It’s easy for business owners to get caught up in the profit-making aspect of business and overlook other critical areas. It’s hard to blame them given the intensely competitive business landscape, where only the sharpest and most diligent can get the edge over the competition. In this competitive frenzy, most business owners bump cybersecurity to the back burner.
This may work to your detriment considering the average small business loses about $25,000 to cyber-attacks and security issues. Unless you’re okay with losing $25,000, enhancing your computer security setup should top your to-do list. This begs the question, how does one amp up security in their business or organization?
Well, the first step in improving security is identifying any loopholes and mistakes that may do you in. Today, we’ll be highlighting a couple of issues and mistakes that may compromise your business’ security.
1. Leaving the Computer on
Most of us are guilty of leaving the computer on and unattended at least once. This mostly happens when you’re rushing to get home after a long day’s work or when you take a little break from work. That way, when your break ends, you can get to work right away.
Leaving your computer unattended is a huge security mistake because there’s no password prompt to protect sensitive data from unauthorized access. It also makes it much easier for anyone to install malware on your computer. That said, make sure you switch your computer off even if you’re going for a short ten-minute break.
2. Clicking Links and Opening Attachments From Unknown Emails
Don’t open email attachments and click on links from unknown emails; it’s a trap. Doing so could initiate a virus download or, even worse, a phishing software download. In fact, in 2021, companies have lost a staggering $14.8 million to phishing.
When you download a virus or any malware, it could wipe out all the data from your computer. Phishing software, on the other hand, can pose as your usual login screen and get all your login credentials. The perpetrator can use this information to gain access to sensitive data or even make unauthorized payments.
That said, downloading and opening attachments from unknown emails is a definite no-no. You shouldn’t even be opening emails from unknown parties in the first place. Be extra vigilant with your emails to sidestep these security issues.
3. Improper Disposal of Disk Drives and Storage Media
Advancements in storage media technology mean it’s out with the old and in with the new. Most businesses are replacing their hard disk drives with faster solid-state drives. This is a step in the right direction, but be careful about where you discard your old drives.
If you’re like most companies, you probably toss them in the trash. This seemingly harmless practice could expose you to multiple security risks. That’s because these old drives and other storage media are a goldmine for hackers.
These drives may contain sensitive data like client information, payment information, and passwords, to name a few. The best way to dispose of storage media is to hire a professional document-destroying company that will shred your old drives to bit.
Don’t burn these old drives because doing so releases toxic fumes into the atmosphere. This is not only bad for your health but also for the environment.
4. Using Poor Passwords
Using poor passwords could easily put your entire organization at risk. Unfortunately, this is where most business owners and employees go wrong.
Using the company name followed by “123” is a downright lazy password. Even a third-grader can guess that password. Put a bit of time and effort into creating your passwords, especially for critical data.
The best approach is to use complex passwords with up to twelve characters. In fact, managers should consider making strong passwords company policy for maximum security.
Here are a couple of tips for setting up a strong password:
- Create a long password with at least ten characters
- Include numbers, symbols, and both upper and lowercase
- Use nonsensical words or phrases or even random sounds
- Change your password regularly
- Never use your name or your birthday
The problem with long, complicated passwords is that most people have difficulty remembering them. There are plenty of ways to remember a complicated password, including using a password manager.
5. Overlooking Security Expertise
There’s no doubt you have a proficient IT department. They ensure your computer systems are up and running and centralize all your company data, and that’s okay. However, when it comes to data security, you might have to bring out the big guns.
Computer security requires more than just your run-of-the-mill security expert. You’ll need experts in cryptography, data management protection, and systems engineering. Consider hiring a professional cybersecurity company to ensure a robust and complete cyber security setup.
6. Sending Sensitive Data Via Email
The go-to means for sending documents and information is via email. There’s nothing wrong with using emails to communicate, but it’s not the best way to convey sensitive information. Instead of using email, use one of the many file-sharing programs available today.
However, if you must send sensitive information via email, use an encryption tool to encrypt it. That way, you can jumble up the contents of your email so anyone that intercepts your email will get undiscernible information.
7. Poor and Impractical Security Polices
Security policies are the backbone of your entire security setup; poor policies equal poor security. That’s why it’s important to develop appropriate policies to keep your company’s security in check.
Developing these policies is only part of the process; you also have to implement the said policies. There’s no point in having solid security policies if you don’t implement them effectively. This is especially true for network security and data systems.
Be on the Lookout for These Security Issues
Now that you know the security issues and mistakes that could compromise your company’s security, it’s on you to take the right steps and ensure maximum security. Remember, you don’t have to do it all by yourself. You can always hire a digital security company to give you a hand.
For more informative content, check out the other articles on the site.