With massive cyber data breaches making headlines on a regular basis, it’s hard to ignore the fact that data security is becoming increasingly important. Unfortunately, there are still far too many businesses that don’t understand just how serious the threat is—and that can be dangerous.
Recent research demonstrates that the growing cybersecurity threat isn’t a trend affecting only big, national companies. It’s just as serious—if not more serious—for all businesses to be prepared because data breaches and cyber-attacks are very real possibilities. According to the National Small Business Association, 44 percent of small businesses report being the victim of a cyber-attack, and the number of data breaches reported each year continues to climb. If that’s not alarming enough, 60 percent of SMBs that are breached go out of business within six months.
Bad habits are hard to break, and that’s especially true when it comes to small businesses and cyber security. After all, it’s easy for SMBs to ignore cyber security because they think “that will never happen to me.” But, letting things slide can end up creating real security concerns.
Here are a few common errors and fixes
- The Post-It full of passwords
Are you in one of those offices where there are least a few desks with Post-It notes full of passwords stuck to the bottom of a computer monitor. Yes, it’s convenient, but it also provides easy access to sensitive information to people who shouldn’t have it—like disgruntled employees or a thief during a break-in.
The Fix: Keep passwords out of sight, secure and only accessible by those who need to know.
- Out-dated operating systems
Technology is an important part of every business, but it’s often not a priority. That’s how things like updating operating systems fall through the cracks or get ignored until they become a serious security threat. For example, do you still have systems running on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003? If you’re running a more recent operating system, are you keeping it up to date? If you don’t know, find out and let our professionals help.
The Fix: If you are running outdated operating systems, it’s a good opportunity to transition to something more secure.
- Security software that never gets updated
Some business owners think they’re secure because they invested in a firewall or installed antivirus software on their machines. But odds are they didn’t take the next step and pay for subscriptions or updates to go with it, which means they aren’t nearly as secure as they think.
The Fix: When you think about cyber security make sure you updated the software and establish automated updates.
- Former employees still have access
Lax password policies and passwords which don’t expire create another security concern. If you don’t set passwords to expire regularly, there’s a good chance a number of former employees still have access to their system. That doesn’t necessarily mean any of them will do something malicious, but why take the risk?
The Fix: Set up a solid password policy, and explain why it’s important to have passwords that expire regularly. Yes, employees might think it’s a hassle at first, but the improved security will be worth it. While you’re at it, teach your employees the best practices for choosing a strong password that’s easy to remember but hard to guess.Use these common cyber security mistakes as learning opportunities, to help make your businesses safer by addressing security concerns.
Questions that CompuVault can help you with:
What type of security is best for you?
What data and systems should we protect to stay in business?
What kind of backup storage should we have?
How do online backups help with security? Is it really as important as our physical security?
Do cloud based solutions really keep us in compliance with HIPAA, SOX, PCI, and FINRA standards?
Will we be safer?
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