It would be fair to say that the world of cyber security has turned on its head over recent years. Roll the clock back a couple of decades, and anti-virus software was about as seriously as most companies took it. Nowadays, things are much more stringent.
Of course, this is perfectly understandable. Over recent times the world, and many small businesses, have been rocked by some monumental cyber-attacks. Companies have been taken offline, held to ransom, and had all sorts of other losses. Ultimately, business owners simply cannot afford to ignore these sorts of threats anymore.
The problem is that this is just one issue of many to resolve for owners. Bearing this in mind, we have tried to condense the topic into four basic mistakes – to highlight the main threats that could face your organization if you don’t take the adequate steps.
Mistake #1 – Assuming that you are not a target
This is a mistake that is often made by small businesses. They may feel that they are not a big enough target to warrant the attention of cybercriminals. The problem with this line of thinking is that it underestimates the capabilities of cybercriminals. They are not just targeting large businesses – they are targeting everyone.
In fact, small businesses may be an even more attractive target for cybercriminals. This is because they are likely to have weaker security protocols in place, and they may be less likely to have the resources to recover from an attack.
Mistake #2 – Not having a cyber security policy
This is another big mistake that small businesses make. Simply put, if you don’t have a policy in place, you don’t have any guidance on dealing with a cyber-attack. This is a critical issue, as the first few hours after an attack are often the most important in limiting the damage done.
A good cyber security policy should include guidelines on things such as password protection, data backup, and acceptable use of technology. It should also be reviewed and updated regularly.
Mistake #3 – Not hiring the right IT people
Next, let’s talk about the people you are turning to in a bid to sort the issue out. Again, as a small business owner, budgets are low, but you still need to do the right due diligence.
In other words, just because someone works in IT and understands how to install Office, it doesn’t mean to say they are an expert at preventing these sorts of issues. Look into their background; is security one of their specialties? Do they have the right kind of indemnity insurance, which at least indicates they are trustworthy? Are they throwing around jargon without explaining what it really means? If you spot any red flags, move on to someone else. It’s not worth the risk.
Mistake #4 – Not training staff properly
Finally, staff are often the weakest link when it comes to cyber security. They may be tempted to open fraudulent emails or click on links that they shouldn’t. They may also be unaware of the dangers of using public Wi-Fi networks.
It is therefore critical that staff are adequately trained in cyber security. This should include training on identifying phishing emails and how to stay safe online. Staff should also be made aware of the consequences of a data breach.