In 2023, the cost of cybercrime reached a whopping $8 trillion. Cybersecurity Experts expect cybercrime costs to businesses to increase to $10.5 trillion over the next two years.
Cyber breaches cost businesses thousands of dollars each year, often due to common cybersecurity mistakes.
Luckily, preventing these common mistakes is simple. If businesses do not have the skills internally, they can work with an outsourced managed IT service provider to safeguard their networks, applications, and other digital assets.
We’ve compiled a list of the top ten most common cyber threats and mistakes impacting businesses in 2023 to give businesses a running start.
- Poor Password Security
Raise your hand if you’re guilty of reusing passwords
The fact is, as many as 4 in 5 people are making this mistake, making it easy for cybercriminals to access multiple accounts. Aside from reusing passwords, many of us are also guilty of using easily guessable elements, like our pets’ names (which we might even post on social media). As tempting as it is to reuse passwords and choose easy-to-remember words, it’s best to practice password hygiene and use strong, unique passwords.
2. Falling for Common Cyber Threats
One of the biggest cybersecurity mistakes is falling for common cyber-attacks, usually due to a lack of awareness. One of the most common cyber threats is a phishing attack and other spoofing techniques. These are when a hacker disguises themselves as a trusted source, usually by email, calling, GPS, IP, or text messaging.
Gone are the days of an obvious phishing email or call, such as someone promising you something too good to be true, such as sums of cash. For example, 38% of malicious attachments are now masked as a Microsoft Office file or similar item. Hackers can use caller IDs, IPs, and emails to appear extremely convincing.
- Failing to Update Software
Don’t forget to update your software! Regularly updating software, applications, antivirus, and operating systems protects your data from security vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.
- Using Default Security Software
Many businesses make the common cybersecurity mistake of skimping on security software. Many use the default software provided or pick a cheap option.
However, your security software adds layers of protection to prevent cyberattacks. If you have secure security software, hackers are less likely to succeed. Pick a reliable software provider that can adequately protect your business.
- Forgetting to Backup Files
We get it. Backups can be time-consuming, and it’s easy to skip a backup, or two, or even three. Many of us would rather ignore backups altogether – though we shouldn’t. Backups are an important defense against data breaches, hardware failures, ransomware, and natural disasters, providing data protection.
- Granting Apps Permissions
Apps require a variety of permissions so they can work appropriately. You usually just scroll over them absentmindedly and tap accept. As convenient as that might be, you should always peruse the permission list requested by an application. If you accept them all, you may be granting bad actors access to sensitive data, allowing them to scam you out of money, or even spy on you. After all, does a flashlight app really need access to your microphone or camera? And how many apps need to know your location to function properly?
- Using Unsecured Public Wi-Fi
Just because the cute coffee shop has Wi-Fi doesn’t mean you need to use it. That’s because hackers can easily access and hack public Wi-Fi. If you do need to use the airport Wi-Fi, avoid accessing sensitive information or logging in to your work, banking, and social media accounts. You can also use a VPN, which adds a layer of encryption to protect your data when using a public network.
8. Insufficient Employee Training
Companies oftentimes buy the best security equipment and systems on the market today but forget that people are one of their biggest cyber threats. Insufficient employee training is one of the most significant factors contributing to security breaches. Human error is always a prevalent cause of cybersecurity incidents.
Employees who don’t understand or simply remain unaware of security best practices may accidentally fall for phishing scams, click on malicious links, or even mishandle sensitive data. The Global Risks Report of 2022 found that 95% of cybersecurity threats have, in some way, been caused by human error.
- Not Protecting Business Data
There are simple steps that businesses can take to protect business data, but many skip them. Failure to take steps to secure business data increases cybersecurity risks and the costs of data recovery if there is a breach. You should never underestimate the importance of protecting data.
Encryption protects your business from unauthorized access. It is an efficient final defense, even if systems are breached. If someone gains access to your business data, they will not be able to read it, as encryption turns data into complex code.
Cloud storage usually has more advanced cybersecurity processes, which is why companies are making a mistake by not investing in cloud software.
- Not Using HTTPS
Not using encryption on your website can be disastrous. HTTPS protects your business and customer data from prying eyes, avoiding the “Not Secure” browser label that might make customers think twice before sharing sensitive data. Luckily, there’s an easy solution. An SSL certificate encrypts the data transmitted between the browser and the server. This ensures that any data is unreadable to unauthorized individuals – even if the exchange was intercepted.
A good way to protect your business data is to invest in reliable web security (SSL Certificates) from qualified IT professionals. Cloud storage is another great way to encrypt data, even if there is an attempt to gain access, they will not be able to read it.
Villextra technologies limited is a leading provider of SSl certificate and cloud services here to help you. We have a variety of services on offer to manage and reduce your cybersecurity risks. As Microsoft Partner, we facilitate the provisioning of Microsoft Cloud. Our team consists of experienced Cloud Engineers and a fanatical support team, all set to ensure your data is secure and always online.
Contact us today to learn more.