- Two-factor authentication and data monitoring is needed despite the cybersecurity myth said its enough using strong password
- Small businesses made up over half of last year’s breach victims
- Any business with sensitive information is vulnerable to attack
- Software can’t protect against all cyber risks
- Modern malware is stealthy and hard to detect
Businesses increasingly rely on digital infrastructure to store and process sensitive information. Unfortunately, this also means that businesses are becoming more vulnerable to cyber attacks. According to the 2021 Cost of a Data Breach Report by IBM, the global average cost of a data breach is $4.24 million, with the average cost per lost or stolen record at $164.
This highlights the importance of taking cybersecurity seriously to protect your business from potential harm. Many business owners, however, harbor misconceptions about cybersecurity that leave them at risk. In this blog post, we will debunk 10 common cybersecurity myths that can put your business in danger. All points will be deepened in the next part.
|A strong password is enough to keep your business safe||Two-factor authentication and data monitoring is also needed|
|Small and medium-sized businesses aren’t targeted by hackers||Small businesses made up over half of last year’s breach victims|
|Only certain industries are vulnerable to cyber attacks||Any business with sensitive information is vulnerable to attack|
|Anti-virus and anti-malware software keeps you completely safe||Software can’t protect against all cyber risks|
|Cybersecurity threats come from the outside||Insider threats are just as likely, and harder to detect|
|Cybersecurity is solely the IT department’s responsibility||All employees play a role in keeping a company cybersafe|
|If Wi-Fi has a password, it’s secure||All public Wi-Fi can be compromised, even with a password|
|You’ll know right away if your computer is infected||Modern malware is stealthy and hard to detect|
|Personal devices don’t need to be secured at work||All smart devices, including wearables, can compromise a network’s system|
|Complete cybersecurity can be achieved||Cyber preparedness is ongoing, with new threats emerging every day|
Myth #1: A strong password is enough to keep your business safe
There is a misconception that a strong password is enough to keep their business safe from cyber threats, but the reality is that there is much more to it than that. Here are some points to consider:
- Passwords can be easily hacked or stolen, especially if they are not unique and complex. Cybercriminals can use various methods like brute force attacks, phishing, or social engineering to gain access to your accounts.
- Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a code sent to your phone, to access your accounts. This makes it much harder for attackers to gain unauthorized access.
- Data monitoring and analysis is also crucial for detecting and responding to cyber threats in a timely manner. By monitoring your network and systems for suspicious activity, you can quickly identify and mitigate potential risks before they become major problems.
- According to a study by Verizon, 80% of data breaches involve weak or stolen passwords, highlighting the need for stronger authentication methods.
- Implementing a strong password policy and regular security awareness training for employees can also help prevent cyber attacks.
So, while a strong password is a good start, it’s important to implement additional security measures like 2FA and data monitoring to ensure your business is protected against cyber threats.
Myth #2: Small and medium-sized businesses aren’t targeted by hackers
Cybersecurity is a critical aspect of any organization’s operations. However, there is a common misconception that once you have achieved complete cybersecurity, you can sit back and relax. The reality is that complete cybersecurity is not achievable, and cyber preparedness is an ongoing process. New cyber threats emerge every day, making it impossible to have 100% protection against all possible attacks. Here are some key points to consider when it comes to cyber preparedness:
- Cybersecurity is not a one-and-done task but a continuous process of updating and improving security measures.
- Organizations must have a proactive cybersecurity strategy in place, which includes regular risk assessments and vulnerability testing.
- Even with strong security measures in place, there is always a chance of a cyberattack. Therefore, organizations must also have an incident response plan to mitigate the effects of a cyberattack.
- Employee training and awareness are critical to maintaining cyber preparedness. This includes regular training on identifying and reporting potential cyber threats.
According to a report by the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million. The study also found that organizations that had an incident response plan in place were able to contain the breach more quickly, resulting in lower costs.
Myth #3: Only certain industries are vulnerable to cyber attacks
Many businesses, especially those in non-technical industries, assume that they are not at risk of cyber attacks because they do not possess valuable information that would be of interest to hackers. However, this is a dangerous misconception that can leave companies vulnerable to cyber threats. Here are some key points to consider:
- Hackers often target businesses with sensitive information, such as financial or customer data, but they can also be interested in other types of information, such as intellectual property or trade secrets.
- Any business that handles sensitive information, regardless of industry, is at risk of cyber attacks. For example, healthcare organizations are a common target because they hold personal health information that can be used for fraud or identity theft.
- In fact, small and medium-sized businesses are particularly vulnerable because they may not have the same level of resources to invest in cybersecurity as larger corporations, making them easier targets for hackers.
According to a report by Verizon, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses, while a separate report by the Ponemon Institute found that the average cost of a data breach for a small business is over $2.2 million. It’s essential for all businesses, regardless of industry, to prioritize cybersecurity to protect their sensitive information and prevent financial losses.
Myth #4: Anti-virus and anti-malware software keeps you completely safe
Many people believe that installing anti-virus and anti-malware software is all that’s necessary to protect their devices and networks from cyber attacks. However, this is a dangerous misconception that can leave businesses vulnerable to a range of threats. Here are some points to consider:
- While anti-virus and anti-malware software is essential, it only protects against known threats. It can’t detect or prevent new, unknown threats, which are becoming increasingly common.
- Cyber criminals are constantly developing new tactics and technologies to bypass anti-virus and anti-malware software. This means that relying solely on these tools is not enough to protect against all threats.
- Some cyber threats, such as phishing scams, social engineering attacks, and ransomware, can bypass anti-virus and anti-malware software altogether, relying instead on human error or vulnerabilities in software and systems.
- To truly protect against cyber threats, businesses need a multi-layered approach that includes regular software updates and patches, employee training and awareness, data encryption, and monitoring for suspicious activity.
According to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, the cost of cyber crime is expected to reach $6 trillion by 2021, underscoring the need for businesses to take a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity.
Myth #5: Cybersecurity threats come from the outside
While it is true that external threats such as hackers and malware are a major concern, insider threats are just as likely and can be harder to detect. Here are some key points to consider:
- Insider threats can come from current or former employees, contractors, or vendors who have access to the company’s network and data.
- Insider threats can be intentional, such as a disgruntled employee looking to sabotage the company, or unintentional, such as an employee who accidentally shares sensitive information.
- Insider threats can be particularly damaging because the person has legitimate access to the network and may not be flagged by security measures designed to detect external threats.
- According to a study by the Ponemon Institute, insider threats are the cause of 60% of all data breaches.
It is important for companies to implement measures such as access controls, monitoring, and regular security training to detect and prevent insider threats.
Myth #6: Cybersecurity is solely the IT department’s responsibility
Another one of the biggest misconceptions about cybersecurity is that it’s solely the responsibility of the IT department. In reality, every employee in a company plays a role in keeping the organization cybersafe. Here are some points to consider:
- Cybersecurity is not just an IT issue, it’s a business issue. All employees need to be aware of the risks and how to prevent them.
- Attackers often target non-technical staff, such as those in finance or HR, to gain access to sensitive information.
- Employee training and awareness are critical components of a strong cybersecurity posture. Regular training sessions and simulated phishing exercises can help educate employees about the latest threats.
- Employees should be encouraged to report any suspicious activity, such as a phishing email or an unfamiliar device on the network, to the IT department immediately.
- Executive leadership also has a role to play in promoting a culture of cybersecurity throughout the organization.
According to a recent study by IBM, human error is the top cause of data breaches, accounting for nearly 24% of incidents. This highlights the importance of ensuring that all employees are aware of their role in maintaining cybersecurity.
Myth #7: If Wi-Fi has a password, it’s secure
Wi-Fi is a convenient way to stay connected to the internet while on the go, but many people believe that as long as a Wi-Fi network has a password, it’s secure. Unfortunately, this is a dangerous misconception that can leave your sensitive information vulnerable to cyberattacks. Here’s why:
- Passwords can be cracked: While having a password is better than not having one, hackers have tools that can quickly crack weak passwords. Therefore, even if a Wi-Fi network has a password, it may still be vulnerable to cyberattacks.
- Public Wi-Fi is always a risk: Public Wi-Fi networks, such as those in coffee shops, airports, and hotels, are even more risky. These networks are often unsecured, and anyone can access them. Hackers can easily create fake Wi-Fi hotspots that mimic legitimate networks, tricking people into connecting to them and then stealing their information.
- Secure Wi-Fi is possible: While no network is 100% secure, there are steps you can take to make your Wi-Fi network more secure. Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and ensuring your Wi-Fi router is up-to-date with the latest security patches are good steps to take.
Statistics show that more than 70% of people have connected to a public Wi-Fi network at least once, and nearly half of them have connected to one without a password. This underscores the importance of being cautious when using public Wi-Fi and taking steps to secure your own Wi-Fi network.
Myth #8: You’ll know right away if your computer is infected
People tend to believe that they will immediately know if their computer is infected with malware or a virus. This dangerous misconception can lead to serious consequences. Here are some points to consider:
- Modern malware is designed to be stealthy and can go undetected for weeks or even months.
- Malware can spread silently and infect other devices on the same network.
- Some malware is designed to steal sensitive information, such as passwords or financial data, without the user ever knowing.
- According to a study by Ponemon Institute, the average time to detect a data breach in 2020 was 280 days.
To avoid falling victim to stealthy malware, it’s important to take proactive measures such as:
- Regularly update your antivirus and anti-malware software.
- Use a firewall to monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic.
- Avoid downloading suspicious files or opening attachments from unknown sources.
- Educate yourself on the latest malware threats and be aware of any unusual activity on your computer or network.
Don’t rely on the assumption that you’ll always know when your computer is infected. Be vigilant and take proactive steps to protect your devices and data from stealthy malware.
Myth #9: Personal devices don’t need to be secured at work
It is crucial for businesses to understand that personal devices used at work pose a significant threat to their cybersecurity. Here are some points to consider:
- Personal devices are often less secure than corporate devices and may lack basic security measures like encryption and secure passwords.
- Personal devices may be used on unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, making them vulnerable to cyber attacks.
- Smart devices like wearables and personal assistants may contain sensitive information that can be accessed by cybercriminals.
- BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies can also introduce malware and viruses to a company’s network.
- According to a report by BitSight, 45% of all breaches occur due to third-party vendors’ negligence, including personal devices.
To debunk the misconception that personal devices don’t need to be secured at work, businesses must implement policies that enforce strong passwords, device encryption, and regular software updates. Additionally, employee training and awareness programs can help ensure that everyone understands the importance of securing their personal devices when accessing company resources.
Myth #10: Complete cybersecurity can be achieved
It is a popular belief that achieving complete cybersecurity is possible. However, this is a misconception. Cyber threats continue to evolve every day, and new risks emerge regularly. There are several reasons why achieving complete cybersecurity is not possible, such as:
- Cyber attackers are always coming up with new tactics to breach defenses.
- Technology is continually evolving, and businesses must keep up with the latest cybersecurity solutions to stay protected.
- Human error is a significant factor in cybersecurity incidents, and it is difficult to eliminate completely.
While it may not be possible to achieve complete cybersecurity, it is crucial to remain vigilant and prepared against cyber threats. This can be achieved by implementing robust security measures and regularly updating and testing them. Businesses should also train their employees to identify and report any suspicious activities to prevent potential cybersecurity breaches.
Statistics show that cyber attacks are on the rise, with a 600% increase in attacks reported during the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, it is essential to remain proactive in cybersecurity measures to protect against these attacks.
In conclusion, it is crucial to separate fact from fiction when it comes to cybersecurity. Believing in myths and misconceptions can put your business at risk, leaving you vulnerable to data breaches, financial losses, and damage to your reputation. It’s important to stay informed and take proactive steps to protect your business, such as implementing two-factor authentication, training employees on cybersecurity best practices, monitoring data activity, and staying up-to-date on emerging threats. Remember, cybersecurity is an ongoing process, and there is no such thing as complete security. By staying vigilant and proactive, you can help protect your business and safeguard against cyber threats.