• The 8 Most Common IT Security Mistakes Businesses Make

    | Updated on January 11, 2023

    If you have a business, falling victim to a cybercrime attempt isn’t a matter of if but when. Criminals want sensitive financial data, which means that IT security should be a priority for businesses of all sizes. Avoiding these eight common security mistakes protects companies, vendors, and customers. 

    The Keys to Enterprise-Grade Security

    Businesses that want to protect their data should invest in enterprise-grade security. Besides regularly reviewing security policies, the steps also involve:

    • Routine penetration testing  
    • Training workers on cybersecurity best practices, i.e., strong passwords
    • Develop a test, patch, and backup routine
    • Track which users have access to which network permissions 

    Skipping these steps can cause vulnerabilities for a company of any size. Companies should use enterprise-grade security tools like network access controls, data loss protection, and enterprise Kubernetes management tools. Businesses need strong firewalls, endpoint protection, and password management programs with rigorous authentication steps. 

    Even with the security protocols, businesses and their employees can still make mistakes that open systems to cybercriminals. That’s why the human component of cybersecurity is just as critical as the technical one. 

    Engaging with Potentially Problematic Emails

    Emails can be problematic for enterprise security, especially when employees open attachments or forward emails around the office. Email spammers have learned how to disguise their phishing emails to look like emails from legitimate and reputable companies. 

    IT experts need to show their employees how to recognize what spam looks like so their employees stop putting people at risk. The training should teach employees about responding to emails that aren’t directly from customers, vendors, or potential business connections. Employers can train their employees to identify spam and phishing emails. 

    Not Training Employees on the Latest Security Patches

    When employers implement new security measures, they should train all their employees. Failing to do so puts the entire business at risk of attack. 

    Employees should learn how and when to update their passwords and implement authentication protocols. Team members should also know how to safely access systems at home and work. Lastly, there should be a protocol for employees to report any security issues or vulnerabilities that come to their attention. 

    Trusting the Cloud for Security

    The cloud is a beneficial tool for businesses because it gives them a plethora of easy-to-access storage. While many cloud systems have private security, it does not provide an enterprise-level system for individual companies. Businesses need to have security that protects their data while moving it in and out of the cloud. 

    Using Weak Passwords with No Authentication Protocols

    Businesses need robust password protocols along with authentication protocols. Administrators should not allow employees to use the same password on more than one application, and all passwords need updating at a routine interval. 

    Biometric passwords can be handy for companies that want additional protection. Companies need to develop standards for passwords and include, at a minimum, two-factor authentication systems. Many businesses also use one-time access code systems or tokens to prevent cyberhackers from accessing systems. 

    Removing IT Assets

    Companies need to take care of old IT assets by removing them properly. Businesses cannot simply throw away old computer systems or give away old hardware devices. When companies don’t take care of their old IT assets, they open themselves to potential data breaches. 

    Deleting files isn’t enough to protect systems. Businesses should wipe their hard drives or destroy them to the point that nothing is accessible. IT experts can help enterprises to remove their old IT assets. 

    Clicking on Advertisements

    Another dangerous problem exposing businesses to data breaches is when employees click on advertisements. Many clickbait advertisements can bring malware into your system, so employees should be told not to click on any advertisements. 

    Businesses can protect themselves by installing anti-malware programs and firewalls. When employees have protocols regarding their email and online practices, they are more likely to make good choices by not engaging with potentially dangerous websites and advertisements.  

    Believing That Hackers Won’t Attack

    Businesses that still believe cybercriminals won’t attack their systems create a dangerous world for their customers, employees, and vendors. Hackers know how to get into systems without detection. Some will go in for a big smash-and-grab job. Others will enter and exit the system, taking small bits of data throughout several break-ins. Both are dangerous. 

    Hackers will attack because data is valuable. It is better to prepare for a potential attack and add security systems rather than waiting to recover and re-establish your reputation. Businesses that suffer a breach struggle to regain the trust of their customers and employees. When hackers acquire sensitive financial information, they can create serious problems for everyone involved. 

    Rather than thinking your business data isn’t something hackers would want, trust that they do. Protecting your business from cyber hackers isn’t just about you. It’s about everyone who has ever made a purchase, worked for you, or provided a service to you. These companies and individuals deserve cybersafety while they do business with you. 

    Allowing Employees to Access Secure Information on Their Devices

    With so many employees working from home on their devices, businesses have created potential problems that could open all of their systems to hackers. Personal computers and laptops rarely have the same security as computers in brick-and-mortar businesses. 

    Employers need to establish security protocols for their remote workers. Businesses can send secure devices home with their employees, or they can provide enterprise-level security protection for their remote employees. 

    Get the Security Your Business Needs

    With cyberattacks wreaking havoc on businesses worldwide, companies of all sizes need to use enterprise-level security protocols. Neglecting security systems leaves employees, customers, and vendors open to data breaches that expose their financial data and personal information. 

    When business owners think they won’t fall victim to a breach, they put their businesses at risk. Data is valuable, and hackers will do what they can to retrieve everything from phone numbers and Social Security numbers to logins and credit card information. Once cybercriminals have that information, there isn’t much you can do to recover from the breach. When it comes to cybersecurity, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 

    Shinely Ainsworth
    Social Media and Software Writer
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