You’d be surprised how many businesses still haven’t updated their software to the most recent, secure versions or how many don’t even have antivirus software installed on their computers. If you manage employees, it’s crucial that you understand the risks they face and how you can protect them from cyber threats.
Many different things could lead to potential security risks for your business. Here are 5 of the biggest cybersecurity mistakes you should avoid to keep your company safe from cyber threats:
1. Failing to Train Employees on Cybersecurity
One of the most important things you can do as a manager is to train your staff on cybersecurity. This means they understand the risks they face and how to mitigate them.
You don’t want to scare them, but you want to make sure they know how to protect themselves and the company from cyber threats. This can include understanding the latest hacking techniques and how they’re used to target businesses like yours, how ransomware works, how to avoid phishing (a common method hackers use to try to steal data), and more.
You can even ask your IT department to create a cybersecurity training module that all employees can access. This can help ensure that everyone knows the latest threats and knows what to do if something happens. Plus, it can help prevent employees from panicking when an incident does occur.
2. Using Outdated Hardware and Not Updating Software
If your employees use outdated hardware and software, that may put your business at risk. For example, if they’re using computers with Windows 7, security patches for that version have stopped being released. That means that hackers could easily exploit any bugs that might be present in the software.
You don’t want computers with outdated software on your network. This could increase your risk of malware infections and other security incidents. If possible, you should provide employees with the newest hardware and software.
If you’re managing a large business, replacing every computer in the company might not be feasible. However, you can ensure your IT team is putting in the effort to keep computers secure. This means installing security patches and updating antivirus software regularly.
3. Not Changing Passwords
Employees might have habits that could put your company at risk. For example, some employees might have old habits from their personal lives, such as refusing to change their passwords. Or, they might be using a password that’s easy to guess.
Hackers know that many people don’t change their passwords regularly, so they try to target people who use the same password. If they get access to one of your employee’s accounts, they can use it to try to get access to a lot of other accounts. You don’t want this to happen to your business.
Make sure that all of your employees change passwords regularly. Ideally, they should be changing them every month. Consider implementing two-factor authentication (2FA) on your sensitive accounts. This means that employees must enter a unique code and their password to log in. 2FA makes it much harder for hackers to break into their accounts.
4. Storing Sensitive Data in the Cloud Without Encryption
If you’re using the cloud for storage, you might have employees storing sensitive data there. While this can be useful for sharing documents with clients and partners, you must also ensure that information is safe. Some cloud providers, like Internxt, let you encrypt your data.
You could risk your business if you’re storing sensitive data in the cloud without encryption. Hackers could access it if they get into the cloud account, which is very relevant to SaaS businesses and can be one of the SaaS management challenges. This could lead to a breach that has severe financial and reputational consequences for your business.
You want to ensure you’re storing sensitive data in the cloud with encryption. This way, even if a hacker gets into your account, they won’t be able to read your data. Some providers also charge less if you encrypt your data. So, it could actually be cheaper to use encryption than not.
5. Having No Processes for Detecting Breaches and Incidents
Another type of common cybersecurity mistake does not have processes in place to detect breaches and incidents. You might have employees who are logging in from unsecured computers. Or computers that have malware, viruses, or other programs installed that could lead to a breach. You might not even realize something has gone wrong until it’s too late.
You might have employees accidentally sharing sensitive material with the wrong person. Or someone who inadvertently sends sensitive information to the wrong person. You might have an employee falsifying data, or another malicious employee could be trying to frame someone else. You don’t want to miss any of these things.
You want to make sure you’re prepared for them so you can resolve the situation as quickly as possible. To do this, you can create a list of events you want to be aware of, such as a new computer being added to your network or someone logging in from an unusual IP address.
Managing Employees While Protecting Your Company Online
Finally, while you want to protect your business from cybersecurity mistakes, you also don’t want to create a culture of fear. You don’t want employees to be so scared of making a mistake that they stop taking any action at all.
Instead, make sure that you’re providing resources for employees to learn about cybersecurity. And encourage them to ask questions if they don’t understand something. You can also provide employees with the tools they need to protect themselves online. Password managers are one of the best tools available to protect teams from cybersecurity threats. Also consider security services like antivirus software, a virus scanner, a password strength checker, or an add-on to help them avoid phishing attempts.
You must protect your company from cybersecurity mistakes, and you can only do so by being aware of the risks and putting in the effort to make sure those risks don’t become real problems.
Author bio: Mia Naumoska is a Chief Marketing Officer at Internxt - the world's most secure cloud storage. With over a decade of experience in marketing, Mia is responsible for Internxt’s overall marketing strategy, managing a fantastic team of marketing experts. Feel free to connect with Mia on LinkedIn.