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The Top 8 Cybersecurity Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Every 14 seconds businesses worldwide become the victim of various cyberattacks. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more businesses have been conducting work from the privacy of their homes. 

In the eyes of IT (Information Technology) professionals, this is putting the companies at an increased risk of facing attacks to their cybersecurity. As the pandemic continues some are continuing to work from home and that's precisely why you need to know about the top 8 cybersecurity mistakes that are made and how to avoid them. 

Below you're going to find a comprehensive guide that ensures your network security always remains secure. Get ready to create a stronger passcode after you've taken time to scroll through this post. 

Top 8 Cybersecurity Mistakes

Types of Cyber Attacks Businesses Face 

Before we can tell you how to avoid cyberattacks, we must first explain the types of attacks remote workers face. The first type of attack is one on your password. 

What happens is a cyber hacker will use tools that try various combinations of passwords until they find the right one. Even if you're able to stop an attack the first time the tool continues working until they've breached the system again. 

Another type of cyberattack, and one of the most common, is the phishing email. In these emails, you're asked to click on a link and provide sensitive information. 

After you've provided this information, unknowingly, you've given the attacker access to your system without knowing it. There are several tactics hackers use to persuade a person to click the link including the promise of a prize or stating that a reply is needed immediately. 

You've seen pop-up windows that ask you to download something your system needs? While there are times you should follow the advice of your computer and download the updated software, there are also times when you shouldn't. 

In the case of ransomware, you shouldn't be quick to download anything. If you make the mistake of downloading ransomware you've given the hacker access to your computer system and network. 

After they've been able to gain access, they will then begin the task of changing passwords to ensure you're not able to stop them. Or they will begin downloading your information before you have a chance to stop the download or takeover from occurring. 

Now that we've given you more information about the types of cyberattacks your remote workers face daily it's time to point out some mistakes everyone has made a time or two. 

Knowing these mistakes will ensure you don't continue to make them. 

1. Thinking No One Targets Your Company 

We've all heard the saying that ignorance is bliss, but the truth is in the world of business this couldn't be further from the truth. If you think your company isn't the target of hackers you're mistaken. 

There is no way to know for certain when or if you'll be the subject of a data breach, but the last thing you want to be is unprepared to fix the issue if it happens. Hackers don't take time off, which means they are always looking for ways to hack your system. 

There is a simple way to avoid this mistake and it's to always be ready. Understand that even if it doesn't happen today, it could take place tomorrow.  

Take the time to speak with firewall providers, giving your employees the peace of mind they need to share information as they work from their remote offices. The IT team you choose to work with will be able to review your current network security and give you in-depth information about where changes need to be made. 

When outsourcing a department of your company you've got to set a budget. After you've found the IT company to work with you can discuss your budget with them and how you can move forward to keep your business and its data protected from hackers. 

2. Not Upgrading Your Software 

We briefly mentioned earlier that there are times when your computer will send you a notification that it's time to upgrade your protective software. Keep in mind there is going to be a time when your computer becomes too old to continue with software upgrades. 

At that point, you'll need to determine if you need an upgrade or a new computer. But, for the sake of this discussion, you'll need to ensure you don't skip software upgrades. 

Software upgrades provide your computer with the latest in computer protection. If you don't upgrade your computer that means the older software is still in effect leaving your computer unprotected. 

This makes your computer and data stored on it susceptible to a data breach. If a hacker has determined that one system on your network isn't upgraded, they might begin to try other computers on your network. 

Companies like SecPoint offer their clients a protector that will not only block ransomware, but also malware. They go above and beyond to ensure your data is always protected. 

3. Using the Same Password for Everything 

An astounding 51% of computer users use the same password for everything, including both personal and professional accounts. This is done because it's easier to remember the password, but it can put you in a sticky situation if one of your accounts is under attack. 

If a hacker can guess your password, they have ways to figure out the other variations of that password you've used. There are some things known as password managers that allow you to keep track of your passwords on your computer. 

The only issue with this is if you're locked out of your computer because it's been hacked the cybercriminal will have all your passwords in one place. We recommend you create a unique password for each of your accounts. 

If you're not sure you'll remember each password, take time to write them down in a journal or notepad that you only have access to. As the owner of a business, your network system should prompt employees to change their passwords every thirty to sixty days. 

When you use software that prompts for a password change, it will also deny passwords that employees have used in the past, decreasing the likelihood of your system being infiltrated. 

It also reduces the chances of passwords being recycled by employees. 

4. Ignoring Multi-Factor Authentication 

Isn't it annoying to use one password only to realize you've got to go through another form of security before being given complete access to a computer system? Sure, taking extra steps each time you need to sign into a network can be frustrating, but what's more frustrating is having to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties following a data breach. 

To protect your computer network, it's important to implement multi-factor authentication. 2AF adds an extra layer of security to all systems and typically is to verify you're the person trying to log in. 

For example, when after you've logged in using your password you will be prompted to enter a code that's been sent to the phone number or email on file. If a cybercriminal has managed to get past your password security layer, you'll find out quickly because you'll be sent a notification that needs to be entered. 

Some security systems have gone as far as to send an additional email asking if you're the one that's attempted to log in to your account from an unknown device. Another way you can protect your company's systems is by giving employees access to the areas of the system they need to do their job. 

This means if you're not a part of the payroll department you won't have access to payroll information and company financial accounts.  

5. Hopping on Public Wi-Fi 

If you're working remotely one thing you've gotten used to is working inside your home. Sometimes getting a change of scenery is perfect to help you refocus on the tasks you need to complete and provides you with fresh air. 

Every place you go nowadays offers public Wi-Fi networks for customers to use. The issue with this is these public networks don't offer the same type of security your private network offers. 

Getting on public Wi-Fi means you're sharing information on your device with others that are on the same Wi-Fi network. It gives hackers easy access to your device. 

If you're going to work in a public place the best thing you can do is bring your Wi-Fi connection. If you're willing to pay a bit extra you can have access to a hotspot on your phone. 

6. Saying Yes to Applications 

When you saw this heading, you might have been wondering what we meant by saying yes to applications. You'll notice whenever you download a new application whether it's on your computer or phone, you're prompted to give the application to things like: 

  • Photos 
  • Contacts 
  • Microphone 
  • Camera 

For some people clicking yes is automatic, but you might want to think twice about this. You've got to take some time to think about and research why certain applications need access to certain things. 

For example, everyone has the clock application on their phones and computers, but what does a clock application need access to your audio and camera? The answer is it doesn't, therefore we recommend you don't allow each application complete access to your phone. 

If you do, you increase the chances of someone hacking your device and stealing valuable information. 

7. Not Training Staff 

Not taking the time to train your staff about cyberattacks only increases the chances that you will be the victim of one. Your staff should be trained and undergo live testing How often should I train employees on cybersecurity?,3. What should I include in cybersecurity training? once each quarter or more. 

This will keep them aware of the potential dangers they face and update them about new cyberattack trends that might be taking place. At the end of the training session staff should be trained to ensure they understand what they should and should not do. 

Not only should you train staff about things they shouldn't do, but you also need to make them aware of steps to take if they accidentally make an error. There will be times when someone mistakenly clicks on a link they aren't supposed to or provides a hacker access to your system. 

If this happens your staff should know the chain of command as far as notifying higher-ups about the data breach. 

Unfortunately, if this happens the employee should undergo more training and if they continue to make the same mistake you've got to consider their future with your company.  

8. Not Knowing Where Your Data Goes 

How can you protect your company if you don't know where your data is being stored? In this case, you've got several problems, one being that your client's information isn't protected, which can lead to reputational issues. 

The second is you're making it easier for hackers to steal information without you knowing. Always know where company data is going before it's sent there.  

The best way to do this is to have one central cloud location for all company data. 

Top 8 Cybersecurity Mistakes & How to Avoid Them 

We've taken the time to tell you about the top 8 cybersecurity mistakes and how you should avoid them. You've been equipped with information about some of the most common attacks your company may face. 

It's essential that you not only teach your staff about how to protect themselves but have the software in place to protect your business. Are you still trying to download the right firewall? 

There's no need to do that, contact SecPoint and let us tell you what our company can do for you. We know what it takes to protect you.