Cyber attacks and hacks are becoming increasingly common, and many companies do not realize that their organization is at risk. When companies do understand the risk, their cybersecurity practices often are not sufficient to deal with attacks. Cybersecurity is not simply an issue for IT or individual employees to worry about, it requires the cooperation and efforts of every employee, from leadership down the ladder. While there is no single cybersecurity program or plan of action that will work for every company, businesses big and small often make similar mistakes. The following are some of the most common mistakes that businesses make and how your company can avoid making them.
Assuming your organization is not at risk
Every company that uses technology, from a fortune 500 to a family owned shop, is at risk of cyberattack. Hackers will attack anywhere they see an opportunity, whether that means accessing information through an employee’s email or stealing data through an unsecured network.
To avoid making this mistake, your company needs to understand that the threat of cyberattack is serious. Cybersecurity experts say that businesses should think not in the mindset of if they will be attacked, but when. Cybersecurity needs to be a priority in your company, so educate every member of your organization and come up with a comprehensive security plan.
Viewing cybersecurity as only an IT problem
Cybersecurity breaches will not only affect members of the IT team, but have the potential to affect every member of an organization. While IT is accountable for certain aspects of the organization’s cybersecurity strategy, everyone is responsible for protecting company data, from personal information to sensitive company information.
The solution to this problem is simple: make sure every member of your organization from the top down understands that cybersecurity is a comprehensive effort, not just IT’s problem. Educate your employees about the risks that exist not only to company information, but their own, and train them to practice the policies and strategies your company has decided to set forth.
Relying only on anti-virus technologies
Unfortunately, we cannot just install a single system that will automatically make our network and data secure. Because so many threats exist and hackers are finding more sophisticated methods everyday, anti-virus technologies are not sufficient in protecting your company from cyberattack. Due to the advanced nature of hacking technology, attackers can easily penetrate these perimeter defenses.
The solution is to employ software and systems that can detect threats they occur. While it is still important to install anti-virus technologies and keep them up to date, they will only protect against identified threats and more advanced malware.
Failing to update the network
Cyberattacks are evolving and becoming more sophisticated everyday, finding ways to handily get around security systems and infiltrate networks. Your network may be secure one moment and at risk the next. And all too often, there is too little understanding of the architecture of the network, where sensitive data is stored, or where there are egress points.
To avoid infiltration, networks need to be consistently updated. Many programs offer automatic updates. These are certainly helpful, but extra monitoring of networks is important, especially for companies with particularly sensitive information. IT teams need to understand areas where the network is at particular risk and establish systems to ensure updates occur in a timely fashion.
Securing only critical servers
Organizations often do not understand the interconnectedness of networks, and therefore do not realize that only securing critical servers leaves countless opportunities and paths for hackers to infiltrate a network and access data. Even the exploitation of one employee’s laptop can put the rest of the network at risk.
The solution to this issue is to establish comprehensive cybersecurity methods, covering all network hosts. Critical servers should be first priority, but companies must understand that only securing these servers does not eliminate all cybersecurity threats.