When you think of a data breach, your mind might conjure up the image of a hooded figure, hunched over a supercomputer, armed with dangerous levels of intelligence and hacking powers. While some cybercriminals are geniuses, many are just people of average intelligence.
In fact, many of today’s cyber attacks aren’t the result of complex, multi-stage attacks. They’re much more straightforward – and they often depend on human error on the victim’s side. According to a study by IBM, human error is to blame for 95% of cyber security breaches.
While this might be scary, it’s also good news for businesses. It means that many of today’s cyber security incidents are preventable. With the right solutions and procedures in place, your company can dramatically reduce the likelihood of falling victim to a data breach.
So, what are the pitfalls you need to avoid? Let’s dive in below.
Mistake 1: Assuming you’ll fly under the radar
No matter the size of your business, you are a target to cybercriminals. However, many small businesses believe that they can fly under the radar, that today’s attackers will choose to target larger enterprises instead. This isn’t the case. A study by Cisco found that 65% of Australian SMBs suffered a cyber incident in the past 12 months.
Moreover, some attackers actually prefer to target small businesses, as they are more likely to have fewer defences in place, making them low having fruit. Choosing to bury your head in the sand about cyber security, and hoping a data breach won’t happen to you, is a considerable risk.
Just think of the damage to your company if your network was to go offline for a couple of weeks. Your internal communications and customer relationships would be jeopardised. Or, imagine if customer data was stolen. This could land you with a hefty compliance fine as well as damage brand equity.
The bottom line here is to take cyber security seriously. Cyber security is now a boardroom issue and should be considered a strategic business priority. If you’re not sure where to get started, consider speaking with qualified experts who can implement the proper security controls for you.
Mistake 2: Neglecting staff training
We know that human error accounts for many of today’s security incidents. So, effective employee training is a must to reduce the likelihood of successful cyber attacks. Common threats today include phishing scams and credentials compromise. In a phishing scam, a threat actor will send your employee a fraudulent email, pretending to be a trusted brand or even a colleague. The email will either contain an attachment that downloads malware onto the victim’s device or a link to a website that steals the victim’s personal data.
Credentials compromise is often the result of poor password hygiene. In data breaches, cybercriminals often sell stolen details on the dark web – like email addresses and passwords. If one of your employees uses the same password for all their accounts, then a hacker could use their stolen details to break into your system.
In the world of cybersecurity threats, knowledge is power. You need to arm your employees with the knowledge to spot phishing attacks and educate them about good password hygiene.
Mistake 3: Just using antivirus technologies
While antivirus is a crucial element of cybersecurity, it doesn’t stop every threat out there – especially not persistent and advanced attacks. Moreover, attackers today often evolve their tactics quicker than the pace that security companies keep up. This means that, even with anti-virus in place, some malware attacks could still slip through the net.
We also need to remember that some attackers don’t use malware at all. Tactics like injections, man-in-the-middle attacks and denial-of-service attacks all occur without malware.
To that end, you need to take a holistic approach to cyber security. This starts with identifying the cyber security risks to your business and then putting adequate measures in place to defend yourself.
Mistake 4: Trying to manage cyber security by yourself
Cyber security is a complex, ever-evolving field. Today, most SMBs don’t have the internal expertise, time, and resources to address cybersecurity end-to-end. This is why we recommend outsourcing your IT function to cyber security experts. Rather than spend hours trying to understand it security, outsourced experts can improve your defences instantly.
Teams like ours can help you secure your data and infrastructure to focus on running your business.
How Strong Are Your Company’s Security Safeguards?
Connected Platforms can help your Brisbane area business with a full audit of your current IT security protections and make recommendations for any found areas of risk.
Contact us for a free consultation. Call 1300 866 096 or book a coffee meeting online.