Busting the biggest cybersecurity myths

Busting the biggest cybersecurity myths

Cybersecurity is a complex and constantly changing field. Just when security experts develop a cutting-edge security application, hackers have already found different ways to compromise business systems.

It also doesn’t help that there are several myths perpetuated about hackers and security practices. The last thing you need when it comes to establishing a cybersecurity strategy is terrible advice, so we’ve created a comprehensive list to help you discern fact from fiction.

Myth #1: Hackers do not pay attention to small businesses

Media coverage may largely focus on high-profile data breaches involving big companies like Yahoo and Marriott, but that doesn’t mean hackers don’t attack small businesses.

In fact, 43% of data breaches affect small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). They tend to be easy targets for cybercriminals because they don’t have the resources to invest in the same cutting-edge security measures as large corporations. SMBs also possess a treasure trove of sensitive information that is worth a lot of money on the dark web and can be used for financial fraud and identity theft.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how big or small your business is. If you manage private and proprietary data, your company is a potential target.

Myth #2: IT experts are solely responsible for cybersecurity

Don’t buy into the idea that cybersecurity is just for your IT department to manage. While implementing and configuring security measures should be left to the experts, the rest of your staff must also play an active role in ensuring your business’s safety.

Cybercriminals don’t just use highly sophisticated hacking techniques, they can breach your systems by scamming your employees or guessing passwords. If employees aren’t careful with emails, websites, and account security, they can inadvertently expose your company to a slew of cyberattacks. That’s why regular cybersecurity awareness training is important to account for these threats.

Myth #3: Passwords are all you need to protect user accounts

One of the most crucial aspects of cybersecurity is setting a strong, unhackable password. This means using a 12-character password with symbols, numbers, and capital letters sprinkled in. But passwords by themselves are not enough to keep your accounts safe. There’s a chance that cybercriminals can get you to disclose your password with a phishing scam or guess your password with a brute forcing tool.

To secure your accounts, you need additional layers of security. Multifactor authentication (MFA) requires users to provide other credentials alongside passwords to gain access to an account. This may include fingerprint scans, facial recognition, USB security tokens, and temporary SMS authentication codes.

Myth #4: All data breaches are caused by external attacks

Cybercriminals often get the blame for data breach incidents, but employees are equally responsible. Staff can accidentally cause data breaches by sharing sensitive data to the wrong people and even losing important hard drives and documents. Reckless employees may even fall victim to phishing scams and poor device management, which can lead to massive-scale data breaches.

The worst type of data breaches, however, are those caused deliberately by employees. A disgruntled employee can abuse their access privileges to leak and steal sensitive data.

Any of these incidents can bring the downfall of your business, so it’s important to monitor your staff, teach them data management best practices, and set stringent access restrictions. Ideally, employees should only have access to the apps they need to do their job. And any employee who’s left your business should have their access rights revoked right away.

Myth #5: The newest technology is always safe

No technology is immune to risks — sooner or later, hackers will find glaring vulnerabilities to exploit.

Take internet-connected devices like smart thermostats and lights, for example. They may look secure, but they may give hackers an entry point into your network if they’re poorly developed and are not frequently updated by device manufacturers. The same goes for software. If the product is not patched and supported proactively, hackers can infiltrate your network through unsecured apps.

Making sure you purchase technology from trusted vendors who provide frequent security updates is the only way to ensure your technology’s safety.

Myths #6: Powerful antivirus software is sufficient

Relying on antivirus software alone only protects you from malware attacks and not much else. The reality is, hackers have different types of cyberattacks at their disposal, which can circumvent the strongest antivirus software.

The best way to keep your business out of harm’s way is a multilayered approach to security. You need firewalls and advanced threat prevention tools to defend your network, encryption software to safeguard data, MFA for account security, and app access restrictions. This cybersecurity framework protects your business from different angles.

Myth #7: Cybersecurity is expensive

State-of-the-art security solutions aren’t exclusive to large corporations with deep pockets. SMBs can get all the protection they need from managed IT services providers (MSPs) at a fair price. For a flat monthly subscription fee, you get a multilayered cybersecurity framework, comprehensive vulnerability assessments, 24/7 network monitoring, security training, and much more.

However, keep in mind that not all MSPs are built the same. Some may offer lackluster services, while others give you access to the best tools available, so it’s vital you choose a reliable partner.

Complete Technology is a leading MSP that protects businesses in Kansas City from all manner of threats. We provide top-notch cybersecurity solutions and unparalleled services — and that’s no myth! Contact us today to get a free consultation.

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