Securing your business: Everything Tech busts five cybersecurity myths that can put firms in danger

Published by Rhys Taylor-Brown on November 20th 2022, 3:03pm

Despite the size or maturity of your business and the industry that it is working in, it is critical not to make assumptions about cybersecurity or underestimate just how critical it is. This is according to advice issued by Everything Tech, a Manchester-based IT and services provider headed by Leaders Council member, Ruth Hall.

Everything Tech’s marketing executive, Katie Taylor, goes on to tell us that despite how we as small, medium or even large businesses owners might perceive our data as irrelevant or useless to hackers, it is always worth investing in cybersecurity.

Writing on the Everything Tech blog, Taylor outlines some of the main misconceptions around cybersecurity versus the harsh and often dangerous reality.

Myth Number One: Our data is unimportant to hackers

Reality: Hackers can exploit anybody’s data and sell it for their gain

You might feel like you don’t have any information that is worth stealing, but there are various ways that hackers can use your data for their gain, usually with money as the motivator.

Cybercriminals can monetise the data of your employees – or even customers – by selling it on the dark web, leaving individuals with their data exposed and your business in disrepute.

It can also be used for impersonation purposes, to convince colleagues, customers, or suppliers to send money to a fraudulent account. Phishing attempts account for a whopping 83 per cent of cyberattacks against UK SMEs.

They may not even be looking for your data – they may infect your network with ransomware that locks you out of your systems until you pay a ransom, or malware that is designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorised access to your computer systems.

Myth Number Two: It’s too expensive to invest in cybersecurity

Reality: Remediating a cyber security breach is much more expensive than preventing one

Cybersecurity can seem like an unrewarding endeavour as there is no obvious return on investment at first. However, the consequences of leaving your business open to attack are far more catastrophic than the potential benefit of saving some money.

The average cost of a cyberattack for a UK business is £4,200, and that’s only in the immediate aftermath. A cyberattack can do damage to your reputation as customers, prospects, suppliers, and partners may no longer trust you to hold their data and take their business elsewhere, resulting in a loss of income.

Businesses may choose to outsource their IT security to a managed service provider to get peace of mind that they are keeping up with and protecting their business from the latest threats.

Myth Number Three: We’re too small for it to happen to us

Reality: Small businesses are an easy target for cybercriminals

You may think that your business isn’t significant enough to target. Usually, on the news, you only hear the big stories where hackers have extorted large sums of money from corporations.

The truth is that cybercriminals don’t discriminate, and over half of small-to-medium businesses experienced a cyberattack over the 12 months leading up to a recent NCSC survey.

Cybercriminals understand that SMEs don’t have the same advanced security solutions that are employed by big corporations and are more likely to pay ransoms, which makes them an easier target. It also means that they will attract less attention from law enforcement agencies.

Any weaknesses that can be exploited – such as a lack of formal password policies, not installing updates, and not using security software – make a business more likely to be targeted. The stakes are higher for SMEs, too, as a significant cyberattack could potentially result in the closure of a small business.

Myth Number Four: Our antivirus will protect us

Reality: Your employees have much more impact than the toolbox they use

While antivirus software is certainly not a bad thing to have in your armoury and is recommended as part of a robust cyber strategy, it is not the be-all and end-all and simply isn’t a match for the advanced threats seen today. It’s always one step behind zero-day threats (attack vectors that haven’t been seen before), and there are more of these appearing all the time.

Without a synchronised security toolkit and a cyber-aware workforce, your antivirus can easily be rendered useless. You can become a victim of cybercrime in different ways, for example, an employee may click on a malicious link or be tricked by a social engineering attack to pay money or disclose sensitive information.

Your cyber security strategy should span people, processes, and technology, all interacting with one another to provide the strongest defence possible. Your toolkit should cover your endpoints, firewall, network connections, email, and more. Plus, to mitigate the effects of any potential incidents, you should be investing in backup and disaster recovery solutions.

Myth Number Five: The IT department is responsible for cybersecurity

Reality: All employees are responsible for keeping their organisation cyber safe

All too often, the IT department is viewed as being solely responsible for cybersecurity. While they should indeed be leading the way, all employees have a responsibility to stay vigilant and ensure they are not doing anything to compromise the business. Plus, an IT department has different priorities and goals to a cybersecurity team and should not be expected to provide monitoring and defence services.

Every day employees are the frontline of your defences and represent the biggest possible attack vector. Cybercriminals are much more likely to target those who lack security knowledge than IT professionals who will recognise a phishing attempt.

If some employees don’t practise basic cybersecurity hygiene, they could compromise your business by falling for a phishing attack or downloading malicious software. This is even more apparent with hybrid working where people are detached from workplace norms and become less vigilant.

Cyber security awareness is critical so that your employees understand the risks, know how to spot threats, and take the right actions accordingly.

If you do leave your cyber security in the hands of fate, it’s time to level up. Everything Tech’s expert team is able to conduct a free cyber risk assessment to discover whether your business or organisation vulnerable to the latest cyber threats.

Individuals interested in the free risk assessment can contact the Everything Tech team here.

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

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Authored By

Rhys Taylor-Brown
Junior Editor
November 20th 2022, 3:03pm

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