Don’t Believe Every Cybersecurity Myth You Hear

When it comes to cybersecurity myths, there are some good ones. You know ones like a strong password is enough to keep hackers out of an account or only large corporations are targeted. 

While there’s nothing wrong with having a good chuckle at some of the cybersecurity myths going around, others are a little more believable; these are the myths that can place your business at risk. Debunking common cybersecurity myths is not only fun, but it can also help prevent harm to your business. Sometimes, the harm can be almost impossible to repair. 

To help you stay on top of your cybersecurity game, here are some common cybersecurity myths and a few suggestions on how to improve your practices.

Hackers Only Target Large Corporations

Yes, large corporations present an attractive target to hackers. The sheer amount of data larger businesses typically store usually means a big payday for hackers. 

Whether they’re stealing data or holding it hostage, cybercriminals often hold data and entire networks hostage for significant ransom amounts. The fact that some of these corporations are paying ransom fees is only encouraging hackers to continue the process. After all, why look for a full-time job when you can earn thousands of dollars sitting at home on your laptop?

However, don’t think your small business is safe from hackers—this is a myth. Even though hackers probably aren’t expecting a large payday by holding your network or data hostage, but they can still target your stored information. In fact, cyber thieves often prefer going after smaller businesses for one simple reason. 

Smaller businesses often have more relaxed cybersecurity protocols than larger corporations. In other words, they may get a smaller payday but for noticeably less work. Sometimes, it only takes seconds for a hacker to breach a small business’s firewall.

Only Your Network Needs Securing

You may have your IT department working overtime to secure your network. Your network’s security may even rival what’s in place at Fort Knox. However, there’s a good chance this isn’t nearly enough to prevent a data breach.

Does your staff use their personal devices to connect to your business network? What about the cloud? Are you taking advantage of cloud computing? If so, this means there are plenty of ways for hackers to get into your system. Think of it as locking your front door at home but leaving the back entrance wide open.

The cloud does come with great cybersecurity protocols, but it’s still being managed by a third-party supplier. Your employees work to keep their devices safe, but they still pose a risk. Something every business should do, regardless of size is create a risk management strategy. Part of your strategy should address your business’s cybersecurity needs.

Antivirus Software is More Than Enough Protection

If you own an internet-connected device, you’re probably familiar with antivirus software. You can purchase the software or even download it for free. Even free antivirus protection can be rather robust. Some may even beat out the paid subscription ones when it comes to security strength.

Firewalls, encryption, and VPNs are other common cybersecurity solutions. However, even combining these may not be enough to prevent all security breaches, and this can be especially true when it’s a skilled and determined hacker.

To help you plan and implement the right cybersecurity protocols, The National Institute of Standards and Technology has published a helpful and informative guide. In the guide, you’ll find the framework for effective cybersecurity practices.

You Only Need Multifactor Authentication

Managing who has access to what information can be a full-time job even in a small company. Once you have more than one person access stored data, you’re creating risks. 

Now, you’re spending time creating extra-strong passwords and even using measures like fingerprint I.D. While the more layers of authentication you have, the harder it is for cyber criminals to break through. Yes, this is a start but it’s not where you should stop.

Keep updating your authentication measures as technology advances. Cybercriminals are also paying attention to tech advances and retooling their skills to meet these new challenges. In other words, hackers aren’t going to give up after the first try. So, keep them guessing with frequently changed passwords and by keeping other measures updated.

Only the IT Department is Responsible for Cybersecurity

Yes, your IT department is responsible for cybersecurity but they’re not the only ones. Preventing security breaches takes a team effort. Otherwise, your IT department will spend all of its time fixing gaps in your security protocols.

Did you know that the majority of cyber breaches are caused by employees opening suspicious emails, visiting risky online sites, or clicking on a compromised attachment? These are things we do every day and are also putting your security at risk. Employees need to be aware of the potential risks and learn how to recognize them. They also need to be familiar with the protocols if a security breach occurs.

Tips on Preventing Security Breaches

Okay, so not believing the various cybersecurity floating around is a great start. Next, is creating and implementing a response plan for when a breach occurs. You may have complete confidence in your cybersecurity protocols, however, this doesn’t mean a breach can’t happen.

Once you’ve implemented your business’s cybersecurity plan, it’s time to ensure your staff are familiar with the protocols. Your plan is basically worthless if no one knows it exists or what it contains. Hold a company meeting and ensure every relevant employee has a copy of the protocols. 

You may even want to occasionally remind employees of what to do if a breach does occur. Don’t forget to keep everyone updated as your cybersecurity plan adapts to advancing technology.

Protect Your Business From Security Breaches

Unfortunately, there’s a good chance your business will experience at least one cyberattack. However, with the right security protocols you can fend off these attacks. 

Start by creating a security plan and ensuring your staff is working together to minimize potential risks—this way, if a breach does occur you can more easily mitigate any damage.