While every business in the world is vulnerable to data security risks, small businesses have a smaller margin for error and can’t afford the high costs associated with a data breach like larger companies might be able to. However, most small businesses are not prepared to deal with security risks. Only 14% of small businesses rate their ability to defend against cyber risks, vulnerabilities, and attacks as highly effective.
Here are five of the most common cybersecurity errors small businesses make.
1. Too much trust, too soon
You should trust everyone you hire to some extent, but that doesn’t mean they should instantly get access to sensitive information. Limit new hires’ access to sensitive information during the first 90 days. Just give them access to what they absolutely need to do their job.
2. Giving personal devices free rein
Many employees use their personal laptops, tablets, and smartphones to access company files and systems on the go. While bring your own device (BYOD) offers great flexibility, it also exposes your data and network to whatever Wi-Fi network they use.
3. Utilizing unsecured backups
If you’re not backing up your data offsite, your data is at risk. A simple external hard drive is not a sufficient solution to data backup; they are vulnerable to being lost, stolen, or destroyed by natural disasters.
4. Lacking an exit protocol
Is there a policy in place requiring exiting employees to return confidential data stored on their personal devices? If so, is it enforced? Confidentiality procedures are another way to protect sensitive data from being leaked.
5. Using outdated technology
No matter how useful a piece of equipment or software is today, it gets closer to being obsolete every day. It’s vital to remain vigilant with software patches and updates and budget for replacement technology if you want to keep your company safe.
Small businesses are not immune to data security threats, and they lack the resources large corporations have at their disposal to combat data breaches. Avoiding these mistakes will help minimize the risks for your company.