Businesses require strong cybersecurity practices to keep their networks and devices secure from cyber threats. After all, latest findings reveal that data breaches cost businesses an average of $3.92 million.
Organizations are increasingly becoming aware of the threats they can face and the measures to counter them. Expenditure in the cybersecurity industry has reached around $43 billion this year.
However, plenty of misconceptions pertaining to the way cybersecurity works continue to exist. These myths can have real and detrimental consequences, such as downtime, productivity loss, and reputation damage, for businesses.
Common Cyber security Misconceptions That Need to Disappear
Here’s a look at the various cybersecurity myths that need to be shattered to make businesses more secure.
Myth 1. Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Aren’t Targeted by Hackers
Fact: Small and medium-sized businesses can easily become victims of data breach and cyber-attacks. Keeping any sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, addresses, and personal information, unprotected can make a business a potential target.
Even if the data does not have resale value on the dark web, it may be important to day-to-day business operations. For instance, ransomware can make data unusable unless a business pays heavily for a decryption key. As a result, cyber-attacks can become highly profitable for hackers even if the targeted data is low in value.
Further, many businesses are not targeted specifically, but become victims of spray-and-pray attacks. These attacks are random and can infiltrate businesses irrespective of their size. Hackers use automated systems to access a list of email addresses and launch widespread phishing campaigns and web-hosted malware delivery to as many businesses as possible.
Small businesses also tend to be easier targets for hackers because most cannot afford advanced data protection solutions. Often, they also lack a skilled IT security team. Fortunately, small and medium businesses can hire IT support specialists, and get robust cybersecurity technology and services at a flat monthly fee, thereby safeguarding themselves from potential threats at affordable rates.
Myth 2. Cybersecurity Threats Come Only from the Outside
Fact: The truth is, threats can come from inside a business as well. In fact, since many organizations are unable to address threats from within, industry experts opine that insider threats have become the primary concern for every security leader.
A malicious insider can be a disgruntled employee, a former staff with a grudge, or just an ignorant user on a business network who can grant unauthorized access to the organization’s critical data, resulting in a massive breach.
As per a recent survey report released by the Ponemon Institute, insider threats have increased by 47%, i.e. from 3,200 in 2018 to 4,716 in 2020. It further states that the cost of insider threat incidents has also risen by 31%, i.e. from $8.76 million in 2018 to $11.45 million in 2020.
Businesses can leverage the services of an IT consultancy provider to mitigate insider threats. From constant monitoring to identifying abnormal employee behavior, IT support providers can help small businesses with seamless insider threat management.
Myth 3. HTTPS Is Always Secure
Fact: Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is an extension of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). It keeps data encrypted when it is being transmitted and is used for secure communication over a computer network. The communication protocol is encrypted using Transport Layer Security (TLS), which is vulnerable to various types of attacks.
According to new findings, 5.5% of HTTPS sites have potentially exploitable TLS vulnerabilities. These flaws are caused by a combination of issues in the way sites implement TLS encryption schemes and the failure to patch known bugs. These vulnerabilities allow eavesdroppers to view the data passing over encrypted connections and then change it to successfully perform man-in-the-middle attacks.
Myth 4. Passwords Are Adequate Security
Fact: Even strong passwords are not enough to keep businesses safe. Hackers can compromise them easily through the following tactics.
- Credential Stuffing
In this, hackers analyze stolen credentials such as passwords and usernames against multiple accounts to see if there is a match. A lot of users apply the same password on different sites, giving hackers a good chance of identifying and targeting them.
Businesses can safeguard themselves from credential stuffing by creating a unique password for every different website. Doing so will ensure that even if one credential is compromised, the remaining will not be affected. Further, businesses should encourage their employees to set complex passwords and change them at regular intervals.
Phishing is a social engineering trick where hackers obtain sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details, by disguising themselves as trustworthy entities. Phishing usually occurs through emails that either contain fraudulent links to cloned websites or a malicious attachment.
Malware is malicious software used to extract data that can be used against victims for financial gain. It tricks victims into providing their data, which includes personal and financial information, healthcare records, personal emails, and passwords.
Businesses can use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to protect themselves from phishing and malware attacks. Users need a secondary means of logging into their account. These typically include one-time passwords delivered as text messages or emails, and biometrics identification such as voice recognition, fingerprints, and iris scan.
Myth 5. IT Departments Are Solely Responsible for Mitigating Cybersecurity Threats
Fact: All employees play a vital role in keeping a company safe. If the employees are not regularly trained in cybersecurity, they will unknowingly end up downloading malware through emails or unsafe websites.
To prevent this, businesses should conduct easy-to-understand training sessions and draft clear policies regarding cyber safety. The training should focus on key topics such as device security management, password hygiene, and risks posed by phishing, malware, and ransomware.
Also, businesses should stay informed and not fall victim to the myths mentioned above. It will help them create a robust cybersecurity strategy to mitigate threats and be secure.