Top 8 Cyber Security Mistakes Businesses Must Avoid for Effective Protection

In our digital age, we are all aware that cyber security is a crucial part of our business. From firewalls and anti-malware to password management and user access controls – there are many security methods that look to protect your devices and data. But when businesses are looking to secure their systems and data, they often make common cyber security mistakes that leave their organisation vulnerable to potential hackers and data breaches.

Here are 8 top cyber security mistakes that can in fact make you more vulnerable:

1. Neglecting Employee Awareness Training

Failing to provide effective and interactive awareness training for your team is one of the most significant mistakes when it comes to securing your business. Awareness training is an extremely cost-effective and efficient tool for optimising your first line of defence!

So far in 2023, 74% of breaches involve a human element, with 41% of incidents involving phishing tactics (Verizon). With this in mind, businesses should invest in regular cyber training to help equip their team with the knowledge and skills to keep attacks and breaches at bay.

2. Weak Password Policies

Weak and repeated passwords make it easier for cyber criminals to gain unauthorised access to your company systems and data. When generating login credentials, ensure you are promoting the latest guidance and password guidelines for your team when they are accessing accounts. This includes passwords of at least 12 characters, different passwords for each account, and implementing a company password manager for your employees to securely store their credentials.

3. Lack of Regular Updates

Failing to keep your software up to date can cause significant security risks. Outdated software can contain vulnerabilities that cyber criminals exploit in order to can access to your systems and data. Your organisation should look to ensure automatic updates on enabled where possible or implement software updates within 14 days of the update being released in order to protect against emerging threats.

4. Insufficient User Access Controls

Excessive privileges of accounts and not sufficiently managing user access can lead to data breaches. If an attacker was to gain access to your systems, they would only be able to compromise the same level of access as the user – meaning confidential information and financial details could remain secure. Implementing the principle of least privilege ensures that employees only have access to the resources they need to perform their job. Regularly reviewing and revoking unnecessary access privileges is essential.

Want to get insights into your current cyber risk level? Take our free cyber risk analysis quiz to find out more!

5. Poor Backup Processes

Having poor, or even no, backup process of your company data could be detrimental if your company does suffer from a cyber attack. How long could your business continue operations without access to your crucial data? In most cases, this isn’t any longer than 48 hours – backups allow your business to get back on track as soon as possible if an incident was to occur. Not only is it important to have a backup process, but it is also important to ensure that these are located off-site on a separate network, and run automatic backups of your data on a regular basis.

6. Lack of Incident Response Planning

Many businesses do not have a well-defined, tested, incident response plan implemented. If an attack or breach was to occur, it is important for your team to understand their role with mitigating the fallout, minimise downtime, and manage stakeholder communications.

7. Underestimating the Threat Landscape

Cyber threats are constantly evolving, and with technologies advancing at a rapid rate, cyber criminals are finding new ways to compromise your data, devices, and finances. Stay ahead of the curve and remain updated on the latest threats and hacking trends to help your business remain protected in our digital world. Regularly monitoring and assessing the threat landscape, and adapting security measure accordingly, is crucial to stay ahead of cyber criminals.

8. Not Seeking External Expertise

Some businesses make the mistake of assuming they can handle all aspects of cyber security internally, even if they lack the necessary tools and expertise. Engaging with external cyber security specialists can help elevate your security strategy, work with your internal capacities, and provide valuable insights and recommendations to transform your organisation into a resilient defence against cyber criminal activities.

To wrap up, avoiding these common cyber security mistakes can significantly reduce your risk and improve your business’s cyber security posture. At Citation Cyber, we can help secure your business and protect your vital assets. Whether you’re an SME or large organisation, our security professionals are on-hand to help you through the process.

Watch your business soar when you’re cyber secure! Book in for a free demo with a member of our team who can help get you started!

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