Are You Still Falling for These Cybersecurity Misconceptions?
We currently live in a cultural climate of escalating misinformation, spurious ideations, and fomenting conspiracy theories. Pick a topic - health, finance, politics… Brittany Spears - and you’ll unearth a plethora of factual distortion and false beliefs. The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent vaccination program continues to be fraught with conflicting confabulations and political media manipulations. It’s hard to know what to trust, where to place your faith, or how to attain a sense of security. And security, on a personal and business level, is a core primary concern. Relying upon inaccurate information or outdated myths could lead to devastating consequences.
Cybersecurity is steeped in dangerously outdated misconceptions
In the realm of cybersecurity, there are numerous misguided notions that can shape security decisions, leading to costly and far reaching mistakes. Some of these ideas may have been true at one time, due to technology and threat landscape risk in the past. However, today’s enterprise must recognize the incredible pace of technological evolution and the ever-escalating sophistication of hacker tools, schemes and scams. In order to quell the propagation of harmful misinformation that impedes security best practices, enterprises of every size should re-examine these common cybersecurity fallacies and take steps to update and remediate any weak points in their security solutions
It’s time to discard these fallacies surrounding cybersecurity
It should come as no surprise that the list of accepted beliefs is lengthy, since we have all witnessed the power of fabrication, misinformation and out-in-left-field ideologies every day via news outlets and social media. So, let’s hone in on six of the most commonly held cybersecurity myths.
Nope. If you think your business is too small, too inconsequential for targeting, think again. Malicious actors, individually or as an organization, target businesses of every size, for myriad reasons. Data is gold, and every business can be mined for valuable information that will lead to bigger prospects. This leads us to the #2 misconception
Hackers cast a broad net when they troll for potential victims. Businesses of every size and description can end up in the catch. For instance, any business can face a ransomware demand. A small business might be compromised as a testing ground for stolen credit cards, where the perpetrator makes a small purchase on unsecured sites to test for success. Many of us have experienced weird charges of less than a dollar or two on our credit cards, only to discover upon investigation that it originates out of Malaysia. Additionally, a small business without SSL protection can be infiltrated with malware that tells browsers that the site is unsecured and a risk. This can greatly impact website use and the bottom line.
The simple truth is that no password is foolproof. Hackers have access to highly sophisticated tools for password detection. Unless there are separate passwords for every account, and no default passwords on the loose, then there is an unacceptable degree of vulnerability. Every business needs to utilize two-factor authentication, along with strong password management, to thwart malicious actors.
When it comes to cybersecurity solutions and policies, complacency and blind trust could result in catastrophic repercussions. An enterprise doesn’t set up the cybersecurity plan and solutions and then just sit back with smug satisfaction. An effective cybersecurity approach involves continual adaptation, updates and new technology acquisition. Hackers are always on the fast track to develop ever more sophisticated cyberattack weaponry. They know that given time, they will break through even the most “fool proof” cybersecurity measures. Businesses must deploy a holistic cybersecurity approach, with regular backups and timely updates. “Relax” will never be part of a cybersecurity job description.
The reality is that recent data breach statistics found that 63% of successful attacks come from internal sources; namely human errors, lack of control, and fraud. As a result of the pandemic, there has been a meteoric rise in cybersecurity vulnerabilities and attacks due to a remote workforce and remote devices, with compromised control over employee activities. From careless users, to rogue insiders and corporate espionage, the internal threat landscape is escalating. With malicious phishing scams soaring in the past two years, ongoing employee awareness and response training is crucial. Even the most technically savvy user may fall victim to highly sophisticated phishing methods, like fake invoices, email impersonation tactics, etc. Employee manuals and a twice a year workshop won’t fit the bill. Education must be continuous, with hands-on and experience-based simulations. A centralized cybersecurity solution, that provides 360 degree visibility and real-time data analysis, is becoming a mandate for an enterprise to plug security gaps before they become breaches.
the past, cybersecurity was mostly under the jurisdiction of the IT team. However, with increased user access to online resources and sensitive data, cybersecurity must now be an organization-wide responsibility, from the top down. Cooperation, communication and collaboration are the defense strategies needed to strengthen the cybersecurity posture. Due to the human weakness factor, everyone is vulnerable and exploitable, so everyone has a security responsibility. Back to that complacency problem; don’t rely solely upon IT to be the guys in white hats in every situation.
Within the past two years, businesses of every size have been confronted with exceptional change at an unprecedented pace. The nature of cybersecurity has had to continually evolve and advance in answer to the changes wrought by an ongoing pandemic, digital transformation and escalating hacker sophistication. Every business should heed the wake-up call to re-examine their cybersecurity perspective and policies, eliminating the myths and adopting real and effective measures.
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Whether they recognize it or not, many cybersecurity leaders in both the public and private sector are either unprepared or relying upon inadequate cybersecurity protection. Their organizations are at risk by depending upon security silos comprised of single function security products that aren’t appropriate for today’s broad attack surfaces. Keeping digital assets secure requires cybersecurity protections that will secure corporate assets today, and for decades to come.