Hacking a business today is easier than it has ever been. With nearly every company in America now intimately intertwined with technology, you might think cybersecurity would be a priority. But the truth is, our protective measures have grown lax as organizations fall behind the times in their trust of flimsy barriers, trusting in blind faith that they won’t be targeted.

Right alongside the rise of software that makes our life and work easier than ever, the tools cybercriminals use has advanced as well, enabling hackers to penetrate precious networks of data with minimal effort. What used to take thousands of lines of code now takes a couple of clicks.

According to a study carried out by London-based consultancy Willis Towers Watson, it’s not some fancy tool that allows criminals to circumvent your defenses – it’s your employees letting them in. The study found that close to 90% of data breaches are caused by human-made mistake or behavior and that employee ignorance is one of the leading contributors.

No matter how impenetrable you may imagine your security measures are, they’ll be rendered useless if a hapless member of your team clicks the wrong link and opens the floodgates. When it comes to your biggest vulnerability, it isn’t your antivirus – it’s your poorly trained employees. Here are four ways to utilize cybersecurity to prevent them from slipping up and opening your business up to attack.

90% of data breaches are caused by human-made mistake or behavior! Click To Tweet

USE STRONGER PASSWORDS

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s probably anything but that to many members of your team.

According to a landmark research paper published by researched at Virginia Tech: “The Next Domino to Fall: Empirical Analysis of User Passwords across Online Services,” 52% of users either use duplicate or very similar or easily hackable passwords in their online activity. Of the 29 million users and 61 million compromised passwords studied, 70% of users continued to reuse passwords compromised within the last year and 40% for those compromised over the past 3 years!

So, is your business at risk? Well, according to the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 81 percent of hacking-related breaches used either stolen and/or weak passwords. And can you guess where the hackers probably obtained those stolen and/or weak credentials? You’re spot on if you guessed the Dark Web!

81 percent of hacking-related breaches used either stolen and/or weak passwords! Click To Tweet

As a business owner, these numbers shouldn’t just make you chuckle – they should make you mad! It may be that the entirety of your company’s data, everything you’ve worked so hard to build over years of blood, sweat, and tears, could be guarded behind passwords as simple as “123456” or “GoPatriots.”

Make sure you train your employees on safe password practices. That means mandatory password changes to key business accounts every few months, each of them containing letters, numbers, and symbols, preferably without any real words at all. It’s a small change, but it can drastically increase your odds against data breaches.

MAKE CYBERSECURITY PART OF YOUR COMPANY POLICY

If your business is going to survive a digital onslaught, safe online practices for your employees need to be more than a recommendation. They need to be mandatory company policies. Every new and existing employee needs to know what’s expected of them and what the consequences will be if they deviate from guidelines. For example, when an update comes through for a key piece of software, it needs to be installed immediately. Have a set procedure in place for them to follow if they encounter a suspicious e-mail or potentially malicious link. At the same time, make sure you provide an environment in which your employees feel comfortable reporting concerns about data privacy and information security. These and other practices, when set in stone, ensure that employees remain personally invested in protecting your company.

Provide an environment in which your employees feel comfortable reporting concerns about data privacy and information security! Click To Tweet

CONDUCT A SECURITY AUDIT

The best way to flush out any employee vulnerabilities, though, will always be to do a thorough security audit of all your systems. This not only means investigating the hardware and software you’re using daily but most importantly, you need to also analyze the habits of your personnel and whether they’re complying with your high standards of cybersecurity.

TRAIN YOUR PEOPLE TO WIN

As they say, forewarned is forearmed. This is never truer than when defending your business from data breaches. With comprehensive cybersecurity awareness training, outlining everything from the biggest digital threats to post-breach best practices, you can turn your biggest security liability into your greatest defense. If employees know the ins and outs of hackers’ tricks, it becomes exponentially more difficult for hackers to trick them and find a way into your network.

If your employees know the ins and outs of hackers’ tricks, it becomes exponentially more difficult for hackers to trick them and find a way into your network! Click To Tweet

With all four of these steps, it can be difficult to determine just how to implement these policies within your organization – much less what should be included – but luckily, we can help. Contact us to find out how we can help you put a strong data security employee training program in place and patch any holes in your barriers before they become an issue.

The 7 Most Critical Business IT Security Protections

image of report cover titled 7 Most Critical IT Security Protections Every Business Must Have In Place To Protect Against Cybercrime, Data Breaches & Hacker AttacksFree Report outlines the 7 Most Critical IT Security Protections Every Orlando Business Must Have In Place To Protect Against Cybercrimes, Data Breaches & Hacker Attacks

Cybercrime is at an all-time high, and hackers are setting their sights on small and medium businesses who are “low hanging fruit.” Don’t be their next victim! This report will get you started in protecting everything you’ve worked so hard to build

Concerned about the security status of your business IT network? We can help… Call us to schedule A FREE Cybersecurity Consultation. Aurora InfoTech is an Orlando-based premier managed services provider specializing in both network security and information technology. Give us a call today at (407) 995-6766 to discuss your network security concerns and to learn how we can help you secure your business IT network.

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Roy Richardson

Roy Richardson

Managing Partner

Roy Richardson is a co-founder, Managing Partner, and CTO of Aurora InfoTech LLC, a leading Cybersecurity & IT consulting firm in Orlando, Florida.

He has 20+ years of executive management & engineering experience in the Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Telecommunication industries. The vast experience he gained over the course of his career has given him a unique perspective that allows him to relate to a broad spectrum of business & technology challenges.

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