5 Cyber Security Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Day

Written by Peter Hartley

Peter has spent more than 15 years working with customers on securing their digital future and providing tailor-made IT solutions for their business. With stints working for some of Australias largest government agencies his unique approach of "how to do enterprise security for less than a coffee" can help give you IT certainty.
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29 Mar, 2021

Cyber Security should be a top priority for business leaders today. Companies are facing increased risks of their data, or that of the customers, being broadcast to the world. Along with the risk of fines, is the more pressing concern of damage to your business reputation. More now than ever, we are seeing governments around the world stepping in to create legislation to protect consumers. This increased protection increases the burden on business. With a few steps in the right direction and minimal extra cost, you can meet your duty of care. Here are some of the key cyber security mistakes that have the potential to bring your company to its knees.

Cyber Security Mistakes

Cyber Security has now entered the mainstream, and it’s time businesses make it a priority. As a matter of course, it’s time for your business to adopt an active security strategy. This strategy should consist of a couple of steps. Firstly, your organisation needs to assess the data you have on your network, and what you are exposing to the wider internet. Use strong security software and services to assess the data and to ensure that only people who should have access to that data can do so. Don’t make it easy for the wrong people to access your company information. Also, you need to understand how secure your system is.

Mistake 1 – Not Encrypting Data

Encryption of data is a vital step in protecting data from hackers. And, one of the easiest ways to prevent data loss. Let’s face it, nobody wants to think about losing their data or credit cards, so it’s important you consider encryption. But, when was the last time you read up on the ins and outs of encryption? It might take a little bit of effort to find a good encryption solution, but you should make it a priority. Don’t have the time? Ask us and our team of experts will be more than happy to assist.

Mistake 2 – Not Patching Software

As threats become more sophisticated, malware and vulnerabilities become better understood. But cyber security measures have not kept up with this rapid evolution. Even in today’s hyper-connected world, we still need security measures that are easy for a business to put in place, but still, be secure, and, work across many platforms. In addition, being able to identify emerging threats quickly and remediate them proactively is paramount. The easiest way to secure many environments at once is to keep your operating systems and software patched and up to date. When left unpatched, any small change, like a new virus or bug can cripple your entire enterprise.

Mistake 3 – Not Monitoring for Threats

Cyber Security is no longer something of the dark ages. The companies that invest the time and money to create an effective program have already become overnight successes. They have increased customer confidence, decreased risk, and hopefully averted disaster. Yet despite this, so many companies today still spend more time defending their network, than actually monitoring for new threats. As businesses, many do not consider cyber threats a priority, yet in reality, they are simply the cost of doing business. The right cyber security program should track every aspect of your business to identify the threats in your environment, proactively prevent attacks, and protect your assets from falling into the wrong hands.

Mistake 4 – Not Using Multi-Factor Authentication

This is the term given to a range of procedures which need a customer to present identification to access their account. These include SMS codes, authentication emails or even an MFA app. But, despite using the same technology, they are not always the same. This is one of the easiest and most effective solutions in protecting your customers’ data. Because you need to enter your one-time code to access a business’s accounts, this also applies to those outside of your network. When you call your bank they ask you to verify your account. This is a form of customer facing multi-factor authentication. Methods like this can protect you and your customers from ever having to worry about who can get access to their data.

Mistake 5 – Not Understanding the Risk

Technology is advancing at an incredible rate, and companies that lack an understanding of how to protect data, end up doing the complete opposite. An organisation that owns and protects its data and has planned the detection of and response to a breach will be in a far better position than those that do not. Understand that risk management is a multi-phase process. By taking the time to understand the value of your data and the data of those who interact with you, you can begin to build a comprehensive plan to protect it. There are three major elements to any plan: physical, operational and cybersecurity. Physical protection – are the physical systems that carry information. These are things like electronic filing cabinets, server rooms and communication systems. Operational protection – is the plans, processes, and procedures you have in place around your data and team. Cyber Security protection – are the tools, the software and the hardware tracking your data both inside and outside of your environment.