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The Ten Cybersecurity Misconceptions You Should Be Aware Of

By: Total Computer Solutions

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With the security landscape continually changing, it is crucial to stay up to date on cyberattacks and data breaches. As a result, most people do not always have the most current information. In such an environment, cybersecurity myths are eminent. As we enter the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, learn some of the most famous myths and facts.

Here are the top ten cybersecurity misconceptions:

1. The data I access is not valuable

Whether yours is a small or medium-sized organization, any information you own or access is valuable and worth protecting. From tax information, HR records, business contracts, invoices, to confidential correspondences, all data should be protected.

To stay safe, you need to review all your data and classify it based on sensitivity. This way, you will know the most important data and the steps to guard it.

2. Protecting myself from cybercriminals is very expensive

You do not need lots of money for a robust security strategy. You do need to have a layered approach to stay protected.

You can begin with establishing effective procedures and policies and train your staff on how to spot any threats or malicious emails. A reliable backup system that you test regularly is also a necessity. 

3. Hiring a Managed IT service provider means I am not liable if I have a security incident

You can rely on a Managed Service Provider for your outsourced security, but this does not mean they are the only ones responsible for keeping your data safe. Your data is part of your assets, so it makes sense to invest additional effort to guarantee safety.

Agreements with your vendors should clearly state how your data should be handled, how long it will be retained, and what happens to it after terminating the contract. Additionally, the owners of the data and those who can access it should also be outlined.

4. Cybersecurity is a high-tech issue

You cannot rely on technology entirely to keep your data safe from intruders or loss. Instead, it requires a combination of cybersecurity awareness training and clear written procedures and policies. Convenience and security are opposites as you strengthen your technology user convenience are negatively impacted.

You can mitigate the threat by educating all employees of their role in keeping the business information safe.

5. General liability insurance covers cyber breaches

Currently, a majority of the liability insurance policies for standard businesses do not include data breaches and cyber incidents. Contact your insurance representative to understand the best strategy for your business, make sure you get cybersecurity insurance and that you know it’s limitations.

6. Younger employees are more conversant with cybersecurity        

Most of the time, the young person in the office becomes the go-to IT specialist by default. But just like any other expertise, age does not determine an individual's cybersecurity knowledge and expertise.

So before you assign the role of handling your security, social media pages, or networks, ensure you review their qualifications. Furthermore, you should communicate your expectations and educate them on the best practices.

7. Cyber threats typically come from external sources

External sources may not always facilitate cyberattacks. Mistakes made by in house persons can be just as damaging. For instance, an employee may forward an email with sensitive information to the wrong email address. It is also possible for a disgruntled or fired employee to launch an attack for revenge.

As you analyze your threat landscape, pay attention to any potential security incident from within. You also need to develop and implement the best practices to limit such threats.

8. Physical and digital security are completely different

It is common to find entrepreneurs narrowly associating digital security with code and software only. When securing your sensitive assets, always account for physical security.

You can begin with assessing your physical layout and looking for any opportunity for unauthorized physical access to assets and sensitive business data. You will then use these insights to establish and implement the best preventative strategies and policies.

9. Security programs that comply with industry standards are the best

Compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) or the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA), for instance, is vital if you want to secure sensitive business information. But conforming to these standards does not mean that your security strategy is perfect.

To manage any risk, use robust frameworks like the NIST Cybersecurity Framework.

10. New devices and software are secure by default

It may be new, but this does not guarantee protection from breach or attacks.

After shopping for new equipment, ensure it runs the latest software and then replace the manufacturer's default username and password with a secure username and password. Even better, create a lengthy unique phrase as the new password and configure the privacy settings to be as restrictive as possible.

Stay protected from threats

Today's small and medium size businesses cannot afford the resources and time necessary to handle every potential risk. But all parties are charged with protecting the business data and networks from attacks. For a more secure cyberculture, every party must do their part.

Contact us today for further guidance to protect your most valuable business asset – your data.

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