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Cybersecurity Myths and Misconceptions

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August 2, 2023

Cyberattacks continue to rise apace, growing in both frequency and sophistication. This means it is more important than ever to be equipped to protect yourself, both as an individual and a business. An important part of this is enhancing your knowledge so that you are not held back by myths and misconceptions.

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most common cybersecurity myths.

 

The Cybersecurity Myths That Could Land You in Trouble

 

If you can’t separate the facts from the myths, you are more susceptible to falling for cyber-attacks. Here are some alarmingly prominent misconceptions.

 

Myth: Security Software is Cumbersome and Gets in the Way

People have experienced systems becoming slower with antivirus software installed. If this happens, it is due to poor implementation of the software. They should not affect performance, and they are important for your security. Have them installed and configured properly.

 

Myth: Encryption Software Isn’t Worth the Investment

Some organisations think they can do without encryption software. In reality, they are a very effective way to prevent a data breach. Good encryption software is affordable, user-friendly and won’t impact the performance of your systems, and it may be necessary for compliance regulations.

 

Myth: Attackers Don’t Target Small and Medium Sized Businesses

Many people are under the misconception that SMEs aren’t often targeted by cyberattacks. This simply isn’t true, as there is data that suggest small businesses are up to 3x more likely to be targeted than larger ones. Whatever the reasons for this, it’s clear that smaller businesses need to be prepared.

 

Myth: It’s The IT Department That Needs to Worry About Data Security

IT teams play a significant role in protecting company data. But employees are some of the most vulnerable aspects of a company because of risks like:

  • Stolen credentials.
  • Phishing scams.
  • Misuse.
  • Human error.

IT departments do much to protect in-house data, but employees need to be trained to be safe from cyber threats.

 

Myth: Cybersecurity is Prohibitively Expensive

If you think like this, you are not considering the potential cost of a breach. The estimated average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million when all things are factored in. This is something that many businesses simply cannot afford to happen. The investment in cyber security can be kept on budget with the right support, and it protects against devastating attacks.

 

Myth: A Strong Password is All You Need

Strong passwords are important, but there are still ways they can be hacked. If you want robust protection, you must take a multi-layered approach. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a far stronger approach in the modern age and should be a part of your strategy.

 

Myth: Deleting Files Keeps Your Data Safe

When you ‘delete’ a file, it doesn’t truly disappear. It leaves a lasting trail that can be recovered via temporary files and other avenues. This residual data can be compromised by a hacker for a data breach. To protect against this, use data wiping software and have hard drives professionally wiped when they reach the end of their lifespan.

 

Myth: You Will Know Immediately If You Have Been Hacked

In fact, the opposite is usually true. Scammers have become very stealthy and there will be little indication of a breach until the damage is done. The longer a hacker has access to your systems, the more they can steal. It pays to have measures in place to detect a breach early on. You can learn more about what you need to do in the event of a data breach in our article Responding to a Data Breach.

 

Myth: Malware Only Affects Computers and Laptops

This is not true. Other devices like smartphones and tablets are also vulnerable to cyber threats and malware. In fact, trojans and ransomware on mobile devices has been rapidly increasing since 2015, so company mobile devices need to be part of your cyber security strategy.

 

Myth: A Breach Wouldn’t Matter as We Have Nothing Worth Stealing

Even if there is no data for a hacker to steal, they could use ransomware to lock you out of your systems and demand a ransom to get back in. If you keep your confidential data in the cloud, you need to have security for your cloud systems as they are also vulnerable to attacks.

 

Myth: Phishing Scams Are Easy to Spot

While this is often true, there are exceptions. Scammers are becoming more sophisticated and will even create mock websites of the brands they are impersonating to convince you of their authenticity. Keep employees up-to-date on the latest developments in phishing scams so that they know what to look out for.

 

Myth: Cybersecurity Threats Come From Outside Sources

You might be surprised. Research indicates that as many as 75% of data breaches come from within a company. It is often because employees are ill-versed in security measures, but it could also be because a disgruntled employee seeks revenge against the organisation.

 

Myth: You Can’t Be Attacked Via Social Networking Sites Like Facebook

This is a strange one. With the instant messaging offered by social networks, they are a popular method for phishing scammers to cast their net. Fake gift cards, survey scams and more are all popular methods of getting people to hand over personal details like banking credentials.

 

Myth: We Don’t Visit Unreliable Websites So We Are Safe

Unfortunately, legitimate websites are frequently compromised and can become a threat. Attackers profit from flaws in website plugins and browsers. In fact, it is estimated that up to three quarters of legitimate websites are vulnerable to being compromised.

 

Myth: We Are Safe Because We Use Apple Devices

It is true that PCs are the most common target of hackers. But Apple computers and mobile devices are becoming increasingly vulnerable. Whatever operating system you use, you must be wary of cyber-attacks.

 

What can I do to protect myself?

 

There are many cyber security best practices to follow. An IT firm that specialises in cybersecurity can carry out an audit of your systems to identify areas for improvement. Or you can take a look yourself at where you might be vulnerable.

Important things to do include:

  • Deploying high-quality passwords and MFA.
  • Training employees to be safe from threats.
  • Using a comprehensive anti-malware solution.
  • Using encryption software.

If you do suffer an attack, use it to learn where you are vulnerable and plug the holes. Above all else, never underestimate the importance of cybersecurity in the modern world.

 

Why choose Eventura for your cybersecurity?

 

With over 20 years experience in cybersecurity, we know our stuff. Our team of cybersecurity experts and complete a full audit of your business and identify any areas of weakness, which could leave you vulnerable to cyberattacks.

We were even mentioned in the Governments National Cyber Security Centre (NCSN) Annual Review 2020 when we were chosen to test their “Exercise in a Box” designed to help small businesses prepare and respond to cyberthreats. You can read the article here.

There is a common misconception that cyberattacks don’t happen to SMEs but this couldn’t be further from the truth. With our expert knowledge, we can help you protect your business’s future from the ever increasing threat of cybercriminals.

If you would like to speak to one of our cybersecurity experts or request a cybersecurity audit, you can request a free call back here.

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