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Cybersecurity Myths that Could be Putting Your Data at Risk

The Importance of Cybersecurity Awareness

Today’s greatest significant issue to organizations has been identified as a lack of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity issues are frequently caused by a lack of cybersecurity understanding and awareness. The lack of knowledge is due to a lack of cybersecurity training and persistent disinformation. Despite receiving more media exposure than ever before, some prevalent cybersecurity myths still put businesses in danger. 

One of the most significant challenges that businesses face today is cybersecurity readiness. Despite the increased focus on making businesses more cyber secure, a few popular cybersecurity myths exist in the business world.

Now it is time that we debunk the most common cybersecurity myths and show you how to confront and debunk them.


What Is Cybersecurity?

We need a precise definition of cybersecurity before looking into the more intricate parts of the topic surrounding cybersecurity myths. So, what exactly is cybersecurity? The methods, activities, and tools used to secure digital data, networks, and devices from unauthorized access, criminal attacks, and even destruction are referred to as cybersecurity.

The measures and techniques used to secure physical or personal assets (or even digital ones) are referred to as cybersecurity. This could include confidential processes, password-protected systems, and personal data, as well as information critical to an entity’s or company’s operations, such as plans, designs, or research findings.

Cybersecurity was established as a specific profession dedicated to protecting the security of transmitted information. However, the hazards to internet data transmission are constantly changing, posing more significant risks to sensitive personal and corporate data.


What Does Cybersecurity Do?

To address cybersecurity risk, a rising number of technologies are available, and companies must implement rules and procedures tailored to their own business to be truly prepared for future cyber threats. Cybersecurity standards must engage the IT staff and executive plans and employee feedback on day-to-day technology usage.

To completely protect data, a company’s cybersecurity must include its networks, hardware, software, and mobile devices. Risks and weaknesses must be assessed and tested by entities. After that, a framework must be built describing how attacks are detected, how systems are protected when an attack happens, and how successful attacks are recovered.

Firewalls, malware protection, email protection, anti-virus software, multi-factor authentication, DNS filtering, and post-event analysis tools are among the technologies utilized to implement these cybersecurity policies.


The Biggest Cybersecurity Myths:

MYTH: All You Need Is A Strong Password

Strong passwords are one of the most important aspects of strong cybersecurity, particularly for corporations. Implementing and enforcing strong password regulations, on the other hand, is simply the beginning. In reality, one of the most important aspects of cybersecurity readiness that businesses ignore is what information is available in the first place rather than how individuals get it. 

Not only do employees require secure passwords, but organizations must also be more aware of who has access to what information. According to a recent study, 41% of organizations have at least 1,000 sensitive files available to all employees. Many businesses also lack a strategy for monitoring admin access. Strong passwords help keep your firm safe, but there’s a lot more at risk once employees are in the system.


MYTH: Not All Industries Are Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks

Some firms incorrectly assume that they will not be attacked because of their size, while others incorrectly assume they will not be attacked because of their industry. This fallacy is also linked to the notion that certain businesses don’t have anything “worth” stealing. The truth is that any sensitive information, including credit card numbers, addresses, and personal information, can make a company a target.

Furthermore, even if the targeted data has little selling value on the dark web, it may be necessary for the business to operate. Ransomware, for example, can encrypt data and prevent you from accessing it until you pay for a decryption key. Even if the data is deemed “low value,” this can make attacks quite profitable for cyber thieves.


MYTH: Anti-virus & Anti-Malware Software Is Enough

Anti-virus software is essential for keeping your business safe, but it won’t protect you from everything. Software is only the first step in a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. To truly safeguard your business, you’ll need a complete solution covering everything from staff training to insider threat detection and catastrophe recovery.


MYTH: Most Threats Come From the Outside

While external threats are clearly a worry and should be appropriately monitored, insider threats are equally deadly and should be closely monitored. Studies show that insider threats are thought to be responsible for up to 75% of data breaches.

Insider risks can come from anyone on the inside, from disgruntled employees seeking professional vengeance to happy colleagues lacking sufficient cybersecurity training, so having a mechanism in place to discourage and monitor insider threats is critical.


MYTH: Small Businesses Aren’t Threatened

The prevalence of high-profile hacks in the news cycle frequently leads small and medium-sized organizations to believe that they will not be targeted. In truth, the exact reverse is true. According to a Verizon data breach analysis, small firms account for 58 percent of data breach victims.

This occurs for a variety of reasons. Many businesses are not directly targeted but rather are victims of “spray-and-pray” attacks, in which hackers set up automated systems to penetrate businesses at random. Because these attacks are random, any firm, regardless of size, can be harmed.

Small firms are “softer” targets because they have less money to spend on complex data protection software and generally lack qualified security personnel, making them more vulnerable to spray-and-pray attacks. Small businesses are often the target of targeted attacks because they are unprotected.


MYTH: It’s Only Up To IT

While IT has a significant role in creating and reviewing rules to keep businesses safe from cyberattacks, genuine cybersecurity preparation is the responsibility of all employees, not just those in the IT department.

Circling back to the Verizon investigation, 49% of all malware is distributed over email. That means that employees who have not been trained in cybersecurity best practices, such as recognizing phishing scams and avoiding risky links, may expose your company to threats.


MYTH: Wi-Fi With A Password Is Safe

Employees who travel frequently, work remotely, or share workspaces may wrongly believe that a password keeps a Wi-Fi network secure. Wi-Fi passwords, in actuality, are mostly used to limit the number of users per network; other users with the same password may be able to view the sensitive data being communicated. To keep their data safer, personnel should invest in VPNs.


MYTH: You’ll Immediately Know If Your Computer Is Infected

It used to be true that if your computer was infected with a virus, you could tell right away – telltale indicators included pop-up advertising, slow-loading browsers, and, in severe situations, full-on system breakdowns.

On the other hand, modern malware is far more covert and difficult to detect. Depending on the virus strain infecting your computer or network, your compromised machine may continue to function normally, allowing the virus to cause damage for some time before being detected.


MYTH: Personal Devices Are Safe

Employees frequently believe that the security protocols that apply to the company’s computers do not apply to their personal devices. As a result, BYOD rules have exposed businesses to cyber dangers that they may not be aware of. Employees who use their own devices for work-related purposes must adhere to the same security rules as the rest of the network’s machines.

These guidelines do not apply only to cellphones and PCs. BYOD regulations should apply to any internet-connected devices, including wearables and IoT devices.


MYTH: You Can Achieve Flawless Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a never-ending war, not a one-time work to be completed and then forgotten about. New malware and attack methods constantly put your system and data in danger. You must continuously monitor your systems, conduct internal audits, and review, test, and assess contingency plans to keep yourself truly cybersafe.

Maintaining a company’s cyber security is a never-ending task that necessitates the participation of all employees. If someone at your firm has fallen prey to one of the aforementioned fallacies, it may be time to reassess your cybersecurity training and do a risk assessment.


The Truth About Cybersecurity

TRUTH: Malware & Hacks Cost A Lot

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of hacks and breaches involving well-known brands. It costs millions of dollars in damages to recover the data and pay fines. Due to the company’s cost-cutting efforts, C-level executives and associates may lose their jobs due to these expenses.

Here are a few examples: 

  • Yahoo, the internet behemoth, suffered a data breach that affected every one of its 3 billion user accounts. The hack cost roughly $350 million indirect costs.
  • Over $540 million user records were exposed to Amazon’s cloud computing service by Facebook, the social media behemoth.
  • The NHS in the United Kingdom was temporarily brought to its knees by a basic ransomware assault, resulting in canceled procedures and high clean-up costs. 
  • Equifax, a multinational credit rating organization, suffered a massive data hack that affected $147 million clients. The cost of repairing the damage caused by the attack was reportedly estimated to be $439 million.


TRUTH: Individuals Are At Risk

Not only are governments and corporations at risk from hackers’ acts and intents, but so are individuals, despite the cybersecurity myths that may fool them into believing otherwise. 

Identity theft, in which hackers steal a person’s personal information and sell it for profit, is a major problem. This also jeopardizes an individual’s and their family’s safety. This has happened in several instances, costing the victim millions of dollars. In other cases, after stealing their identity, hackers employ blackmail and extortion to demand ransom money in exchange for not taking any further action. This is especially true in high-profile identity theft cases involving celebrities or high-net-worth individuals.

Hackers have targeted home security cameras like the Ring, invading other people’s privacy. This raises serious privacy concerns, as hackers can communicate with people who live within the house and demand money. 


TRUTH: New Laws Are Always Coming

As cyber-attack threats grow, new regulations might be enacted to protect consumers from future attacks. As a result, further restrictions and legislation may be enacted in the near future.

The perpetrators of the attacks should soon face harsher penalties. Citizens must be informed about new legislation and ensure that their businesses abide by them.


TRUTH: Cyber Attacks Affect Everyone

Don’t let these cybersecurity myths affect your business’ security. According to recent reports, hackers now attack a computer in the United States every 39 seconds. Millions of people could be harmed if an attack occurs. State-run organizations may be shut down, and citizens may be denied services.

The major American city of Atlanta, for example, was targeted recently. The attackers demanded a hefty $51,000 in ransom. The SamSam malware was so dangerous that it knocked all of Atlanta off the grid for five days. Multiple major citywide operations were halted as a result of this dreaded attack. It ended up costing over $17 million to recover. Every day, ransomware is used to breach over 4,000 businesses. 

Hackers can breach government institutions on a global scale, resulting in cyber attacks. The National Cyber Security Center has issued a warning to businesses and consumers around the world that Russia is attempting to hack network infrastructure devices such as routers. The goal is to set the stage for future attacks on essential infrastructure, including power plants and energy grids.

It is such a threat that nuclear power stations might be targeted, resulting in a nuclear calamity that would kill millions of people. Stuxnet, a dangerous computer worm, was used to target one of Iran’s nuclear facilities, destroying one-fifth of the country’s nuclear centrifuges. These cyber worms caused centrifuges to overheat, perhaps resulting in an explosion that claimed human life.

If you need help navigating cybersecurity, Edge Networks is here for you! Take our free, self-guided IT Security Risk Assessment, or contact us today for a free, 30-minute consultation. Remember to stay educated, and don’t fall for the cybersecurity myths!


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