At the end of the third quarter of 2019, there were 7.9 billion records exposed due to 5,183 data breaches across dozens of websites. A lot of these breached websites are of big-name companies, and they were still ill-prepared against security threats. Do small companies even stand a chance against network hackers?
The obvious answer is ‘yes’, but cybersecurity doesn’t come naturally. You have to be aware of the most significant risks to your network and find ways to mitigate them.
According to some trusted network security companies, the weakest link for a business’s cybersecurity is its employees. Disgruntled workers who have knowledge or access to networks and administrative accounts can cause severe damage when they decide to “take revenge” on the business. That said, the best way to mitigate this risk is to remove all network access as soon as an employee leaves the company.
However, disgruntled employees are not your only problem. There are also employees who click links and download carelessly from the Internet, exposing your company to malware that can put your business at a massive risk for data breach and financial loss. That said, proper education about cybersecurity is a must.
Many businesses think that the practice of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a smart way to increase efficiency for employees that work remotely. If you have this policy in your company, you may be putting your business at risk for network breaching because personal devices won’t have the same security levels as company-issued devices.
However, issuing corporate devices to all employees is expensive and not feasible for many companies. If this is the case for you, make sure you have strict security protocols for employees’ personal devices.
3. Weak passwords
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many companies fail to secure their accounts with strong passwords. To avoid hackers from cracking your passwords, ensure that all of your accounts in your business are protected with a strong password and two-factor authentication whenever applicable.
Educate your employees about proper password protection as well. Encourage them to create strong passwords, with a different one for each account. More importantly, stress the importance of not sharing any log-in credentials, even with people they work closely with.
4. Poor patch management
Keeping your security software up to date cannot be forgone if you want to minimize the risk of malware spreading across your devices. Establish a patch management program that will make sure all of your company devices are consistently up to date. If your IT department can’t handle the implementation of updates alone, hire a network security company to help. They can provide all the services you need to keep your network updated and secure.
We’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mitigating cybersecurity risks for businesses. Nevertheless, whether you operate a large-scale business or a small startup, protecting your company against these risks is the first step in preventing data breaches and significant financial losses.