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December 8, 2020 | By stephen
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5 Common Mistakes That Small Businesses Make When It Comes To Their Cybersecurity

Your small business relies on your networks and computers for its day to day operations. You use them to communicate with clients and vendors, store sensitive client data, and make vital business decisions. For this reason, you need to employ the highest standard of cybersecurity to protect your system. Unfortunately for small businesses, cybersecurity is not a matter that is given priority.

The internet is a wild place with cybercriminals sneaking and waiting for organizations to make mistakes. One slip is all it takes for them to have full access to your servers, websites, and sensitive data. As a small business, what cybersecurity mistakes can you avoid?

Small Business Cybersecurity Mistakes

What Are The 5 Most Common Cybersecurity Mistakes That Small Businesses Make?

1. Underestimating Your Vulnerability To Cyber Attacks

Most small businesses assume that only large corporations are susceptible to cyber threats. Well, this is not the case. The reality is that both small and large companies in virtually every industry are susceptible to cyberattacks. According to a report by The Manifest, 15% of small businesses were victims of cyberattacks.1 5% of small businesses were victims of virus attacks, 7% were victims of hacks, and 3% were victims of data breaches in 2019.2 Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that by the year 2021, businesses will fall victim to ransomware every 11 seconds, and cyberattacks will cost them more than 6 trillion US dollars annually.3

While this is proof that small businesses are also vulnerable to cyberattacks, it also serves as a caution to other small businesses to take appropriate cybersecurity precautions. With cyber threats continually increasing as many businesses work remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses need to have the proper cybersecurity controls in place.

2. Relying Solely On Your Default Security System

Whether you are using Macs or PCs, your default security system isn’t robust enough to protect your business. For example, Windows Security is known to have weaker malware detection rates compared to other leading antivirus programs and has proven poor performance in hands-on phishing protection tests. The dissatisfactory performance of Windows Security is alarming for many business executives because of the frequent discovery of cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the operating system. Cybercriminals can easily exploit these security loopholes to breach your networks with malware and steal your sensitive data.


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Windows is also considered less secure than competing operating systems because of its mass use in enterprises. The population of people using Windows is massive, and because of this, cybercriminals around the world have developed malware that targets the operating system.

While Macs were thought to be traditionally more secure than PCs due to the limited malware developed for the operating system, cyber threats against Macs are growing by the day.

With all this in mind, your best defense is installing an antivirus program or software that offers real-time protection and safeguards your sensitive data from cyber threats.

3. Depending On Free Antivirus Software

You wouldn’t lock your house with a low-cost padlock, so why would you secure your sensitive data using free antivirus software? Why shouldn’t you use free antivirus software?

  • Free antivirus programs provide low detection rates.
  • Leading free antivirus software violates your privacy by harvesting data about your usage.
  • The most downloaded free antivirus software issue false positives to appear efficient.
  • Several free antivirus software carries intrusive ads and malware.
  • The most popular free antivirus programs suffer from cyber threats making them counterproductive to use.

In today’s changing cyber threat landscape, using free antivirus software is not sufficient to prevent advanced and persistent attacks. Actually, using free antivirus software will cost your organization in the long run. You’ll ultimately find yourself experiencing downtime or scrambling to find solutions once your system is already compromised.

Maintaining an extensive security system that prevents malware and malicious downloads and offers quick malware detection requires resources.

4. Relying On Outdated Software

Your organization should use full proof and high-end programs to protect its servers and networks. Most small businesses overlook the importance of updated software, thus exposing themselves to cyberattacks. Updating software is one of the most efficient ways to keep cybercriminals at bay. As technology keeps on advancing, so do cyber threats, and in most cases, these threats evolve faster than companies can update their cybersecurity controls.

The best way to protect your system from hackers is to update your cybersecurity software regularly. You should implement policies to ensure that all your software is timely updated.

5. Not Being Proactive

It is far less expensive to prevent a cyber-attack than it is to recover from one. It’s crucial to think of proactive approaches rather than reactive approaches when managing your organization’s cybersecurity. Proactive cybersecurity refers to methods used to prevent cyberattacks. These methods include:

Developing a comprehensive cybersecurity policy is your best chance of ensuring your cybersecurity controls are standard, keeping malicious actors on at bay, and preventing your business from making these common mistakes.

Business IT Support

LeadingIT offers 24/7, all-inclusive, fast, and friendly technology and cybersecurity support for nonprofits, manufacturers, schools, accounting firms, religious organizations, government, and law offices with 10-200 employees across the Chicagoland area.

Sources:

1https://themanifest.com/mobile-apps/data-safety-small-businesses-2020-cybersecurity-statistics

2https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/15-of-small-businesses-experienced-a-cybersecurity-threat-last-year-but-majority-show-desire-to-increase-cybersecurity-resources-301046022.html

3https://cybersecurityventures.com/cybersecurity-almanac-2019/

https://theiabm.org/top-5-cybersecurity-mistakes-companies-make-avoid/

https://businesstown.com/common-cybersecurity-mistakes-small-businesses-make/

https://smallbiztrends.com/2020/11/cybersecurity-mistakes.html

https://business.infostot.com/2020/11/the-5-major-cybersecurity-mistakes-to.html

https://consoltech.com/blog/5-common-mistakes-cyber-security/

https://analyticsindiamag.com/windows-vs-macos-vs-linux-for-cybersecurity/

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