Cybersecurity has become one of the biggest concerns for organizations today. As businesses transform themselves digitally, the need to keep up with the ever-increasing cyber attacks is also increasing.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercrimes increased by 600%! Studies reveal that the growing number and severity of cyber attacks will cost almost $10.5 trillion for companies globally by 2025.
However, the real problem is that with technological advancements, cybercriminals are getting more creative and unpredictable with their attempts. You can never predict when and how they will strike your databases, hijack your personal devices, access your operating systems, and steal your information.
So, it is crucial to adopt advanced cybersecurity practices that can protect you from the malicious activity and potential threats of these criminals. It is also crucial not to rely on your decade-old online security practices, as they will not provide adequate protection for you against a breach. If anything, they will lead you to worsening problems.
In this post, we will walk you through 7 outdated cybersecurity practices that must be avoided at all costs. Read on to learn more.
1. Changing Passwords Frequently
While this may sound negligent or different from the usual advice, frequently changing passwords can do more harm than good if you do it wrong. How? Let us explain.
When people are forced to change their passwords frequently, they tend to choose simpler and easy-to-remember passwords for all their accounts.
Not only this, but sometimes they use the same passwords for multiple accounts, thereby multiplying the risk of hacking. Even if one of your online accounts or devices gets compromised, the hackers can conveniently use the same passwords for other accounts and gain unauthorized access to them as well.
On the other hand, when people create unique and complicated passwords, they tend to forget them due to frequent changes. This leads to them getting locked out of their online accounts or to increased downtime. So, what is the best solution?
Well, there are two things that you can do. One, you can ask your employees to use unique and strong passwords and only change them when they believe their accounts have been compromised. Or, two, you can use a reliable password manager service to record all your passwords and help you create stronger ones when needed. This decreases the risk of cybersecurity breaches and adds another layer of protection to your infrastructure.
2. Not Paying Attention to Security Updates
While this may sound unbelievable to some, many people ignore security updates. While updating your software can be time-consuming, protecting your applications and devices is crucial. These updates carry important security patches that make your software more robust and secure and keep outdated systems from creating new cybersecurity risks for your organization.
Most cyber attackers rely on people’s aversion to security updates. They hope you will ignore these security updates and leave your devices and software vulnerable. So, when you do so, you are only inviting them to attack your software and hack your sensitive information.
Don’t ever ignore a security update, no matter how minor. Keep on checking the availability of updates and download them as soon as possible. Do not make it easier for the hacker to breach your security system, gain unauthorized access to your devices, and succeed in their malicious intent. A broad cybersecurity strategy must also take care of the basics like regular updates.
3. Believing that Two-Factor Authentication is Enough to Protect Your Organization
Two-factor authentication offers an additional layer of security to your devices. However, believing it is enough to protect you from hackers can be a mistake.
The main purpose of two-factor authentication is to act as a shield against hackers who manage to figure out or uncover your username and password. It is usually implemented in the form of one time authorization codes or OTAC.
However, we should not forget that cybercriminals are smarter than ever. So, they understand how to target these OTACs through phishing attacks. They try to influence you to reveal your one-time authorization code and gain access to your computers, mobile devices, and more.
Fortunately, there is a super effective solution that can help you tackle this issue. And that is – Multi-factor authentication or MFA. It involves factors that only the actual users of the devices know or possess, like unique security questions or fingerprints. This takes your online security a notch higher.
4. Not Providing Up-to-Date Cybersecurity Training to Your Employees
When it comes to your company’s online security, employees can be the weakest link. Cybercriminals often target your employees through phishing emails and business email compromise (BEC).
So, it is crucial to provide cybersecurity training to your employees. But as an employer, your job isn’t done yet. It is your responsibility to keep your employees up-to-date with all the latest cybersecurity risks, provide them with the right tools to safeguard the organization, and help them remain sharp and aware all the time.
Make sure to outline clear security plans and policies and inform your employees about them. Whenever you update these policies, ensure that all of your employees are aware of them to avoid confusion and avoid human error.
5. Not Testing Your Cybersecurity Plan
Earlier on, employers believed that once they had a security plan in place, their job was done, at least for a number of years. While this strategy used to work 20 years ago, it isn’t relevant today. New online security threats are emerging daily, so it is essential to test and refine your plans regularly.
Conducting a timely online security audit is crucial to keep those malicious actors at bay and better navigate the current threat landscape. Regular testing of your programs and policies enables you to spot security risks and resolve them before it is too late.
An extensive cybersecurity audit keeps you one step ahead of hackers. It helps you deal with security vulnerabilities, boosts access controls, and ensures that everything is up-to-date.
6. Using Outdated Software and Cybersecurity Tools
Many people download a cybersecurity tool once and believe it will serve them for a lifetime. This cannot be further from the truth! Using outdated software, antivirus tools, firewalls, or substandard online services, often does a great deal of harm to your personal, small business, or corporate network. They are practically irrelevant and cannot protect you from the clutches of these hackers.
Thus, investing in advanced cybersecurity technology, tools, and online services like VPN (private network) is essential. While these tools may cost you more, they will save you a lot of trouble in the future.
7. Using a Complicated Cybersecurity Infrastructure
Many business owners believe that using complex security policies and infrastructure are more powerful. However, this isn’t true. In fact, the simpler your security plans are, the better they will be for you. While the tools and policies you use need to be powerful and effective, they do not have to be complicated at all.
Keeping things simple will help your employees identify security threats and take the necessary action on time. On the other hand, when you complicate things, it can leave your employees confused, which increases the risk of security breaches, and other problems.
Today, companies are facing a pressing need to adopt robust cybersecurity practices to safeguard themselves and keep hackers at bay. Old security practices and methods are no longer helpful since these criminals have already found their way around them.
So, if you still rely on any of the above practices, it is time to say goodbye to them. With the right plan and top-notch security practices, protecting your organization from these security threats becomes easier.
So, work on creating new and better plans for online security practices and continual training for your security team and every employee. This will ensure your organization stays safe during these uncertain times.
Tech Masters helps business owners overcome hurdles, streamline their workflow, and increase productivity with top-notch, individually tailored IT support plans. We handle security, data analysis, network management, and so much more. Connect with us today to learn more and claim your free business IT assessment.
To learn more about cybersecurity, check out our frequently asked questions below.
What are the 5 main threats to cyber security?
The five main cyber security threats that can cause serious harm to your company’s data include the following:
- Ransomware attack
- Data leakage
- Business Email Compromise
- Weak Passwords
What are the security risks of outdated software?
Using outdated software can harm your organization in several ways. For example, it can lead to unreliable performance and data loss when the software fails. Cybercriminals also find it easy to hack such software and conduct data breaches. Furthermore, outdated software is also more vulnerable to ransomware and malware attacks.
What are 10 good cybersecurity practices?
Using good cybersecurity practices can go a long way in helping you safeguard your organization against cyber criminals. Here are the top 10 cybersecurity practices that everyone should try to adopt:
- Keeping all your software and applications up-to-date.
- Don’t open suspicious emails or click on suspicious links so you can avoid phishing scams.
- Use top-notch anti-virus and anti-malware software.
- Always use a good VPN so that your connections can stay private.
- Enable multi-factor authentication to add a layer of security to your devices.
- Disable all the features you do not need on your mobile devices. For example, turn off your Bluetooth and Location service when you aren’t using them.
- Always keep more than one backup copy of all your important files and databases.
- Don’t use public networks for doing banking and other financial tasks. In fact, as much as possible, avoid using public networks at all.
- Offer up-to-date cybersecurity training to your employees.
- Before entering your personal details on a website, double-check for HTTPS. A website that doesn’t have HTTPS can be potentially harmful.
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