The world of cybersecurity is constantly evolving, and as with anything that undergoes frequent changes, the field is prone to misconceptions, misunderstandings, and missed opportunities. To help protect your business, we’ve put together a list of the most common misconceptions and what you can do about them.
What Are the Most Common Cybersecurity Misconceptions?
Misconception 1: Cybercriminals Only Target Large Corporations
Many businesses like to think that they are too small to be targeted by cybercriminals. After all, the media typically only covers stories about data breaches or cyberattacks that strike large, multinational corporations like Microsoft or the Red Cross. As a result, small and medium-sized businesses may assume they do not need to invest in network defenses since they won’t be targeted in the first place.
Reality: 61% of SMBs have reported they’ve been the target of at least one cyber attack over the past year. Cybercriminals realize that many SMBs have not yet caught up with the security strategies employed by large corporations, making them low-hanging fruit when identifying their next target. While you can’t put all of your budget toward cybersecurity, investing enough in your security posture to ensure you aren’t the lowest hanging fruit is often enough to deter potential attackers.
Misconception 2: Cyberthreats Are Always from an External Source
Another common misconception is that cyberthreats always originate from outside of your network. Why would anyone want to attack or compromise your network from within, especially if you have a small, trusted team? Most businesses assume that the greatest threats to their network are external, and that there isn’t much that can be done to defend a network from within.
Reality: In actuality, one of the best places to start defending your network is from within. That’s because about 1 in 3 businesses around the world are impacted by insider threats each year while insider incidents have increased by almost 50% over the past two years.
Insider threats are dangers that originate from within your network, through trusted people like employees, contractors, and those associated with valid network access. However, their access can be compromised through phishing, ransomware, or malware, making cybersecurity awareness training a fundamental cybersecurity strategy in today’s world.
Misconception 3: You Will Know If Your Network Has a Virus
Many people assume that firewalls and antivirus software are enough to automatically alert you when your network has a virus. From Microsoft’s built-in malware monitoring tools to license-based antivirus scanners, it’s easy to fall into a false sense of security and assume they will alert you if or as soon as your network is infected with a virus. No news is good news, right?
Reality: Wrong. Most antivirus software is only effective at detecting viruses or malware on one device, not across networks. While this software can close entry points into your network, it is not able to detect if your network has been compromised after the fact. It takes additional monitoring tools to detect broader threats once they’ve breached the network.
Misconception 4: Cybersecurity Is Too Expensive To Maintain
Too many businesses think the upfront costs of a cybersecurity platform are too high to justify the expense, especially since it doesn’t provide any return on investment. At the same time, spending money on cybersecurity may seem like a luxury or a waste of money that could be invested in other areas of the business.
Reality: In reality, the return on investment of investing in cybersecurity is not losing your business in the event of a cyber attack. 60 percent of small businesses go under within six months of falling victim to a data breach or cyber attack. Much like insurance, you should be willing to invest as much in cybersecurity as it’s worth to keep your business from going under.
In today’s world, cybersecurity is not a luxury—it’s a necessity, and it won’t matter that you invested in other areas of the business if you fall victim to cybercriminals and go out of business.
Misconception 5: Strong Passwords Are Enough to Protect Your Network
Users often think that strong, complex passwords are enough to prevent cybercriminals from gaining unauthorized access to accounts or networks. They may also think that changing passwords frequently bolsters security.
Reality: Unfortunately, cybercriminals have devised tools and techniques to compromise the most unique passwords, and even changing them frequently is no longer enough to combat potential attacks. While password hygiene is an important cybersecurity strategy, don’t be fooled into thinking you can stop there.
In today’s world, a single password to log into accounts is not enough to ensure your network stays secure. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is the new standard for password security by adding a layer of protection, even if the correct login and password are entered. Additional steps may require text code verification or a specialized app, ensuring that the person logging in is actually who they say they are.
Misconception 6: Phishing Scams Are Easy to Recognize
Lots of people think they’re too perceptive to fall victim to a phishing scam. Some phishing tropes from a decade ago have become so common and obvious that people now joke about them.
Reality: Gone are the days of Nigerian princes requesting that you wire them money to access a part of their fortune. Today’s phishing attacks have become significantly more cunning. They imitate trusted sources, such as familiar banks, government agencies, co-workers, or even family members to try and convince someone into sharing personal information without realizing it.
Phishing scams are constantly evolving, and just because someone can recognize one doesn’t mean they’ll be able to recognize all of them. The ongoing evolution of phishing emails has made cybersecurity awareness training and ongoing phishing tests more important than ever.
Need help enhancing your SMB’s cybersecurity posture? Virtual-Q offers everything you need as a bundled solution built for your business.
Don’t Compromise When It Comes to Cybersecurity
Are you ready to expand your current security measures? Do you just need to get a better understanding of how effective your current strategies are? Virtual-Q can help with everything from risk assessments and mitigation to industry-specific cybersecurity solutions customized for your business. Contact our experts today to learn more.