6 Small Business Cybersecurity Mistakes To Avoid

Protecting a small business from cyberattacks has changed significantly over the last decade. How we work, communicate, collaborate, and interact with data has created new pitfalls that must be avoided to keep your organization secure. Here are 6 of the costliest cybersecurity mistakes you should know and work to prevent.

One of the most common hazards is the mindset that a surprisingly high number of small business owners share. The mentality of “We are too small to be a target” or “we don’t have anything of value to a cybercriminal” is simply no longer true.

Any organization with data, which is nearly everyone, is a target. And small businesses are typically an easier mark due to the lack of cybersecurity policies and procedures in place. Cybercriminals know this and have focused attention on the small business sector. Understanding that your business is a primary focus of bad actors is one of the best first steps towards a better cybersecurity posture.  

Maintaining software updates on workstations and servers is one of the easiest ways to keep your organization secure. But since this process can be difficult and time consuming to do manually, small businesses often put off critical updates.

These updates close known vulnerabilities in software and is a crucial piece of any solid cybersecurity plan.  A patch management schedule that combines automated downloads and device reboots can alleviate the burden and improve security.

Some of the most prevalent cybersecurity mistakes in small business are born out of convenience. Shared accounts or shared passwords are common in the small business space because they can make things easier for those that need access.

Shared accounts create a few different cybersecurity concerns. Internally, you lose visibility as the administrator over the changes and actions of the shared account. You will be unable to accurately determine who deleted data, who changed a document, or who sent an email. Externally, the more people that know a password, the more targets there are for cybercriminals to exploit. Additionally, shared accounts often do not have multi-factor authentication enabled. This makes account sharing easier but significantly more insecure.

In today’s small business world, employee email accounts are full of hazards. Not providing your staff the tools to recognize the threats that could lead to a cybersecurity incident is a major oversight. It is essential that employees are trained to protect data and spot the characteristics of a cyberattack.

But training can be difficult to coordinate and ineffective if it only occurs once or twice a year. One of the best ways to ensure that your employees can protect your organization is with ongoing cybersecurity awareness training. This approach to security education helps your business create a cybersecurity culture and develop employee accountability.  Security awareness training will give your staff the tools to navigate the digital world, recognize threats, and respond to them properly.

Small businesses often operate on razor thin margins and are always looking for ways to be intelligent with their budgets. One of the first places owners and office admins will look to reduce costs is by reducing their technology spend. This can be a costly mistake.

Small businesses that invest in their IT infrastructure and security see productivity and profitability increase significantly. A well-rounded cybersecurity plan can mitigate the often-unexpected costs of downtime, data breaches, failed audits, and general technology mismanagement.

Everyone knows to back up critical business data. But not everyone knows what a data recovery event would mean for their business. Do you know how long it would take to restore your business data in the event of data loss? Do you know if your backup data is good? Or when the last successful backup was taken?

Not knowing could wind up costing your business significant time, money, and possibly reputation if data is permanently lost. Investing in BCDR, or Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery solutions can give you peace of mind that your data is protected and can be restored quickly.

BCDR is a system that ensures a company’s ability to continue daily operations if impacted by an unexpected incident or disaster that takes down core business systems. Think of it as an advanced backup solution. We often see businesses implement either business continuity OR disaster recovery, but not always both. Unless the two are combined, you do not have an intelligent backup solution and could be facing significant downtime in the wake of a cyberattack.

Avoiding these small business cybersecurity mistakes can help your organization stay secure. Need help creating a cybersecurity plan and protecting your business? Not sure where to start? Reach out to us today by clicking here or calling us at 816-222-1100


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