Technology usually gets the blame when cybersecurity takes a turn for the worse, but the truth is that human error is almost always a business’s weakest link. Whether it’s mismanaged user privileges in the cloud or failing to upgrade from an unsupported operating system like the recently deprecated Windows 7, most incidents are a direct result of ignorance and unpreparedness.
Here are five cybersecurity myths that hackers love to exploit:
#1. “I’m too small to be a target”
Every business on the planet has something hackers want: information. Whether it’s payment card details, personally identifiable information, or something else entirely, even the smallest organizations have something of value.
The common misconception that small businesses aren’t attractive enough targets is precisely why hackers are most likely to target them. More often than not, their security systems aren’t up to scratch, making them easy targets for opportunistic criminals.
#2. “I have antivirus, so I don’t need anything else”
In the old days, running the latest antivirus software and connecting to the internet through a firewall was enough to fend off any kind of threat. But malicious software now comprises only a fraction of the cybersecurity threats facing today’s businesses and individuals.
Most attacks, including those involving malware, begin with something called a social engineering scam. These attacks involve criminals pretending to be trusted authorities and asking victims to take a desired action, which might even involve switching off their antivirus controls. Others trick victims into volunteering login credentials or payment data.
#3. “I would know if my device is infected”
If the movies were anything to go by, we’d probably think that most malware involves an alarming message and a skull and crossbones popping up on your screen. Sometimes that’s the case, like with ransomware, but otherwise, it’s a myth.
Cybercriminals prefer subterfuge. It’s hardly in their interest to alert victims to their attacks before they’ve obtained what they want. And even after getting what they targeted, keeping their attack secret could lead to other opportunities. That’s why most breaches aren’t discovered until months after they’ve happened.
#4. “I have a strong password, so I’m safe”
Passwords have always been a foundation of cybersecurity. Even users with little IT knowledge understand the importance of using long and complex passwords to avoid attacks that involve guessing thousands of passcodes per second.
Passwords offer just one layer of security, but they’re not nearly enough by themselves. Social engineering attackers often target passwords by setting up fake websites and other methods. Every system that stores sensitive data needs at least one extra layer of security, such as a single-use security token like an SMS confirmation.
#5. “Cybersecurity is the IT team’s problem”
Cybersecurity is still widely considered a technical challenge. Just reading the word “hacker” conjures up images of highly skilled and nefarious individuals able to work magic with a bit of malicious coding.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, most hackers don’t know anything about coding or the inner workings of computer systems. Instead, they exploit human ignorance by duping victims into doing what they want. Cybersecurity is everyone’s problem and everyone’s responsibility.
Simplified IT Consulting provides cutting-edge cybersecurity support as part of its managed IT services plan. If you’d like to learn more about what that includes, give us a call or download our free eBook, 20 Signs That Your Business is Ready for Managed Services.