The global damage of cybercrime has risen to an average of $11 million USD per minute, which is a cost of $190,000 each second. 60% of small and mid-sized companies that have a major data breach end up closing their doors within six months because they can’t afford the costs.
The costs of falling victim to a cyberattack can include loss of business, downtime/productivity losses, reparation costs for customers that have had data stolen, and more. Many of the most damaging breaches are due to common cybersecurity mistakes that companies and their employees make.
Here are several of the most common missteps when it comes to basic IT security best practices.
1. Not Implementing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Credential theft has become the top cause of data breaches around the world, according to IBM Security. MFA reduces fraudulent sign-in attempts by a staggering 99.9%.
2. Ignoring the Use of Shadow IT
Shadow IT is the use of cloud applications by employees for business data that haven’t been approved and may not even be known about by a company. Shadow IT use leaves companies at risk for several reasons:
- Data may be used in a nonsecure application
- Data isn’t included in company backup strategies
- If the employee leaves, the data could be lost
- The app being used might not meet company compliance requirements
- It’s important to have cloud use policies in place that spell out for employees the applications that can and cannot be used for work.
3. Thinking You’re Fine With Only an Antivirus Application
No matter how small your business is, a simple antivirus application is not enough to keep you protected. In fact, many of today’s threats don’t use a malicious file at all.
Phishing emails will contain commands sent to legitimate PC systems that aren’t flagged as a virus or malware. Phishing also overwhelmingly uses links these days rather than file attachments to send users to malicious sites. Those links won’t get caught by simple antivirus solutions.
You need to have a multi-layered strategy in place that includes things like:
- Next-gen anti-malware (uses AI and machine learning)
- Next-gen firewall
- Email filtering
- DNS filtering
- Automated application and cloud security policies
- Cloud access monitoring
4. Not Having Device Management In Place
A majority of companies around the world have had employees working remotely from home since the pandemic. However, device management for those remote employee devices as well as smartphones used for business hasn’t always been put in place.
A device management application in place, like Intune in Microsoft 365 can help manage this.
5. Not Providing Adequate Training to Employees
An astonishing 95% of Cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error.
Employee IT security awareness training should be done throughout the year, not just annually or during an onboarding process.
Some ways to infuse cybersecurity training into your company culture include:
- Short training videos
- IT security posters
- Team training sessions
- Cybersecurity tips in company newsletters
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