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5 Mistakes People Make That Threaten Cybersecurity

The number of threats we have to face on a daily basis will only continue to grow. Most of these threats can be countered with proper precautions such as antivirus, firewalls, business-class routers, etc. However, the threat of human error is one which technology cannot protect us against.

Employees are an invaluable asset. Without employees, you wouldn’t have a business. They are the gears that keep spinning. But no matter how good of a gear they are, mistakes are inevitable. Here is a list of 5 common mistakes people make, and what you can do in your office to help reduce those risks.

Passwords

There are a number of common mistakes people make with passwords. One of the most obvious ones is writing passwords down on paper/ sticky notes and leaving them out on the desk for all to see. Not changing passwords regularly is another mistake people make which is easily avoidable. Finally, a serious issue regarding passwords is letting employees who have quit or been fired leave without changing passwords.

A solution to your password problems is to set a strict password policy and enforce it regularly. Make it necessary to change passwords every 3 months, and any employee caught with passwords carelessly written down on paper should be asked to keep those papers stored safely (bonus: you could enact a strike rule – get caught 3 times and face being reprimanded). Finally, any time an employee leaves – change all the passwords that they would have had access to.

Updates

Updating is key to cybersecurity. With those updates comes patches to flaws in the system, as well as addressing new threats which have been discovered since the time of the last update. That being said – updates are also annoying. How many times have you skipped a Windows update because you know it’ll take a long time? Or you’re in the middle of something and don’t want to stop. (Don’t worry – I won’t tell).

You could easily fix this by scheduling all your updates to happen overnight, or during the weekend – when you know no one will be working in the office. Or if this isn’t possible – at least try to schedule any updates during the lunch hour. MicroAge can provide your company with fully managed services and take care of all the updates for you, so you never have to worry again.

BYOD

Bring your own device, or BYOD is becoming a popular option for many people these days. While not as exciting as BYOB, it certainly lends its hand to some good vibes. The ability to work remotely, and over multiple devices such as tablets, and smartphones is a huge benefit to many people. But with this benefit, comes a lot of issues. For example, if your employee has a device which becomes compromised to a virus (and they don’t notice), when they connect to the work network, they have now provided the virus access to the entire network.

There are a couple of solutions you can take to help address this issue. You could ensure antivirus/ patch updates are regularly maintained on your employees devices, but this could be rather time consuming. An alternative to this solution could be to create multiple networks within your organization, and restrict access to the main one, only allowing your BYOD employees to access what is necessary, so as to segregate important files from common ones.

Bad Links

By now, surely everyone has received a suspicious email. Perhaps it was your long lost Nigerian uncle who has left you $23 billion, or maybe you won a contest you don’t recall entering. Nonetheless, all of our junk folders are full. However, sometimes an email does manage to slip through the cracks and end up in our inbox. Hackers are able to spoof legitimate looking email addresses from people we know – our bank, our colleague, or our boss.

This is a trickier one to prevent. To start, a good firewall definitely helps to filter out junk emails, and prevent them from ever entering. But – what do you do about those ones that do manage to make it in? You need to teach your staff about cyber safety, and how to recognize suspicious emails or links. If they are unsure, it never hurts to ask!

Carelessness

One of the most significant mistakes someone can make with their IT security is simply not caring! A lot of people think that they are safe simply because they haven’t had a problem yet. Many people use free AVG for their antivirus, and work in Google Cloud. Sure, these are okay tools to use in a home-based setting where the only thing at risk is your Netflix account. But at work – it is essential, now more than ever – that you have proper tools in place. Any bit of data is valuable to someone, regardless of what it is. If you have a business, and you don’t have business-grade security measures in place, you might as well be standing outside your office with a sign that says, “come steal my data!”

As a full service IT firm, MicroAge is more than ready to help you with this, and any other IT problems you might have. Our number one goal is to keep our clients safe and secure, so that they can focus on helping their clients. If you are unsure about whether or not your business is protected, talk to us today! We’ll gladly help you out with any information you may need.

Get the most from your IT

As service providers to more than 300 companies, the dedicated professionals at MicroAge are second to none when it comes to managed services. By improving efficiency, cutting costs and reducing downtime, we can help you achieve your business goals!

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