7 Security Mistakes Businesses Should Avoid

There are many important facets to a business, and security is one facet you need to be vigilant about if you want to run a successful business. Taking the security of your business can result in data theft, which can lead to litigation battles and lawsuits. It can also put your company in a bad light and give unscrupulous people access to your financial data and other important information. This is why it is essential to avoid security mistakes and stay educated about the sophisticated attacks that spring up daily. By doing so, you will help to sustain your company and earn the trust of your clients or customers. That said, here are some errors your company might be making and how to correct or avoid them.

  • Neglecting software updates

Receiving countless reminders to update your software can be annoying. However, they are for a good cause. This is because they ensure that your systems or devices are healthy. Software updates come with patches for any security vulnerabilities your previous version might have had. It is important to note that cybercriminals are always on the lookout for room to operate. By keeping up with your updates, you rid them of finding weaknesses to exploit and reduce the chances of attack. Have you ever seen bug fixes when reading about the latest update? They ensure that the glitches in your software don’t cause data loss and crashes to your system. They also enhance performance and stability, which makes operations smooth. 

  • Not creating strong passwords

If you are like most people who easily forget their passwords and are constantly creating new ones, then you have probably designated one password for all your business accounts. While this might seem like an easy way out, it is not healthy security-wise. Forming strong passwords that go beyond ‘password1’ is a strategic process. It would be best to use a long and random one even if you fear you could forget it. Avoid using common information like the date your institution was established or your name. Use different passwords for accounts and use a password manager if necessary. Ensure you mix characters like symbols in upper and lower cases. It would be advisable to avoid one-word passwords as well. They are easy to predict or break, especially if the word is associated with your personal details. To reduce the possibility of slip-ups, grant access to a few people when it comes to the passwords you create. When an employee leaves your organization, it would be best to change your passwords to avoid security breaches.

  • No security policies

In any organization, security policies are essential. They are documents that communicate how your business protects its physical and IT systems. As cybersecurity advances, these papers are subject to change or amendments. They provide a concise explanation of how a company plans to execute its security measures and protect intellectual property when there is an attack on your system. To create an effective policy, consider consulting a cyber security expert who will help you navigate the world of security with confidence. Also, ensure your policies are written in simple terms that the non-tech employee can read and understand. Avoid long, winding sentences and stick to short ones. While there may be a lot to cover, focus on what really matters and apply it to each department. If you are informing your workforce on what to avoid, be specific about the what and why. For instance, if you tell them not to click on suspicious links, inform them that they could be a gateway to a system infiltration. It would be beneficial to add incentives to the consequences stated as well. This will encourage your employees to follow the instructions and preventative measures you lay down for them. You can also invest in live demonstrations where you invite professionals to take your employees through interactive experiments or gamified exercises.

  • Not encrypting sensitive data

There are three important tools that businesses have when it comes to ensuring strong security. These are encryption, authentication, and authorization. Encryption is one of the first layers that protects your data from the prying eyes of cybercriminals. In simple terms, it is the encoding of data to make it unreadable or inaccessible to unauthorized persons. While it may sound complicated, it is quite a simple process. All you need is an encryption key that uses an algorithm to translate original or readable text into an unreadable one. Remember to keep the encryption key secure by keeping it in an encrypted file and away from unauthorized parties. For instance, if your key is on your PC, limit the number of users who can access it. Though you might think that certain data can’t be found because of where they have been stored, it is essential to encrypt all to be on the safer side. Many big companies have made this mistake and fallen prey to cybercrime.

  • Not using antivirus software

Viruses can affect  and wreak havoc on your devices or systems without your knowledge. It affects your device’s performance and destroys user data. Some of the signs that your computer may be affected are frequent system crashes, deleted files, and the inability to perform any task on your device. This is why installing an antivirus can save you a lot of trouble, time, and money. Software like Norton regularly scans your system and deals with viruses without your knowledge. Sometimes, you can receive spam and pop-up ads that are viruses in disguise. The antivirus software can block their direct access to your network. Do you use transferable devices like a USB? Did you know that they can carry viruses that can easily transfer to your device? Since it is impossible to ban the use of removable devices in your organization, your best bet is an antivirus. You can’t keep an eye on every site your employees access, but your software can. It limits their web access and disallows your exposure to hackers.

  • Not hiring professionals

Cybersecurity is a specialized and complex field. It is more than creating strong passwords and installing antivirus. While it may look like a job you can handle yourself, it is advisable to hire a professional who is knowledgeable and can keep an eye on your systems while being quick to act efficiently when a crisis arises. During your hiring process, you need to set a competitive salary, as cybersecurity professionals are in high demand. While certifications and degrees are important, it is crucial to assess their skills and experience. Personal projects also speak volumes about how well they can handle your system. Be precise about their job description and avoid ambiguity. If you already have a professional, invest in their training by introducing them to programs or sending them to conferences.

  • Not training employees

No matter how strong your security is, your employees can become a weak link if you don’t train them adequately. Many companies have had their system hacked into because an employee unknowingly signed a document or shared sensitive data with a hacker. This mistake cost them millions in bribes, their reputation, and the trust of their consumers. If possible, invest in monthly training sessions that will keep them up-to-date with the tricks of unscrupulous people. Teaching them to identify scams is also crucial. Sometimes, a cybercriminal may outwit your employee, but information on how to handle these instances can prevent further damage.

Security is an important aspect of every business. With these steps, you can protect your business and data and guarantee success.

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