By Jennifer Adams
Cybersecurity is shrouded in assumptions and misconceptions. The expense, the risks, and what exactly it does is often misunderstood or written off as unimportant. Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly more sophisticated as hackers progressively become more aggressive. Here are five myths regarding cybersecurity explained and disproven.
1. Cybersecurity breaches are covered by insurance.
While some insurance policies cover losses due to a cybersecurity breach, others do not. Even if the financial loss is reimbursed, no amount of money will recover the downtime and reputational damage that comes along with a breach. To make sure your business is covered, specify coverage when buying insurance or purchase an entirely separate policy for cyber loss protection.
2. Only large corporations are targets for cyber-attacks.
Never think your company is too small for a cyber-attack. Businesses of all sizes and industries are potential targets for cyber criminals.
Many small to medium sized businesses do not have the resources to employ a full-time IT professional let alone an entire IT department, which is where we come in. Our managed IT specialists monitor your network closely, take care of any potential threats, keep you up to date with the latest software and are here to answer any questions you may have, at a much more affordable rate. Attacks on small businesses are more common than on large corporations, you just don’t hear about them as often.
3. Complex passwords are better than simple passwords
According to Forbes, the average individual is required to memorize between 70-80 complex passwords at a time, which increases the likelihood of users storing passwords in unsafe places such as a sticky note on the computer or a spreadsheet. To combat this, the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) recommends users create longer passwords with simple words rather than a shorter, more complicated, password with special characters. Another way a managed IT provider can help you is by resetting your password if you happen to forget it and by setting you up with a multi-factor authentication system for added protection.
4. If I have a firewall and antivirus software, I don’t need a Managed IT provider.
Firewall and antivirus software provide coverage to keep you safe online but cannot completely protect you against cyber-attacks. In fact, 91% of enterprises where data was breached had up-to-date firewall and antivirus protection.
A firewall is like a fence around a property. It keeps the wrong things from coming and going, but it cannot stop internal threats such as a USB infected with malware being plugged into a computer or the wrong files being deleted. Dissatisfied employees pose a threat because someone who understands how the firewall works could intentionally install a virus or mass delete important information. Even if their intentions are good, an employee who does not understand cybersecurity could accidently download something harmful.
Managed IT providers augment the firewall and antivirus software by keeping a watchful eye over everything and proactively taking action to stop threats and patch issues.
5. Data backups will save you from ransomware attacks.
Ransomware not only targets the information stored on your computer, but it also targets your backups as well. Data backups are good to have, especially if your company suffers a natural disaster. In some ransomware cases it can save you from having to pay the ransom. However, data backups cannot protect you from ransomware attacks. This theory was disproven when Maze, a cyber criminal gang, introduced a new form of ransomware capable of encrypting and exfiltering data. By doing this, the hacker tricks the victims into believing all data, including their backup data is gone, so the victim makes the hefty ransom payments. It is estimated that half of all ransomware attacks lead to data exfiltration.
Keeping your technology updated is a great way to secure your network, but it isn’t enough if no one is monitoring it. To ensure the safety of your business and your network, partner with a managed IT provider who can monitor your network for internal and external threats, answer any questions you may have, and take the burden of IT work off of you.