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6 common Cybersecurity mistakes you should know about (and how to avoid them)

Photo by Lewis Kang’ethe Ngugi on Unsplash

Note: This is a guest post written by Dan Martin

Have you ever thought about cybersecurity mistakes you could be making while online? Take the following as an example. You receive an email from an unknown source. There is a link in the message. Even without thinking, you click on it.

Do you know how that simple action can cost you a lot in terms of cybersecurity? You could inadvertently be introducing malware into your system. Hackers use email attachments as one of their methods to gain entry.

You are not alone if you have fallen victim. There are so many, yet very common mistakes that you need to avoid when online.

 Please read on to find out which ones they are. 

1. Diminishing Your Importance to Cybercriminals

Cyber-criminals only attack big organizations right? Well, the answer is a resounding no. Everyone in the online space is fair game to these unscrupulous individuals.

As long as there is data the hackers use for their nefarious purposes, they will come after it. Personal information, credit card data, banking details, and so forth are prime targets. 

It is critical to take the necessary steps to avoid situations that make it easy for cybercriminals to get you. Install necessary security measures such as antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-ransomware. Ensure online anonymity with a VPN or proxy server. 

Industries can benefit from some products that leading ICS security vendors have. They create strong security platforms at local and integrated levels across the enterprise.

The vendors use operational cybersecurity technology and relevant integrations. Such measures provide protection even in the most complicated deployment environments. 

2. Not Involving Everyone in Cybersecurity

Look at a typical organization and how it functions. Each department has core responsibilities that they work hard to fulfill. 

That means, for many people, cybersecurity falls under the IT Department. Yet this could not be further from the real situation. Everyone has a critical role to play within the organization.

That is why forward-thinking companies cultivate a culture of cyber awareness. They invest in training opportunities around cybersecurity for employees. The company places great emphasis on data handling, management, and storage.

Are we saying that everyone needs to have in-depth technical knowledge of cybersecurity? The answer is no. But, basic understanding and awareness are must-have skills for every employee. 

3. Minimizing the Impact of Insider Threats

Do you know that company employees can be the biggest challenge when it comes to cybersecurity? Here are some interesting statistics you may not know about insider threats.

They account for over 60% of data breaches. There has been a 47% increase in such threats since 2018. The result is a 31% increase in the cost of handling the breaches for organizations. The global annual cost of insider threats is over $11.5 million.

Managing Insider threats ties in closely with our second point above. Creating awareness of cybersecurity through training is critical. Sometimes a data breach may come from ignorance on what could be potential areas of vulnerabilities.

Clicking on an email attachment, without confirming the source is a good example. There may be no malice on the part of the employee, yet the impact of such action could place the organization at risk.

The company must also put in place policies around strong passwords and multi-factor authentication. Zero Trust and least privilege policies can also safeguard data from those who are not supposed to have access. 

4. Lack of Security Policies

Every company should have a cybersecurity policy. It is a guide to everything including access controls, web security, and data privacy. The policy should have details on threats both present and emerging. And everyone needs to know such information.  

A good document will also highlight steps to take in case of a data breach. Companies must also have consequences for flouting cybersecurity rules.

Creating a policy document is not an easy task. That is why companies will hire experts and cybersecurity to help the process. Every employee within the organization should understand and live by the policy. 

5. Trying to Cut Costs With Cybersecurity Measures

Until you fall victim to cybercriminals, it is easy to ignore the importance of spending on security measures. You rely on free antivirus software, thinking they’re good enough. We are in no way saying that free antivirus software does not serve a function.

But, you should know that there is a cost implication to free things. When talking about cyber-security, live by the mantra cheap is expensive. Free antivirus does not have high detection rates.

Many of them come with ads that could introduce malware into your systems. There is also a chance of a data breach that could expose you to hackers.

Consider the right cybersecurity measures as an investment, not a waste of money. 

6. Installing and Forgetting the Security Measures

You have invested in installing the right security measures. That is an excellent first step to ensuring cybersecurity. But, there is a lot more that goes into getting the most out of your investment.

Cybercriminals are always working hard to improve their hacking tactics. That is why every single day there are cases of emerging threats.

Security experts will talk about the increasing sophistication level of cybercrime. That security system that was so effective in 2020, may no longer serve in 2021. 

Some steps to take include the following:-

  • Continue to test the efficacy of security systems.
  • Update security systems to enjoy new features and patches.
  • Backup data in external drives or servers separate from the ones they use on a day-to-day basis. In case of a security breach, the company will recover faster.
  • Utilize multi-layer security measures for better security.

Final Thoughts

We have looked at some common cybersecurity mistakes you should know. It does not matter whether you are using the online space as an individual or company. You must be aware of the danger you face while online. 

Hackers are always on the lookout for loopholes they can exploit to get access to your systems. Be more aware of the cyber threats you face.

Companies must have security policies to guide the use of the digital space. Also, install the necessary security measures and continue to test and update them.

Be proactive rather than reactive. Do not wait for tragedy to strike before taking the necessary steps.

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