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5 Biggest Cybersecurity mistakes and how your business avoids them

15 Jun 2021 Lumina Technologies

IT security strengthens and protects your business from any cyber security risks. It prevents any unauthorised access from being able to access your assets such as PCs, WiFi networks and databases.

Any IT downtime will have an effect on productivity and could end up costing your company not only in terms of lost income but also the brand reputation and trust, which are much more difficult to spring back from. That is why our IT security services go much further than just providing protection against cyber breaches and advise on steps you can take to enable your business remains resilient. In the event of a break-in continuity, for example, your company will benefit from a robust and tested disaster recovery plan to get you back up and running as quickly as possible.

IT Security is hugely dependent on good governance and staff awareness of cyber security best practice is a vital component in the fight against hacking and phishing attacks and is an integral part of your IT security strategy.

Below are the five most common mistakes made when it comes to defending a businesses assets from cybercriminals and how to prevent them.

Assuming your business is not a target

Whether you are an enterprise or an SMB, companies in every sector regardless of their size are vulnerable to attacks.

Most of the headline news stories are about theft of credit card data or personally identifiable information from well known brands. As a result, smaller companies or businesses that don’t handle this type of data often believe they are not a target for cybercriminals. In reality, these criminals are conducting massive targeted campaigns in every sector of the economy to penetrate networks and gain information and assets. Every business has information of value to a cybercriminal and every organisation needs to recognise that fact and work to detect and prevent the potentially devastating damage cyber attacks can cause.

What if your company network was damaged beyond repair for a couple of weeks? What if, as a result, payroll couldn’t be paid, communication with clients was stalled or product websites shut down? What if a hacker could sabotage a company’s most vital equipment? Increasingly, the cybercriminals are not only taking data, but using digital attacks to physically destroy real assets.

Your business needs to be taking this risk seriously. Once your company’s leadership starts addressing cybersecurity as a business priority, find qualified security experts such as Lumina Technologies to conduct an audit and assessment and test and identify vulnerabilities throughout the company’s technology, people and processes.

Approaching Cybersecurity as ‘just an IT Issue’

Employees are the weak link in an organisation’s network security. They are frequently exposed to sophisticated phishing and ransomware attacks. In fact, 91% of successful data breaches started with a spear-phishing attack. Employees need to be trained and remain on their toes with security top of mind.

This is not “the Board’s problem.” Technology is a part of the solution, but your response requires comprehensive strategy, policy and processes. While the board may ultimately be the “accountable executives,” everyone in the business owns the data and has a responsibility to protect the company’s assets.

Companies need to focus not only on protecting personally identifiable information but also on guarding intellectual property. Cybersecurity attacks impact your business’s bottom line, financial position, reputation and operations, and having clear policies and processes in place will help companies and their employees to most effectively respond.

Through training, education and simulations, the entire company—from the top down—should learn and how to identify threats and prevent and recover from attacks.

Failing to keep your network up to date

Businesses will not be able to prevent every attack as networks and the target space are too broad and there are too many opportunities for cybercriminals to get in. But failing to understand the architecture of your network and keep your software patched and up to date opens the door for a hacker to breach your systems with little-to-no resistance.

Whether you outsource your IT or have an internal IT team, your business must implement strong protocols to ensure all software is updated in a timely manner. You should know where all your critical data is and how big your network is, and how it is segmented. By not doing so you are putting the company at unnecessary risk.

Relying just on anti-virus software for protection

Antivirus software is designed to protect you against known viruses. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are creating new and “improved” viruses and other ways of attacking systems on a daily basis and these new, unknown threats aren’t something your antivirus software is set up to handle. That’s why you need to implement something a little more robust.

A multi-layered approach is key, you need to consider your network, your data and password management, the regulations in place and guidelines for your users and the training available to them.

A disaster recovery plan is also vital and focuses mainly on restoring an IT infrastructure and operations after a crisis. Good planning will tackle problems after an attack and ensure your staff have access to your data and systems to enable them to work.

Failing to monitor your endpoints

Increasingly, businesses and their users are incorporating practices to make access to data more fluid and flexible working is now a key consideration for any organisation. This has resulted in an increase in BYOD (bring your own device) and the need for policies around this. In addition, threats targeting mobile device access and networks create multiple endpoint vulnerabilities. Employees working from home or connecting to corporate networks to work on the go means that the enterprise network security perimeter is more vulnerable than ever before.

The threat landscape is also becoming much more complicated. Cybercriminals are always coming up with new ways to gain access, steal data and information or manipulate users into giving out sensitive information.

In the past, most security breaches came in through the network. Today, however, threats are increasingly coming in through endpoints, which means just having network protection is not enough. Your organisation’s security must maintain greater control over access points to prevent the vulnerabilities that can arise through the increased use of remote devices.

Endpoint security protects all points of entry from risks or malicious attacks. Businesses can ensure endpoint compliance with data security standards, and can maintain better control over the growing number and type of access points to the network.

Endpoint security and management go hand in hand. Lack of visibility, unpatched IT systems and apps, and misconfigured operating systems can lead to vulnerabilities that make your environment much more vulnerable, less secure and less productive.

Lumina Technologies are IT Security experts, able to protect your IT infrastructure, network and data from both external threats and accidental loss, making sure you stay up and running and recover quickly when the worst happens. We also offer security awareness training. Contact us for more information.

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