The threat of online attacks is one of the biggest issues in the modern business world. The true financial cost of being hacked is huge but hard to calculate. It includes factors such as reputational damage and the knock-on effect for suppliers, as well as the direct financial losses.
Yet, not every company takes the action needed to stay safe at all times. The truth is that there are a number of common mistakes that cause businesses to be far more vulnerable than they should be. Avoiding these simple mistakes means your risk is lowered.
Not Taking the Threat Seriously
Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make as a business owner is to simply not take this risk as seriously as you should. After all, some of the biggest attacks of recent times have been aimed at giant corporations, universities and even government agencies.
However, it is clear that hackers also target small and medium sized businesses too. These are companies where the security is often more lax but where successfully breaking in can still lead to big rewards for them.
This means that every business in the world with an online presence needs to take this threat very seriously indeed.
Failing to Use an Adequate Firewall
Stopping hackers from getting into your data in the first place is the smartest approach. Thankfully, there are a number of ways of doing this that any business can implement without any hassle.
In the age of web apps and cloud-based platforms, reliable web application firewall protection is a key component of any good IT security policy. It stops application layer threats from reaching the server by using a set of customized rules. This way, it filters all of your incoming traffic to stop the likes of SQL injections and XSS attacks.
Of course, there are more specialized types of firewalls, depending on the needs of your business. The right choice of firewall protection means your sites and servers are not as easy to target. There is simply no reason to leave it to chance and hope for the best.
Not Training Staff Properly
It is easy to assume that staying safe from hackers is purely a technological concern. Human error is responsible for more security data breaches than hacking attacks, though, with a 75% increase reported lately by the UK’s Information Commissioner.
It is clear that staff training is a massive area of concern. Apart from errors that compromise data, there is also the possibility that poorly trained staff inadvertently leave the back door open for hackers.
Staff training on this subject should include all levels of protection, from matters such as how to choose a strong password to whether to use personal devices at work and how to spot a potential attack.
Not Updating Software Regularly
Falling behind with the updating of your software can give cybercriminals the window of opportunity that they need. On the other hand, many of the biggest risks can be avoided just by keeping your software up to date.
Even major incidents such as the WannaCry ransomware attack can be quickly shut down if you move quickly. This means keeping an eye out for the latest security news and any emergency patches that are released.
Don’t make these mistakes and you will feel far more confident that your business is completely protected from online attacks.