The cybercrime ecosystem continues to burgeon and evolve, given the new innovations, the rise of sophisticated onslaughts and the internet of things. To assist firms in staying abreast of cybersecurity best practices and hot topics, this month we’re launching a new article series entitled National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) Series. Throughout the month of October, we’ll cover an array of topics related to cybersecurity risk management. Our mission is to empower you with expert insight, so you can enhance your security measures and make the most of today’s technology and resources.
To kick off our NCSAM Article Series, the following article focuses on debunking common cybersecurity myths.
THE TOP THREE COMMON CYBERSECURITY MISCONCEPTIONS
Cybersecurity has become a primary concern worldwide, even more so in the past few weeks since the exposure of personal information of 143 million Americans. How can we more effectively protect ourselves from cyber threats? A starting point is debunking the most common misconceptions held by far too many end users.
MYTH #1 – MY COMPANY ISN’T A LARGE ENTERPRISE, I’M NOT A TARGET FOR CYBERCRIMINALS
Many small businesses have their guard down because they do not consider themselves to be an attractive target for hackers. The truth is, most businesses that have suffered some type of data breach in 2017 have under 1,000 employees. Hackers are in fact hedging their bets on this misconception held by small businesses because they are looking for a fast, easy target.
Hackers realize that small businesses have likely invested less in cybersecurity because they believe that their data is not at risk. To undermine the efforts of hackers, understand that anyone and everyone is a target of cyber-attacks. The question is not when in the future will you be hacked, but has it already happened and you don’t realize it?
Get ahead of hackers and consider cyber defense strategies.
MYTH #2 – I CANNOT PRIORITIZE CYBERSECURITY BECAUSE I CANNOT AFFORD IT
If you believe that Myth #1 is true, you may inevitably believe Myth #2. The truth is, it may be impractical for your business to invest in cybersecurity now if the budget is tight, but if you are hit with a cyber-attack, you may ultimately never recover from the costs of a breach. The costs will not only include the insurmountable legal fees incurred, but the immense damage done to your reputation. Even if your business does eventually recover monetarily, your end users may choose to never trust you again to responsibly protect their data. Invest in cybersecurity now so you can avoid spending on the fallout of a breach.
MYTH #3 – TECHNOLOGY WILL DEAL WITH IT
The easiest component of businesses for hackers to target: unsuspecting, unwary employees. They have become the weakest link in the chain, possibly because their employers believe Myth #2. Countless data breaches have originated from a single phishing email. Chances are the employee who opened the phishing email and exposed the entire company to attack, simply was not trained to be suspicious of such an email. While it is easy to paint one individual as ignorant, the problem lies in the bigger picture: their company did not provide adequate training. It is crucial to focus on educating employees so that attack prevention can begin with them.
Today, it is abundantly clear that no one is immune to cyber-attacks. Business after subsequent business have found themselves the target of hackers, and much of the time it is long after the data has been compromised. This is demonstrative of the criticality and expectation that businesses invest in employee education and cybersecurity technologies to curb and mitigate cyber-attacks. The consequences of a security incident ultimately outweigh the investment that it requires of a firm. Defend your data and that of your customers, before it becomes too late.