Unforced errors isn’t just a term best used in sports. For every fumble, wild pitch, or errant pass, our work lives can also be filled with colossal mistakes. In the world of business, some of the biggest errors that companies make can lead to data loss. Failure to understand true threats to your organization can lead to your data ultimately being compromised.
Some basic errors can be as simple as not executing a comprehensive security plan. When businesses view data security as an IT issue, rather than an overall business problem, they run the risk of harming the company. When you place your entire faith on cyber products and anti-virus protection, that’s when you let your guard down and the cyber-vultures start circling.
Failing to properly train and certify your employees, contractors, vendors and suppliers is another way huge errors occur. It’s paramount that you train all your employees on cyber security best practices and make sure to continue offering support. Don’t assume that just because your company hired them, that they know all there is to know about data protection. This is a situation that is constantly evolving. Some employees might not know how to protect themselves online, which can put the data of your business at risk. Holding training sessions throughout the year provides employees with the knowledge of how to manage passwords and avoid hacking through criminal activity like phishing scams. You must hold your employees accountable. It’s crucial to make sure everyone in the company understands how important it is to use effective cyber security practices. Managers and business owners should lead by example, modeling excellent safety habits. It’s also a good idea to provide an online security manual and ask employees to sign a form after training to indicate they understand and will abide by company policies.
Re-using or sharing passwords is one of the most common reasons why companies go through a data crisis. You must make sure workers use passwords that have upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. It might sound peculiar to say, but sometimes the best passwords are the ones you have trouble remembering. Write it down and hide it in a secure location. A password management system can help by automating this process and eliminating the need for your staff to remember every single password created. If variety is truly the spice of life, it’s probably best to have a separate password for each registered site and try to change it every two months.
When your company relies heavily on firewalls to prevent security breaches, you will be in for a shock when your data is still snatched. Firewalls have their own security vulnerabilities, believe it or not, and can’t completely override human error. Oh yes, that’s right…human error. From “hitting the wrong button”, to spilling liquid all over your keyboard, we can be a walking disaster. Sometimes the greatest threat is right under our own nose. And it’s usually a hot cup of coffee!
You have to expect the unexpected when it involves your company’s potential exposure to a data breach. The attitude of “that won’t happen to my company” is what nourishes cyber-criminals. Failure to adopt a response plan prior to a breach will lead to ransomware and other security headaches. To err is human, but to not be prepared for those errors is just foolish for businesses.