7 Cybersecurity Mistakes To Avoid

Cybersecurity Mistakes to Avoid: Between making your website look great, creating strong content, thinking about SEO, trying to make sales and encouraging sign-ups, running a business online can keep you pretty busy.

The problem is that many company owners get so hung up on conversion rates, sales and building their brand. And that they neglect something extremely important – cybersecurity and the protection of their business.

With so much to think about already, security might not even come close to the top of your list. But if you hope to protect your company and its users, then this really needs to change.

Breaches are becoming increasingly common and cybercrime is a real threat for many businesses. Depending on the nature of your business, your customers or your users, they will likely be making purchases or sharing personal data with you.

Think about the damage a security breach could do; you could have sensitive data stolen and ultimately deter people from using your company in the future. Not to mention with new General Data Protection Regulations in place you could find yourself in hot water should there be a breach.

These are just some of the reasons that cybersecurity needs to be one of your main priorities. And putting a good security strategy in place is a good start.

But to help you out further, we’ve compiled a list of seven cybersecurity mistakes you need to avoid in order to start protecting your business right away.

1. Believing it could never happen to you

One of the most common misconceptions about cybersecurity is that it could never happen to you. No matter how big or small your business, don’t be fooled into thinking that a cyberattack could never happen to you.

There are a number of reasons why a criminal might want to access your site or data. From stealing personal information to using your site as a server for illegal activity, no business is immune to breaches or attacks.

The sooner you realize that cybercrime could affect your business in a number of negative ways and that it is a real possibility, the sooner you can begin putting a plan in place to combat this.

2. Not educating yourself on cybersecurity basics

There are a number of small steps you can take in the first instance to protect your business. By neglecting to learn the basics you open yourself up to a cyber-attack.

This could be as simple as choosing strong passwords and using safe, secure private networks. But no matter how basic it might seem, if you’re not clued up about how to keep your website and business safe, then you run the risk of falling victim to cybercriminals.

3. Not training anyone else

Moving on from our previous point, it is also an oversight not to train anyone else in your business about the basics. Growing your knowledge of cybersecurity is a good first step, but it also pays to educate your team as well.

Employees are often targeted and viewed by cybercriminals as the easiest way to access your data. So teaching them security best practices helps to boost your efforts and reduce the risk of your business suffering a breach.

4. Not testing your security systems

Once you’ve got a security system in place, it can be tempting to sit back and assume your work is done. But this an oversight that could cost you. There are a number of tools out there, some paid-for and some free, which allow you to act as if you were a cybercriminal and test the security of your own website.

Investing time to trial these tools can highlight any gaps in your security system and show you any potential threats. This way you can begin working through them one by one for maximum results.

5. Neglecting vendor risks

Another important thing you might not take into consideration is that these breaches don’t always have to come directly from your site. Some cybercriminals hack into the systems of vendors and can gain access to your site or data in this way.

In fact, in one high profile case, Marriott International became victims of a data breach after acquiring Starwood which had been hacked two years previously.

The hackers were then able to access data from Marriott as a result, compromising the personal data of over 30 million of its customers and costing them a huge fine.

This is because unfortunately, not everyone takes their security seriously. So you need to make sure you choose your vendors wisely to minimise this risk.

Do your research effectively beforehand and if there’s a particular company you want to work with, be sure to ask them what systems they have in place to protect themselves and as a result, you.

6. Failing to locate and track your data

Most businesses collect and store sensitive data either of their own, from customers or from users of their website. The problem is, many don’t put much thought into how and where this is being stored and the flow of movement of this data.

For example, is it being shared through a secure network or not? As part of GDPR and cybersecurity best practise, it’s important that you understand the movement of information to and from your business and that you know where all sensitive data is located.

It’s also important that you’ve got systems in place to protect and backup this data. Being unsure or failing to locate data can have serious consequences for your company.

7. Trying to do everything alone

Finally, you need to make sure you haven’t bitten off more than you can chew. While it’s a good idea to do your research and get clued up about all thing’s cybersecurity, don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s better if you go it alone.

You should get the support of your employees and help to educate them too. You could also hire professionals to assess your security systems and help you put a plan in place to protect your data.

Finally, don’t be afraid to speak to system operators or those providing security solutions and ask them lots of questions. The more you know and the more support you get, the better equipped you are to protect your business and deal with a security breach should one arise.