Cybersecurity is more important than ever for businesses looking to protect sensitive customer data and maintain operations. However, many organisations are still making critical mistakes that make them vulnerable to cyber attacks and data breaches. Understanding the most common cybersecurity mistakes businesses make can help put the right defences in place. Here’s a quick guide:

1. Using Weak Passwords

By now, everyone should know this – gone are the days of using “12345678” and “Pa55w0rd.” Weak, reused, or default passwords are amongst the easiest ways for hackers to gain access to business networks and accounts. To avoid this, businesses should:

  • Implement strong password policies requiring minimum length, special characters, and expiration timelines
  • Use a password manager to help generate and store unique passwords
  • Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible.

2. Failing to Train Employees

While weak passwords are a very common Cybersecurity threat, employees represent the most vulnerable aspect of the security infrastructure, and can unintentionally introduce vulnerabilities if they aren’t trained on cybersecurity best practices. A report by Keeper Security found that 62% of employees have shared passwords insecurely with unauthorised parties. Businesses should:

  • Conduct mandatory cybersecurity awareness training for all employees
  • Test employees through simulated phishing and social engineering attacks
  • Ensure employees understand malware, physical security, password policies, and more.

3. Using Outdated Software

Old software often lacks the latest security patches, making it easier for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities. This makes it critical for businesses to:

  • Maintain a software/system inventory to track versions
  • Establish policies for prompt updates and upgrades
  • Prioritise patching known vulnerabilities through updates.

4. Lacking Adequate Backup and Recovery

Without proper backups, businesses risk permanent data loss and downtime from cyber attacks. Backups are also the last line of defence against ransomware, and paying ransoms can be hefty. IBM Security reported that the average cost of a ransomware attack to a company, excluding the cost of the ransom itself, was USD 4.54 million. To avoid this, implement the following:

  • Regularly back-up critical data and store it securely offline
  • Keep several generations of backups
  • Test backup integrity and recovery procedures
  • Keep recovery time and cost expectations realistic

5. Not Updating Security Controls

New vulnerabilities are frequently discovered in all types of software. As the threat landscape changes, security controls need to evolve too. To keep staying protected, businesses must:

  • Audit their security posture frequently
  • Evaluate new security solutions as risks emerge
  • Implement a patch management program
  • Promptly download, test and install security updates
  • Remediate vulnerabilities based on severity ratings

6. Not Planning for Worst-Case Scenarios

The best defence is a good offence, as they say. Despite best efforts, breaches can still happen. To minimise impact, businesses need to:

  • Have cyber insurance to offset financial damages
  • Develop incident response plans for various breach scenarios
  • Conduct cybersecurity drills to improve resilience

Get Secure Today

Avoiding common cybersecurity mistakes takes diligence, but pays dividends in risk reduction. By implementing strong password policies, training employees, promptly patching systems, backing up data, and preparing response plans, businesses can empower themselves in the fight against cybercrime.

For comprehensive IT solutions and support to safeguard your business, consider TechGenius’s proven track record in IT security. Our expertise spans various services including cybersecurity, as well as server and network maintenance. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your specific needs today.