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A cyber security mistake can result in a multitude of consequences, including but not limited to: stolen data, diminished customer confidence, reputational harm, compliance penalties and legal fees. Don’t put your company at risk of being hacked. Avoid these 8 common cyber security mistakes and give your business the best chance at success.

  1. Failing to map where data flows and lives

A company’s data is its lifeblood. Tracking and monitoring your data flows, especially if you’re pushing data externally out of your organization, is paramount. It’s essential to keep track with whom your data is shared, and where it lives, in order to know what you need to protect. All it takes is for attackers to be correct about your data location once. Visibility is everything.

  1. Neglecting security testing

No matter what database, network or application, there is always a plethora of vulnerabilities that can pose a risk. With the rise of the mobile era, these vulnerabilities also extend to any device that has internet access on it. You can mitigate the risk of these devices by conducting automated vulnerability scanning and deep-dive penetration testing, supervised by managed IT services.

  1. Concentrating too much on the perimeter

Cyber threats are increasingly becoming more advanced as time goes on. Although prevention is a vital method of protection, attackers still may make it through your border defenses. Plus, once they’re in your system, they will look to acquire privileges that will camouflage them as trusted users. Combat this by implementing strong visibility and an actionable understanding of indicators of compromise.

  1. Blanking on the basics

Oftentimes, it’s the simple things that will get you. To avoid having that “Doh!” moment, make sure all of your staff use strong passwords (passphrases are preferred) and are following the principle of least privilege. You also want to ensure your network components are properly segmented to minimize access to confidential data, adequately configured to avoid undesirable changes, and up to date with the latest patches.

  1. Disregarding security training

Akin to the physical world, it’s important to remain vigilant in the digital world. Security enforcers rely on the population at large to report attacks and signal suspicion. This is no different online. Train your staff in everything from laptop protection to social engineering identification.

  1. Not monitoring your security

Just because you hire an IT company or you’ve got security processes in place, does not mean that they shouldn’t be continuously monitored. In order to have the most efficient practices in place, you’ll be needing around-the-clock monitoring and intelligence that will help you investigate automated alerts, hunt for threats, and minimize attacks.

  1. Not doing vendor risk assessments

Commonly, cyber-attacks occur by first infiltrating one of the victim company’s vendors. It’s essential that your company has a plan in place with third-party entities to ensure that they are taking cyber security and threats as seriously as you are.

  1. Believing a breach won’t happen to you

Unfortunately, cybercriminals will show you no mercy; they attack businesses of any size. Protect your company by preparing your defenses to also include responses. This will help you react faster and minimize the fallout if a breach occurs.

We all make mistakes. However, some mistakes are far larger in consequence than others. It just absolutely is not worth the risk to skimp on cyber security. For the bare minimum of protection, make sure that these common pitfalls don’t occur within your business.