Companies can’t afford to be asleep at the wheel when it comes to protecting personal and corporate data. Below are the five common mistakes you can’t afford to make when it comes to protecting assets from cyber-attacks.
Mistake #1: Assuming you’re not a target
Whether large or small, organizations in every industry are vulnerable to attack. The stories that make the news headlines are usually about theft of credit card data or personal identity information. As a result, companies that don’t handle this type of data often believe they are not a target. All companies need to recognize this risk and work to detect and prevent the devastating damage cyber-attacks can cause. While developing your plan, consider your organization’s response if it does happen to you. This will help you react faster and potentially minimize the negative effect of a data breach.
Mistake #2: Approaching security as just an IT Issue
Many attacks come from the inside of an organization as a result of misuse, theft or loss of devices. A company-wide security policy including employee education, policies and procedures should be developed specifically for your business operations and employee device usage. Regular “audits” of the policies should be conducted to ensure compliance at all levels within the organization.
Mistake #3: Neglecting to understand and update your network
Organizations may never be able to prevent every attack; networks are too expansive and there are many opportunities to breach software. However, failing to understand the structure of your company’s network and where company data flows to and from will prevent you from knowing what to protect. Once you have determined what needs to be protected and systems are in place to protect your data, continued monitoring, testing and updating is necessary to avoid an increased opportunity to invade your systems.
Mistake #4: Relying on anti-virus technologies
Anti- virus technologies are very helpful but are not sufficient to prevent advanced attacks. Hackers are at their game non-stop and have evolved their tactics faster than anti-virus technologies can react. Updates to anti-virus and malware software are necessary, but strong data security policies, testing and monitoring are also needed.
Mistake #5: Failing to use strong passwords
Passwords should be unique and complex. It is easy to use the same password for many different applications and quite often this is what many people do. The cyber attackers know this. Unique passwords for each application are best. Your passwords should be complex. Never use words like “password” or “football”. “12345” is not a good password either. Your password should contain a combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers, capital letters and symbols. Phrases using symbols, for example Th3king&! (The king and I) is a way to remember a complex password.