3 Common Cybersecurity Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

If reports are anything to go by, the majority of business leaders are unprepared to face the next generation of cybersecurity threats. Even security executives admit to this fact, as reported by TechRepublic.

Small business owners could be the hardest hit. With less resources and a struggling economy, SMEs are unlikely to have strong technical knowledge and no resources to hire IT professionals that do.

Fortunately, cybersecurity doesn’t have to be expensive – if you know what to look for and what to do. In this article, we discuss some of the common errors that enable threat actors to breach your network. We also suggest some strategies you can deploy to mitigate risks.

1. Failing to Invest in the Right Technology

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Some small business owners assume that combining a standard firewall and antivirus for all employees will be sufficient. However, in an age when cybercriminals are advancing at a rapid pace, you need to invest in technology that will always stay one step ahead of them.

The most important technology to get a grasp of is next-generation antivirus (NGAV) which protects your business in two ways.

Firstly, it uses AI and machine learning to predict, detect and tackle unknown threats. Secondly, it will be cloud-based, requiring hours rather than months for its implementation. This limits the period in which you will be especially vulnerable.

2. Failing to Account for Human Error

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On the other hand, some small business owners are technologically-minded and will be able to bring in the measures that have been suggested in this article easily. Yet, these business owners are prone to assuming this will be enough.

Technology can mitigate against a lot of threats, but 88% of cyber-attacks are still caused by human error. Staff are overwhelmingly the most likely to allow hackers on to your network by clicking on malicious links, using weak passwords and failing to implement multi-factor authentication.

You can help your employees to avoid causing cyber-attacks by running effective training programs that teach and motivate them against the cyber-threat. Any good IT team should be able to carry out this training, but outsourcing support is also an option for teams without this capacity.

3. Not Preparing for the Worst

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Whatever you do to protect yourself, there is still a strong chance that your business will face a cyber-attack at some point. Many small business owners fail to take the necessary steps to ensure that any cyber-attacks they face are of minor significance.

There are several steps to recovering from a cyber-attack, and it is crucial that you have a solid plan in place to respond rapidly. These include implementing mechanisms to block unauthorized access, change passwords, and establish alternative working arrangements to minimize downtime.

These steps will end a cyber-attack and mitigate the damage. However, the true business killer in a cyber-attack is the loss of data. This will force your business to start again, often with new clients, or pay a cripplingly expensive ransom.

To avoid this, it is important to have accessible cloud-based backups so you can quickly get any data back and continue operations as normal.

Avoiding Cybersecurity Mistakes

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This article has outlined the major cybersecurity mistakes that are commonplace in small businesses. Avoiding them can be challenging, especially for teams that lack IT expertise. Therefore, it may be sensible to enlist the services of an external IT support or managed services provider to remove this terrifying burden.