cybersecurity mistakes

The 4 biggest cybersecurity mistakes SMBs make (and how to avoid them)

A small cybersecurity mistake can cost your business big time.

Data breaches can have big consequences not only in the moment but for a long time to come. If your company has a cybersecurity issue, it could affect public trust for your business and become a logistical and PR nightmare.

But many cybersecurity problems are easy to avoid and easy to fix. Avoid these four biggest pitfalls.

  1. Weak passwords

There’s a reason you’ve seen this tech tip over and over again—because weak passwords make your company’s information vulnerable.

Don’t make your passwords anything obvious. Some of the most common weak passwords are “password,” anything with 1234, your birthdate or your name. Luckily, it’s easy to train employees to create strong passwords (and remember them) with the help of a password manager tool.

These tools, like LastPass or Dashlane, can not only store your passwords so you do not forget them, but they also have the ability to come up with strong, unique passwords that would be hard for cybercriminals to crack.

Train your employees to stop using their birthday and use these tools instead.

  1. Lack of antivirus, or not updating software

Any computer hooked up to the internet or an internal network needs to have antivirus software because it could come into contact with many types of bugs. Working without antivirus software is like inviting an attack.

In addition to having the software, you should update it and all other programs when they have available updates. That’s because antivirus software manufacturers create updates as new patches are available and new viruses are discovered. Many other software programs also do the same thing.

Keeping everything up to date (including antivirus software) is just one part of your regular cybersecurity upkeep regimen.

  1. Not doing any testing

You might think if you have an IT team on your side to help with protection that you are golden, but you need to do more than just set up protections. You actually need to test those protections to see how well they hold up when they are under attack.

During penetration testing, for example, ethical hackers try to break into your network and reveal any vulnerabilities. At the end of the process, they should provide you with a report that provides a plan for how you or your IT team can fix the vulnerabilities.

  1. Giving the cybersecurity reins to a single person

If you have a single IT person, you could be opening yourself up to a dangerous situation. They could easily miss something and put your data in a vulnerable position. And if they’re working without oversight and decide to do something nefarious to your network, you’re in real trouble.

That’s why it’s always good to have at least one other person overseeing your IT and cybersecurity efforts, if not a whole team of people, like a third party company for IT support. Having two sets of eyes on your cybersecurity is definitely better than one.

Follow these tips for a stellar cybersecurity plan. And remember you can also learn more about cybersecurity mistakes and how to protect your small business from cybersecurity threats by contacting your managed IT services provider.

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