Our habits, both good and bad, help make our lives easier. For instance, sleeping at a specific time helps us get enough rest, while smoking may offer some psychological relief from stress. But while bad habits can be beneficial, they can lead to negative consequences in the long run. For instance, procrastinating may make things easier at the moment but often lead to a frantic last-minute rush to meet deadlines.
The same is true with bad cybersecurity habits.
Even as cyberattacks become more sophisticated, many small businesses still neglect cybersecurity best practices, which puts them at risk of suffering data breaches and malware attacks.
Let’s take a look at some of the worst cybersecurity habits that your business should change in 2022:
1. Having poor password habits
It can be burdensome to remember multiple passwords, so some users write them down on a piece of paper or their computer. These practices make it easy for others to steal those passwords.
People also tend to use weak passwords, such as “123456,” “qwerty,” and “football,” which can be cracked in less than a second. Others use their personal information for passwords, but these are just as easy to guess, as these can be acquired from social media sites and other online platforms.
To reduce the risk of cyberattacks due to poor password habits, here’s what you can do:
- Implement multifactor authentication (MFA). MFA requires account owners to enter another proof of their identity aside from a password. This could be a one-time passcode, security key, or a fingerprint or facial scan. Even if a cybercriminal gets a hold of a user’s login credentials, they won’t be able to access the account without providing all the necessary authentication factors.
- Use passphrases. Passphrases are a type of password that contain unrelated dictionary words, like “sulphuric trash subtitle plaything.” Their randomness makes them difficult for cybercriminals to guess but still simple enough for the account owner to remember.
- Deploy password managers. Password managers such as Dashlane and LastPass automatically log users into applications and websites, eliminating the need to remember multiple passwords. These programs also store passphrases in an encrypted vault that is only accessible using a secure master password or biometrics.
2. Not using email protection
Many organizations overlook the need for strong email security measures and instead rely on their provider’s built-in security features. The latter, however, is typically not effective in thwarting cyberthreats, as malicious emails can still land in a user’s inbox. Plus, a recent study found that 20% of all workers will likely click on phishing email links, and 67.5% will enter their credentials on a phishing website.
That’s why it’s imperative for businesses to implement email security solutions like malware scanning and anti-phishing and spam technology. Additionally, employees must be taught to not open unsolicited emails that may contain malicious links and attachments.
3. Not having a disaster recovery plan (DRP)
Natural disasters and cyberattacks can occur at any time. Without a proper DRP, your business might not be able to recover quickly after a disaster, resulting in financial losses and reputational damage. According to a recent report, however, only 54% of businesses have a company-wide DRP in place.
If you want to develop an effective DRP, seek the help of a reliable managed IT services provider (MSP) like NetQuest. Our experts will help you create multiple copies of your files and store them in various data centers so you can always access the latest version of your data. We will also ensure that you can recover your systems quickly so you can continue serving your customers in the event of a disaster or cyberattack.
4. Being complacent with cybersecurity
Many small business owners believe that cybercriminals only go after large companies. They also think that they have nothing important that can be stolen, so they don’t invest properly in cybersecurity. Such beliefs make small businesses vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Regardless of your business’s size, you must invest in proper cybersecurity solutions like anti-malware programs, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems. You can also partner with NetQuest. We will monitor your IT infrastructure for potential threats 24/7/365 and resolve any issues that may arise, so you can focus on growing your business.
5. Treating cybersecurity like a one-time project
Cybersecurity is an ever-changing landscape. Despite this, many businesses still think of it as a one-time project and fail to update their defenses, making them vulnerable to advanced cyberattacks.
Keep your IT infrastructure secure by regularly revisiting IT security plans and measures. Check if your security tools, policies, and procedures are still effective against current cyberthreats. For instance, you can perform penetration testing to identify vulnerabilities and develop fixes before they can be exploited by attackers.
Employees must also undergo cybersecurity awareness training at least every six months to prevent data breaches caused by human error. Make your training sessions resonate with your employees better by tailoring these to their roles, interests, and cybersecurity knowledge levels.
NetQuest has the appropriate IT tools that can help you eliminate these and other bad cybersecurity habits. If your business is in greater Baltimore, Annapolis, and Towson, request a risk-free audit today or download our FREE eBook to learn more.