackers. You can also consider using a password manager if you have multiple passwords to remember. A password manager will also help determine if passwords are strong and unique.
2. Assuming Your Safe
Having the mindset of “it won’t happen to me” isn’t going to work when it comes to data breaches.
The reason being, hackers don’t care what type of business you’re in, how big you are, or where you’re located. Hackers will go after any vulnerable business.
With 60 percent of small businesses getting hacked each year, you have to have the mindset of “prepare for the worst.” Having this mindset will prepare you and your company for any potential attacks that may occur.
When it comes to the digital world, nobody is safe, so it’s smart to assemble a digital security team to assist you.
3. Ignoring Updates and Patches
As with any type of software or application, ignoring updates and patches can be detrimental to business.
Companies will, from time to time, ignore updates for various reasons like they didn’t have enough time, or they thought it might interrupt operations. However, when businesses do this, it leaves them vulnerable to intruders.
These intruders are continually looking for ways to hack into systems and steal anything they can.
Some of the software you should never ignore updates and patches for include:
- Your operating system
- Microsoft office
- Service providers
Regular software updates can help close loopholes and patches that hackers find vulnerabilities in. A large part of the reason why developers come out with updates and patches is to deter hackers.
4. Bad Email Practices
It’s hard to think that one email that slips through security can bring down a whole corporation, but it happens.
For example, FACC, an aerospace parts maker based out of China. The company lost out on $61 Million after a hacker sent an email pretending to be the CEO to an entry-level accountant. The accountant then sent funds to an account for what was supposed to be a major project.
This is just one example, phishing attacks happen fairly often and can be avoided with the right internal cybersecurity practices.
Here is a list of email practices companies can utilize to help protect themselves against attacks:
- Train employees to recognize potential threats
- Try email encryption
- Deleting old emails
- Never open attachments from someone you don’t know
- Don’t use company email for personal use
- Don’t respond to personal information requests
- Install anti-virus and anti-malware software
- Lock computers when not in use
Following these few basic email practices will significantly decrease your chances of getting hacked.
5. Failing to Install Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware
In this day in age, there is no excuse for not having anti-virus and anti-malware software installed on your business computers.
Failing to install these basic services will leave your company extremely vulnerable to cybercrime.
It’s essential to keep in mind that though these services will detect most threats that are present, they are not perfect solutions. Hackers are constantly evolving, and unfortunately, many of these services can’t keep up with their practices.
To catch 100 percent of cyberattacks, it will require developing a team dedicated to keeping your company safe around the clock.
6. Using Public WiFi
Public wifi is everywhere – coffee shops, book stores, airports, you name it, and there is probably public wifi around.
The problem with public wifi is that it is typically not a secure network and can leave you susceptible to attacks. The most common type of cyber attack that happens over public wifi is known as man-in-the-middle or MitM.
What happens in a man-in-the-middle attack is the hacker intercepts the call and listens to the conversation. They can then use the information they hear to blackmail the caller or use their personal information.
Another common cyber threat that occurs over public wifi is called a rogue network. This happens when a hacker sets up a fake wifi network and allows individuals to connect for free with no passwords. The hacker can then collect personal information or sensitive information about the company.
7. Not Providing Adequate Training
This is one of the most critical steps in companies’ cybersecurity plans.
Providing training to employees will dramatically reduce the chances your business has of getting attacked. President and founder of Next Century technologies, Tracy Hardin, previously said 90 percent of breaches could be traced back to employee mistakes.
Some topics to consider bringing up during training can include:
- Types of threats
- Password importance
- Company policies
- Protection of data
- How to identify threats
Having a web security training program in place will help limit your exposure to cybercrime and could also save the company from irreparable damage.
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Want to Learn More About Common Mistakes With Web Security?
Cybersecurity is quickly becoming an essential part of any business plan. This is because mistakes with web security can cost substantial amounts of resources to overcome.
Not only will it cost a significant amount of money, but it also will also cause damage to the company brand, which is even harder to overcome.
For more information on web security, check out the rest of our website!