Cybersecurity Mistakes Most Small Businesses Make

Written by Kevin Liew on 07 Jul 2021
4,396 Views • Miscellaneous

As more small businesses seek to exploit the opportunities that come with enhanced internet connectivity and online shopping, they face the unprecedented challenge of cybercrime. Most of these businesses have yet to set up robust anti-hacking systems and many seem to take the risk of cybercrime lightly. Here are a few common cybersecurity mistakes that small businesses make.  

Untrained employees

Are your employees fully trained on necessary cybersecurity knowledge? Unfortunately, most small business owners believe that having antivirus software in place is enough to secure their data. According to research, 40% of cybersecurity attacks originate from employee ignorance or errors. You can start by enrolling your employees in a cyber security awareness training program to equip them with the necessary cybersecurity skills.

Lack of security systems

Gone are the days when cybersecurity was only important for giant multinational corporations. Small businesses handle substantial volumes of confidential information, which make them easy targets for cybercriminals. For instance, if you run an online store, you likely keep a database of customer login credentials and credit card information for future shopping. Most hackers target such details, and you should have a robust security infrastructure in place.

You can partner with an IT solutions company and let them sort out your entire cybersecurity department. An IT company comes with an arsenal of cybersecurity tools and necessary human resources.

Weak passwords

How do you design your business passwords? Who is in charge of setting up passwords for employees? For a small business with little bureaucracy, employees often have the freedom to select their favorite passwords. Unfortunately, some choose a password they use for all their online accounts, and in worse cases, share these passwords with family and colleagues.

Weak passwords are easy to crack and can be an expressway into your database. As a business, you should develop a secure password policy that facilitates the development of strong passwords and forbids the reuse or sharing of these assets. A strong password should contain a random combination of numbers, letters, and symbols.

Failure to update software

Software companies often add security features to counter current threats on their software updates. It is essential to install any new updates as soon as they are released, as they come with advanced cybersecurity features.

Using public networks

Public networks such as airport or hotel Wi-Fi are poorly encrypted, and third parties can spy on your business network. If you have a BYOD policy and your employees work remotely, some employees might use public Wi-Fi to access business files and resources, which puts your company data at risk.

Using questionable software

Software and related technologies come with expensive subscriptions and upgrade fees. For this reason, small businesses operating under a tight budget might choose to use illegal cracked versions of such software. These illegal versions are a standard trap for startups as software developers; usually, cybercriminals can track your activity and access files stored on their software.

Endnote

Investing in robust cybersecurity systems is essential now more than ever. As a business, you should be aware of the best cybersecurity practices and ensure that they are fully implemented to avoid costly mistakes.

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