The Biggest Mistakes Businesses Make With Their I.T. Security

by | May 4, 2022 | IT Security, IT Solutions | 0 comments

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The Biggest Mistakes Businesses Make With Their I.T. Security  

Small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy, and they are increasingly becoming targets of cybercrime. With 21% of Canadian businesses having experienced a cyber attack the number is only expected to increase. This number is also backed by another unfortunate statistic – 46% of business owners say they do not have a plan in place in the event of a cyber attack. That’s a lot of businesses that are putting themselves at risk without even realizing it. In this blog post, we’re going to discuss the biggest mistakes businesses make in their I.T. security and how to avoid them. 

Trying To Manage Everything On Your Own

The first mistake is trying to do everything IT-related on your own. As a business owner, it is completely understandable that you try to manage as much as possible. Unfortunately, the idea that you can buy the most expensive anti-virus software and still be safe from hackers is nothing but an illusion. To really protect your data, it’s important to work with an IT service provider who has all of this specialized knowledge resources & abilities so they can help come up with a thorough security policy for your business. 

The best way to keep your information safe is by using an expert. An IT service provider can help you create the ideal cybersecurity plan for both employees and clients, ensuring that there are no vulnerabilities in place which could be exploited by hackers or other malicious third parties.

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Assuming It Will Not Happen To You

Another critical mistake business owners make is assuming it won’t happen to them. Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for new targets, and you can be sure they won’t ignore your small business. In some circumstances, it is not an individual they are targeting but an entire nation-state – and the collateral damage can be massive. They’ll strive to find any vulnerability in order to collect any and all sensitive customer data, payment information, and employee information. The best course of action to mitigate this is to assume that one day you will experience a breach and have a plan in place.

Failing To Update Software and Hardware Regularly 

Cybercriminals are always coming up with new ways to steal your information, so it’s important that you update the security software on every device. It is recommended to set up automatic updates with all of your software so that employees are not responsible for remembering when to do updates. When you work with an IT service provider they can help you set up automatic updates alleviating the stress of wondering if your devices are secure or not. Along with software, hardware must be updated as well. Many manufacturers have an end of life policy where they will stop releasing patches for security and often these older devices are ideal access points for data breaches. It is important to keep track of how old your devices are and make sure you update them every 3-5 years to avoid becoming a security concern. “It is recommended” at the very least to enable automatic updates, or more preferably, use an MSP to manage patching scheduling and purchasing new hardware on your behalf.

Implications Of A Data Breach

So now that we know what some of the most significant mistakes businesses make with their IT security are we can look at the implications of a data breach.

Data Loss Or Theft 

Losing your customer’s data or important files can have a massive effect on your company. If not properly backup often the data will be lost and trying to get it back is a long and expensive project- if it is even redeemable. 

Damage to reputation 

Reputation loss is an irreversible action that takes place when someone’s identity or character becomes questioned in public. It can take years of hard work just to get back on your feet again, and this task becomes more difficult if you have lost the trust of those around us as well. 

Financial Impact  

The financial cost of a breach can be devastating. In 2021 alone, 41% of Canadians that suffered a breach paid at least $100,000 or more.

 

Legal Impact 

This can include fines tied to regulatory bodies or lawsuits created by those whose data has been stolen and or used.  

 

Not Backing Up Data Regularly 

Believe it or not, very few Canadians back up their data on a daily basis. Only 8% of Canadians backup their files weekly or more with 16% backing up every few months and 23% only doing it 1-2 times a year!  Back-ups are important for more than just recovering your system in the event of a cybersecurity breach. They are also important when things go wrong with an installation or update, and you need to clean up all those files before installing new software again. 

Businesses should have a comprehensive backup plan and a well-defined disaster recovery plan. This is critical to ensure business continuity in the event of a security breach, natural disaster, or hardware failure. It is also important to store business-critical data backups in separate physical locations and networks to ensure backup data is not destroyed alongside production data. Leveraging cloud technology, or using a secured offsite location will serve you well.

 

Failing To Teach Employees About Cyber Awareness

Training employees about cyber security is a great way to keep your company safe from online attacks. You should regularly re-train both remote and in-house workers so they have the tools and knowledge to identify things like phishing attempts, fake links, and websites. With 88% of breaches being caused by human error, your employees are often the first access point to your company’s sensitive data.   

 

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In Conclusion

The biggest mistake businesses make in their I.T. Security is not having a plan at all. Many business owners think that because they are not a large company, or they are not a target for cybercriminals, they don’t need to worry about security. This could not be further from the truth. Hackers are opportunistic and will go after any business that makes it easy for them. And even if you are not hacked, losing data can be just as damaging to your business-just ask any of the companies who have had their customer’s credit card information stolen over the past few years.  Need help creating a prevention plan? Contact us today!

Maverick Gardner is a growing leader MSP (Managed Service Provider) in IT Consulting, Infrastructure. IT Services, Support and Maintenance Services, Cloud, Deployment and Procurement, Disaster Recovery, IT Outsourcing Services, and more!

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