The Biggest Security Mistakes Companies Don’t Realize They’re Making

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There simply isn’t any room for mistakes when it comes to keeping a network safe. However, so many IT security officers and network managers still fall into the trap of being far too relaxed when it comes to keeping hackers out. Both old and new companies are getting trapped by common pitfalls when it comes to cyber security. People were surprised to learn in the wake of the Yahoo! hacking scandal that many employees felt that the company didn’t prioritize security strongly enough. The underlying problem is that most people in the IT world fail to recognize that cyber security isn’t just one thing. Keeping data secure actually takes a multi-pronged approach that mixes education, technology and action. Security shouldn’t be looked at as a static, one-time event. It actually requires an ongoing, ever-evolving effort to protect a network’s valuable information from the savvy threats that are so abundant today.

 The People Factor

The biggest mistake that so many companies make across the board is allowing a lack of knowledge to remain. The reality of the digital world we live in is that IT staff members aren’t the only ones in an organization in need of education regarding security threats. Threats enter networks from every level. This means that even low-level employees need to be educated about the best practices for preventing, recognizing and stopping cyber threats. It should definitely be a priority to make employee training and education part of a digital safety plan at any organization. Here are the essentials that employees need to know:

  • Phishing emails masquerading as personal emails from friends, charity appeals or contests often contain links to harmful viruses that can compromise entire networks when opened.
  • Malware hidden in emails are common as well. Similar to phishing, emails requesting sensitive information “known sources” can be dangerous as well. Whether it be through a response or some other action like downloading or opening an attachments, malware, viruses, ransomware, and etc. can invisibly run in the background causing harm or collecting information.
  • Loss of a personal mobile device that has been used to access an organization’s network or email account can put a network in danger.
  • Email requests for transfers of large sums of money should be confirmed in person or by telephone.

The Technology Factor

Many companies mistakenly think that having the best technology is the way to keep hackers at bay. While innovative security certainly plays a big role in protecting networks from the serious threats that exist today, it’s not enough. Stopping at technology can actually be dangerous because it gives an IT security team a false sense of being covered. The reality is that hackers are using sophisticated methods to bypass automated security measures and break into networks. There simply has to be a human element to detection. This is why it’s so important to direct some resources towards human-driven security measures like penetration testing and advanced analysis. In addition, many enterprises get so caught up in trying to prevent attacks that they don’t prioritize the task of putting together a strategy for preserving and recovering data in the event that an attack does occur. It is so essential to have a breach response plan. A response should be rehearsed routinely as part of a defense strategy. This will ensure that staff members know what to do in the event that evidence suggests an attack has occurred.

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