Hacker poses cybersecurity risk

How to measure cybersecurity risks

You might think cybersecurity risks are under control because you haven’t heard any high-profile reports in the news lately. But you’re wrong. Cyber attacks are increasing, with no end in sight. And the bad actors (hackers) are stronger, more sophisticated, better organized and better funded to commit these crimes than ever.

To add insult to injury, cybersecurity risks also come in the form of long-time myths. These myths cause numerous financial losses, ruined reputations and even a total loss of business. As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we want you to know about the most common myths. We also want to teach you how to protect yourself from the most common cybersecurity risks.

Myth: A Strong Password is Protects Data on Its Own

After many years, people still learn that a strong password is enough to protect your business. But the reality is a strong password, two-factor authentication and monitoring are the real requirements to protect your IT system. But it doesn’t stop there. Ask yourself how much data is currently available to your staff. Once an employee is in your system, how much access do they genuinely need? Also, how aware are you of who has access to your data and if their access violates any federal laws or regulations?

Myth: Hackers Don’t Target Small or Medium-sized Businesses

Quite often, high-profile cyber attacks in the news overshadow the seriousness of hacking on all levels. Those reports can be misleading to small- and medium-sized business owners and give them a false sense of security. In fact, the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report stated that nearly 60% of data breaches target small businesses. Remember to keep your guard up and assume your company has a greater chance of than what you once thought.

Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Software

We all use anti-virus and anti-malware software to help us keep our systems clean and safe. The problem is the software can only protect you from known issues. Neither can detect a new threat, unknown hack or brute force intrusion. That’s why employee security training, insider threat detection and disaster protection methods play a huge part in a total comprehensive cybersecurity plan.

Myth: Personal Devices Don’t Need Securing

This myth practice, when discovered, remains an ongoing violation of SMB “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policies. As a decisionmaker, you should know how serious it is when employees ignore the policy. When your employee brings a mobile device from home and logs into your secure system, a hacker is free to gain access to your files. That is because the employee’s device(s) have not been approved under your BYOD policy.

Myth: Cybersecurity Risk Threats Only Come From The Outside

In a 2017 Security Intelligence report, a whopping 75% of cyber attacks were due to insider threats. 83% of those breaches were due to human error. What were some of the mistakes?

  • Using easy-to-guess passwords
  • Failing to apply a needed update patch
  • Leaving physical devices in an unsafe area

Inside threats can come from almost anyone. It might be a disgruntled employee, wanting revenge, or a model employee without proper cybersecurity risk training. That is why it is vital to have a system in place to monitor and deter insider threats.

The days of the hooded, unseen face of the low-life hacker are gone. Now they wear suits and might be your next-door neighbor, a childhood friend or even an employee. For more information about cybersecurity risk planning, data protection, and employee training, contact your IT managed services provider.