The cost of cybercrime is stretching into the millions. Cybercriminals are making off with an average $11 million USD per minute, which amounts to nearly 190 thousand dollars every second!
The sad reality is that 60% of small and mid-sized companies who have been victims in past cyberattacks end up closing their doors within six months. The costs can be hefty – from lost business to productivity losses, reparations for customers affected by the breach.
Cybersecurity is not just about installing the latest anti-malware software or beefing up your firewall. The most damaging breaches come from common mistakes that companies and their employees make every day, such as clicking on a malicious link in an email message or allowing someone access to sensitive data without realizing who they are.
The 2021 Sophos Threat Report, which analyzed thousands of global data breaches and their causes over the past year found that “everyday threats” are some of the most dangerous. The report states poorly designed or implemented security measures can be at root cause for many damaging attacks we’ve investigated – meaning you should always keep your eyes peeled!
Perhaps you’re not paying enough attention to your company’s cybersecurity. It could be that a dangerous mistake is being made which leaves the organization vulnerable and susceptible to hackers, identity thieves or ransomware distributors.
Here are several of the most common missteps when it comes to basic IT security best practices.
Not Implementing Muti-Factor Authentication (MFA)
The top cause of data breaches is no longer a question that executives have been asking themselves for years. It’s Credential theft and it happens more often than you think, with most company processes now being cloud-based!
When companies fail to protect their user logins with multi-factor authentication, they are putting themselves at a much higher risk of falling victim in any breach.
MFA reduces fraudulent sign-in attempts by a staggering 99.9%.
Ignoring the Use of Shadow IT
Shadow IT is the unauthorized use of cloud applications by employees for business data that hasn’t been approved and may not even exist within a company’s walls.
Shadow IT use leaves companies at risk for several reasons:
- Data may be used in a non-secure application
- Data isn’t included in company backup strategies
- If the employee leaves, the data could be lost
- The app being used might not meet company compliance requirements
Many employees have been turning to apps as a way of filling in the gaps left by their company’s IT team. However, this decision comes at great risk without proper scrutiny from management first-hand because so few businesses are aware these days how dangerous some seemingly innocent apps could be.
Having clear policies in place will help you avoid any potential problems with your employees using the cloud. For example, they should be informed about which applications are allowed and not allowed for work-related purposes so there aren’t surprises down the road!
Thinking You’re Fine With Only an Antivirus Application
Although antivirus applications are useful for scanning files and folders, they cannot protect you from every type of threat. Some online criminals don’t use malicious software at all – instead poisoning websites or spamming people’s inboxes with links that redirect them to malware-infected sites just so it can get installed onto your computer without permission!.
Malicious emails designed to phish your information will look like they come from a trusted source such as PayPal or Amazon. They may even contain links that are safe for clicking, but it’s important not just check these out without verification because malicious sites can tricks people into supplying sensitive personal data when downloading software updates!
You need to have a multi-layered strategy in place that includes things like:
- Next-gen anti-malware (uses AI and machine learning)
- Next-gen firewall
- Email filtering
- DNS filtering
- Automated application and cloud security policies
- Cloud access monitoring
Not Having Device Management In Place
Companies all over the world have been using remote employees since this pandemic and they plan on keeping it that way. However, device management for these home-based devices as well as smartphones used by business owners haven’t always gone smoothly which can lead to problems like data loss or worse yet – identity theft!
If you’re not managing security or data access for all the endpoints in your business, it is imperative that a plan be put into place quickly.
If you don’t have one already, it’s time to put a device management application in place, like Intune in Microsoft 365.
Not Providing Adequate Training to Employees
Human error is the cause of 95% percent (or more) in cybersecurity breaches. This means that too many companies don’t take time to continually train their employees, and thus users haven’t developed skills needed for a culture where good security practices are followed at all times.
Keeping your employees aware of IT security is key to ensuring that they can identify phishing attacks and follow proper data handling procedures. Therefore, it’s important for this training process be done throughout the year rather than just annually or during an onboarding process alone.”
Some ways to infuse cybersecurity training into your company culture include:
- Short training videos
- IT security posters
- Team training sessions
- Cybersecurity tips in company newsletters
When Did You Last Have a Cybersecurity Checkup?
Don’t stay in the dark about your IT security vulnerabilities. Schedule a cybersecurity audit today with Ayvant IT Services to uncover vulnerabilities so they can be fortified to reduce your risk.