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Business Owners: Avoid These 6 Cybersecurity Mistakes

Cybersecurity is a crucial issue that you can’t take lightly as a small- to mid-sized business owner or stakeholder. Most agile businesses don’t have the resources to hire a full-time IT specialist to manage their security needs, making them easy targets for online hackers. Read on for the most common cybersecurity mistakes that small businesses make and how your team can build a digital fortress for your sensitive information and organization as a whole, courtesy of Webcheck Security.

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Image via Pexels

Mistake 1: Using weak passwords or using the same password for different accounts.

 

Countless business owners make the mistake of using weak passwords that are easy to guess or attack using brute force methods. Some even use the same password for multiple accounts, which leaves the doors all but open for hackers hoping to maximize damage across your assets. Make sure you and your employees are using strong passwords for all accounts and different passwords for each account.

 

Solution: Use a password manager to generate strong passwords and store them securely. Also, enable multi-factor authentication for all possible accounts.

 

Mistake 2: Not using password-protected documents

 

One of the most effective ways to protect sensitive business and customer files is to use password-protected PDFs. Password protection ensures that only authorized personnel can access the files, and it adds an extra layer of security to sensitive information. Employ password-protected PDFs to prevent cybercrime and safeguard customer information, ultimately boosting your credibility and reputation. It’s a simple yet effective security measure all companies should consider implementing.

 

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Solution: Find a JPG-to-PDF conversion tool that allows you to quickly turn your images into PDF format. That way, you don’t have to worry about image quality and your business will be less vulnerable to cyberattacks. PDFs can also hold a great deal of information, so you won’t need to share as many images with clients, vendors, and other parties. Additionally, licensing Adobe products rather than using free versions unlocks the ability to manage encryption and password protection for PDFs.

 

Mistake 3: Neglecting to update software regularly.

 

Another pitfall many small business owners make is not updating software regularly. Failing to update your software leaves you vulnerable to easily preventable cyber threats. Software updating processes can be time-consuming if automated means are not employed, so automation is highly recommended.

 

Solution: Set your systems and devices to automatically update to prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to your data. You can also give yourself a big advantage by pursuing a curriculum for a bachelor of computer science degree to boost your foundational knowledge. If you’re open to the flexibility of online learning platforms, this page deserves a look.

 

Mistake 4: Failing to back up data regularly.


black and yellow hard drive with usb-c port

Most small business owners think that backing up their data regularly is an unnecessary expense, so they neglect doing so. But data can be lost in various ways, ranging from a natural disaster to a cyberattack, and it’s crucial to have more than one copy. To decrease the impact of ransomware attacks, we also recommend that you isolate backups both in network terms and account management terms.

 

Solution: Invest in regular data backups, preferably to separate drives or the cloud. Securely encrypt the backed-up data to prevent unauthorized access and isolate the backups from normal operations as much as possible.

 

Mistake 5: Allowing employees to use personal devices for work.

 

Personal devices used for business purposes are often unprotected, leaving your network vulnerable to cyber threats. Your employees' devices can be just as vulnerable to attacks, putting your business at risk and potentially leading to negative effects over the long term.

 

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Solution: Establish an official company policy that bans the use of personal devices for work purposes or bring them into active management by the organization using mobile device management solutions and mobile security solutions. Ideally, provide employees with company devices that have up-to-date security measures.

 

Mistake 6: Failing to educate employees about cybersecurity.

 

Last but not least, failing to educate employees on cybersecurity issues is one of the most common and dangerous mistakes that small businesses make. Workers who are unaware of cybersecurity risks are more likely to fall victim to phishing attacks, download malicious software, click on suspicious links, or take any number of other actions that compromise sensitive information.

 

Solution: Provide regular training sessions to your employees to educate them, and keep them informed about the latest cybersecurity threats. Create a visual reminder for staff on steps for new or infrequently used processes, like a poster with step-by-step images using colors to enhance the text sections. 

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The Bottom Line

 

Small- to mid-sized businesses are commonly targeted by cyberattacks and it’s critical to take the threat seriously. Considering the simple mistakes and solutions above will help to significantly reduce your vulnerability and protect your business data. Rather than thinking of cybersecurity as an expense, it’s helpful to think of it as an investment. Cybersecurity practices that safeguard your data will protect your company and customers’ confidential information, which will ultimately help your business keep growing and reaching its goals.

 

Webcheck Security has the cyber services you’ve been looking for. Let us know if you have any questions!

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