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5 Biggest Cybersecurity Mistakes Companies Are Making

To keep you and your business safe, let’s explore the top 5 cybersecurity mistakes most companies make and how to avoid them. 

cybersecurity mistakes

by Contributing Author

Data breaches and cyber threats are becoming increasingly prevalent and could have devastating consequences. 

Research shows cybercrime might be among the next decade’s ten most severe global risks. Cyberattacks can result in stolen data, identity theft, and fraudulent charges. 

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For business owners, these consequences can be even greater. Small businesses that fall victim to cybercrime often don’t have the funds to recover from these attacks and must close their doors for good. 

To keep you and your business safe, let’s explore the top 5 cybersecurity mistakes most companies make and how to avoid them. 

Mistake 1: Weak Password Practices

We’ve all been told to make substantial, unique passwords, but is it really that important? In short, yes. Most of all, data breaches are the result of compromised passwords. 

Weak passwords invite hackers to infiltrate systems. Strengthen your passwords with the following tips: 

  • Enforce strict password policies. The strongest passwords are over 12 characters long and include a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA). This can include a code sent via email or text or an added security question. 
  • Make sure you’re employees are updating their passwords, preferably every three months.

Mistake 2: Neglecting Software Updates

Software updates are like check-ups for your devices. These updates help your devices run smoothly and patch any security holes. 

By keeping your devices updated, you mitigate the risk of unauthorized access, data breaches, and other forms of cyberattacks.

Use the following tips to help you keep your devices updated: 

  • Enable automatic updates so you never miss a critical update. 
  • Regularly monitor notifications by the software your company uses. 

Mistake 3: Inadequate Employee Training

Sometimes, a simple mistake, like clicking on a misleading link or opening an odd email, can lead to a big security problem. Keep your employees from making these mistakes by providing comprehensive cybersecurity training.

These trainings should teach employees tips about creating strong passwords and updating software. They should also teach employees how to handle sensitive data. Companies empower their workforce to recognize and respond effectively to potential risks by training employees.

Employee training could include the following:

  • A breakdown of some of the most common scams, such as phishing, email fraud, and social engineering.
  • A phishing exercise to test employees’ ability to identify suspicious emails.
  • A lesson on how to report suspicious activity or potential security breaches. 

Mistake 4: Poorly Configured Access Controls

Access controls determine who can access what information. It’s easy to overlook these controls, but when they aren’t appropriately set up, it can lead to unauthorized users gaining access to sensitive data. 

Stay on the safe side and ensure that employees only have access to the data absolutely necessary for their roles. This is called the principle of least privilege (POLP). Giving employees too much control can also make their jobs more confusing. 

Here are some measures to properly configure your controls:

  • Regularly review permissions to make sure they align with job roles and responsibilities.
  • Use a centralized system to manage access controls. This ensures consistency and makes it easier to track and update access privileges.
  • Enable and review audit logs to track who accessed what and when.

Mistake 5: Ignoring Network and Device Security

Making sure networks and devices are secure is crucial for a company’s cybersecurity. Networks connect our devices and systems, and if we don’t secure them properly, hackers can get in and access our private information or disrupt our activities. 

Similarly, devices like phones and computers hold much personal and important data. If we don’t take steps to keep them secure, attackers can infect them with harmful software or steal our data.

Not securing devices and networks properly can lead to malware infections, unauthorized access, or data breaches. These can have costly consequences. In fact, according to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report, the global average cost of a data breach increased from $4.24 million in 2021 to $4.35 million in 2022.

Secure your company’s devices and network with the following tips:

  • Deploy firewalls on your network to monitor and control incoming and outgoing traffic.
  • Conduct regular security audits to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in your network and devices.
  • Consider having employees get a VPN to secure data transmitted over public networks.

Safeguarding the Future

As the digital landscape evolves, so must cybersecurity. Companies protect valuable data and ensure business continuity by staying informed, keeping employees up-to-date, and avoiding common cybersecurity mistakes.



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