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March 2, 2022 | By stephen
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Is Your Organization Making These Three Critical Mistakes?

Recent research by Verizon shows that over 86% of data breaches are financially motivated. A similar study by CSO Online estimates the average cost of each cyberattack to be about $3.9 million. According to IBM, this figure could be as high as 8.64 million in the U.S. The bad news is that almost  70% of business executives feel that their cybersecurity risks are increasing by the day. What do these figures mean for your Chicagoland organization?

All evidence points to one thing—cyberattacks are expensive, and they’re getting costlier and more severe. You’ve probably heard this a million times. Right? The irony, however, is that even though everyone knows that the global cybersecurity situation is continually worsening, Varonis approximates that only 5% of company folders have proper protection. Most people still overlook standard data security practices like password expiration and complexity protocols, MFA, regular network assessment, and employee cyber awareness training.

We cannot overstate the risks you’re exposing your organization to by not taking cybersecurity seriously. Here are a few common mistakes, their risks, and tips to avoid them:

  1. Failure to Train Employees on Cybersecurity Awareness

Most organizations focus on shielding their systems from external interference and disregard internal threats. Your staff is the most crucial defense line in the war against cybercrime and your weakest link. Even with the most advanced ransomware prevention technologies, your network isn’t safe if your employees lack proper cybersecurity training.

Human error accounts for 95% of all data breaches

According to Cybinit, human error accounts for up to 95% of all data breaches. The bad guys must first access your network for a cyberattack to occur. That’s why over 90% of all cybercrimes start as spear-phishing emails. Typically, a phishing campaign involves actors tricking your employees into revealing credentials like usernames and logins. They then use the stolen information to access and compromise your systems.

The faster your staff can identify the bad guys, the better your chances of preventing unauthorized intrusions and breach attempts. And that’s where cyber awareness training comes in—it involves teaching your employees common cybercrime tricks and how to identify and thwart them. You can also work with an IT service provider to launch simulated breaches to gauge staff preparedness and find areas that require further training. Cybersecurity education shouldn’t be a one-time thing. Instead, continually improve your awareness programs and retrain your staff to keep them abreast with emerging threat patterns.

  1. Not Deploying Multi-Factor Authentication

Businesses use hundreds of mobile and web apps to access and deliver various services in today’s digital world. Most of these apps require users to create separate accounts and unique passwords. There are currently about 300 billion passwords that organizations and individuals use to safeguard their machines globally. Simply put, if you were to distribute these passcodes evenly across the world’s entire population, each person would have at least 40 unique passwords to remember.

By any standard, 40 passwords are too many to remember. That’s why most people create common passwords and re-use them for multiple sites. So, if the bad guys crack or steal one password, they can use them to compromise several apps and sites simultaneously, exposing your entire network to breaches.

Globally, only 57% of businesses employ MFA

Multifactor Authentication adds an extra cybersecurity layer beyond your passwords. MFA is no longer a luxury; it’s one of the essential cybersecurity solutions every business should have. Currently, only 57% of organizations worldwide use MFA. If you’re among the remaining 43%, you’re exposing your network to severe threats. It requires users to have at least two of:

  • Something they know, like the login credentials
  • Something they possess, like a gadget that has accessed the account before
  • Something inherently unique to them, like fingerprints

If a user has at least two of the above authentication requirements, their identities are more verifiable. Some MFA solutions also use location and time factors.

  1. Relying on an IT Guy

IT is inarguably one of the most expensive departments in any company. Acquire and occasionally update software and hardware, hire and continually retrain IT specialists, buy licenses for various software and services, and the list is endless. Therefore, it’s understandable when some small and medium-sized businesses prefer an IT guy who they only call when necessary.

An IT guy may not be entitled to hefty salaries, benefits, and allowances because they may not be full-time employees. You only call them when necessary, such as during a glitch, and only pay for the IT services they deliver. This option may superficially seem better than managing IT internally or outsourcing IT support services until you consider what you’re losing.

Outsource customized, reliable cybersecurity solutions

First, an IT guy may not understand your systems in detail. They don’t take time to learn your network, behavior, and communication patterns. Second, the reactive approach IT guys use can be catastrophic. If you don’t spot the glitches on time, they may grow into severe breaches that can cost your organization a fortune.

The solution is outsourcing managed IT services. They deliver customized, high-quality cybersecurity solutions at a fraction of what it would cost you to establish and maintain an in-house team. Better still, you can opt for a ‘hybrid approach,’ where you have a small in-house IT team to work on more strategic tasks and outsource support for laborious, time-sensitive roles like systems monitoring and larger projects. The hybrid approach enables you to enjoy the benefits of maintaining an internal team and outsourcing simultaneously.


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.

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