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4 Common Business Security Mistakes to Avoid Online

In this digital age, protecting business data properly is as important as ever. There are a number of common cyber threats that can blindside the unprepared and cause all manner of issues.

To help protect you, we’ve compiled a list today of some common business security mistakes you and your employees need to avoid while online.

Mistake #1: Giving Unwarranted Trust

The internet is a place to be suspicious. Almost any message you receive, unless you can verify who it is from, can be an attack in the guise of an innocent question or even authoritative demand.

One of the most common and easy ways for a hacker to gain control of data is through social engineering. This is the process of manipulating the human element of a security system in order to bypass it.

If someone isn’t tech-savvy or otherwise trained in common phishing techniques, it’s often easy for an attacker to trick them into giving away passwords and other important info. Humans tend to be too trusting.

The good news is that you can train employees to resist these kinds of attacks. Even making sure employees verify the identity of anyone asking for important information can go a long way towards helping.

It can also be a good idea to only allow managers and those whose job would require them to do so to give out certain kinds of information. Anyone else being asked certain questions should first confirm they are permitted to.

Mistake #2: Choosing Bad Passwords

There’s an art to making a good password. The bad news is that many people do just the opposite.

If a hacker wants to guess your password, they often have special tools that will try and brute force the process. However, there are almost infinite varieties of passwords, far too many to guess one at a time.

The way a hacker gets around this fact is by using a tool that can be guided to first guess the passwords deemed most likely. It can even be told information about you to help guide its guesses.

A whole article could be written on how to write a good password but, at a basic level, a good password is one that these tools would take years or more to guess.

A good password should contain 12 or more characters, no obvious replacements (a = @), and use a mix of symbols, letters, and numbers. It should also be unrelated to any meaningful personal information of yours.

Some people use passwords that are totally random but those can be hard to remember. Any password you need to write down is a bad one, as that note is itself a major security weakness.

Mistake #3: Failing to Sequester Critical Data

The benefits of the cloud, and the modern Internet in general, are many but one downside is we tend to put too much on them. Many companies have data online, if behind passwords, that simply does not need to be there.

The fact of the matter is that you should think carefully about putting data you cannot afford to leak online. You also need to be careful putting the sole copy of any data you can’t afford to have deleted online for similar reasons.

For a hacker to get data disconnected from the Internet, they need to physically gain access to their work computers. This is far less common than online attacks. If the data is online, they can attack from anywhere.

Now it needs to be said some places on the internet are safer than others. Some cloud services can have a number of useful security measures in place, for instance. That said, offline data is the safest.

There are caveats of course. First, it is more laborious to backup data you don’t want to connect to the Internet. It is also harder to access that data when it is needed (and impossible from afar).

If you want important data stored on the cloud, do some research about the service you use to ensure it is as secure as possible. There are good options out there but you need to be careful.

Mistake #4: Approaching Security Wrong

The odds are good that you’re not a cybersecurity expert, whether you’re tech-savvy or not. However, despite this, many people choose to be the sole person in charge of cybersecurity for their company.

Hackers are always evolving and, for many, it is their job to try and breakthrough security. Meanwhile, you may not have any experience repelling cyberattacks beyond maybe knowing the basics.

That’s where a DevSecOps framework (with automated tools) can help. We recommend you click that link for more info but this is basically an approach to software development that ensures security is integrated at every stage.

Some companies also choose to hire offsite digital security teams to bolster their cybersecurity, which can be a big help. These companies can identify weaknesses in your security and help shore them up.

Don’t Let Business Security Mistakes Tank You

Business security mistakes can tank a company if they come at the wrong time. The worst can erase months of work, bring operations to a halt, and cause major legal trouble all at once.

Protecting business data is important. Many companies don’t even realize the trouble that could arise if the wrong data leaked or was held for ransom.

If you found this article helpful, we hope you’ll explore our site. We have more content like this on a variety of topics you’re sure to find interesting!