Bad cybersecurity practices to stop in 2021

January 14th, 2021
Bad cybersecurity practices to stop in 2021

One of the best New Year’s resolutions you can make for your business is to maximize your company’s defenses against cyberthreats. However, it’s not enough to simply integrate state-of-the-art solutions into your IT system. You should also identify cybersecurity practices that put your data at risk and replace them with behaviors that augment your data’s protection.

What bad cybersecurity practices should you let go of?
In 2021, it’s time to say goodbye to these bad cybersecurity habits for good:

1. Using weak passwords
Passwords have been in use for securing information for years, but many people continue to take these for granted. To ensure that they don’t forget their passwords, they use codes that are easy to remember, such as “abcde123” or the classic “password.” The problem with these weak passcodes is that they are incredibly easy for hackers to break. In fact, over 80% of hacking-related data breaches are caused by weak passwords.

To create strong passwords, use unlikely and seemingly random combinations of numbers and upper- and lowercase letters. When allowed, add several special characters into the mix. Use a unique password for each of your online accounts and change the codes on a regular basis. Having multiple passwords can be very challenging, so you can use a reliable password manager app to keep track of them.

2. Being too complacent
Just because you haven’t experienced a cyberattack doesn’t mean you won’t. Even big companies like Yahoo, LinkedIn, and Twitter have succumbed to data breaches in the past few years. Considering how prevalent cyberthreats are, it’s no longer a question of whether or not an attack will happen at all, but when it will occur.

If you haven’t started taking steps toward bolstering your cyber defenses, there is no better time to get started than today. Cybersecurity experts, such as managed services providers (MSPs) like Cutting Edge Network Technologies, can give you valuable pointers on how to mitigate your company’s risk of suffering a data breach or other forms of cyberattacks.

3. Posting private or corporate information online
Anything you post on social media, even something as mundane as the name of your pet or a photo of your company’s logo, can compromise your cybersecurity. Hackers are not above checking out your social media profiles for any information they can use to steal your identity or access your online accounts. Reveal as little personal or corporate information as possible on your social network profiles and encourage your staff to do the same.

4. Neglecting patches and software updates
Patches and software updates address any errors or vulnerabilities in your software, ensuring that it works better and is more secure against exploitative parties. Unfortunately, they are often ignored, especially as users become preoccupied with work and other matters.

To prevent delayed updates, encourage your staff to patch as early and as frequently as needed. You can also automate patching altogether. Make sure patches happen during off-hours to ensure that they don’t disrupt your staff.

5. Opening suspicious emails
Phishing scams, which are commonly used to steal money and data or spread malware, are usually conducted using email. These scam emails usually offer irresistible deals or, during the coronavirus pandemic, promise a cure to get prospective victims to read the message.

Phishing emails are mostly harmless as long as users do not click on the links provided or download the files attached to them. Because of this, it’s essential that you train your staff to identify the telltale signs of phishing emails, such as a suspicious message tone and grammar and spelling errors.

6. Connecting unmonitored devices
Many businesses were forced to accommodate work from home arrangements during the coronavirus pandemic. This means that many employees began using their personal computers and mobile devices to access your company’s networks and do their tasks. Although convenient, many of these devices are unmonitored and could easily present vulnerabilities that malicious parties can exploit to get to your data.

You can reduce the risks by requiring your staff to install security apps, update their devices’ firmware, and encrypt data, where possible. You can also employ a mobile device management solution that monitors all the devices in your network. An endpoint detection and response solution, on the other hand, will prove useful in detecting potential threats in devices.

As cyberthreats continue to evolve, it’s crucial that you cover your bases correcting potentially dangerous habits and behavior. Our specialists at Cutting Edge Network Technologies can help identify areas in your cybersecurity approach that needs improvement and offer expert alternatives and solutions. Discover the other ways a partnership with us OR working with us can benefit your business by downloading this free eBook today.

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