Many Los Angeles businesses have poor cybersecurity practices. From using a single password for several accounts to installing browser extensions, some seemingly harmless actions can, in reality, put an organization’s data at risk. This lack of vigilance provides opportunities for cybercriminals to infiltrate corporate networks, steal sensitive data, and install malware.
The following are five bad cybersecurity habits that can cause security breaches, and what you and your employees can do to avoid them.
1. Reusing passwords
Many people can't help but use the same password for multiple accounts. This is because memorizing unique strings of alphanumeric characters and matching each with equally distinct accounts can be difficult. At the same time, getting locked out of an account can be quite the inconvenience, which is why many people would rather not risk forgetting a long and complex password.
Reusing passwords is an example of poor password management. This makes it easy for hackers to get into all of your accounts once they get ahold of even just a set of your login credentials. Although regularly changing passwords helps, it’s well worth enabling multifactor authentication, too. This provides an additional layer of security by requiring users to verify their identity using other factors besides their passwords.
What makes all the difference, however, is using a password manager. This is an app that generates, stores, and retrieves unique passwords from an encrypted database. All you have to do is to create and remember one master password, and you can log in to all of your other accounts automatically. It’s a good idea to enforce the use of a password manager to protect your employees’ corporate accounts.
2. Sharing too much information on social media
While some people proactively avoid posting on or remove personal information from the internet, many others don’t. In fact, many share so much information about themselves and other people on social media — by adding location tags to every photo they upload, posting about their colleagues and superiors, and the like.
Giving out too much information on public sites makes it easy for cybercriminals to profile you and your employees. The attackers could use this readily available information to carry out targeted phishing attacks, which could eventually lead to a security breach.
To prevent this from happening, refrain from publishing personal or corporate information on social media. Conducting regular security awareness training also helps to educate everyone in your organization about the best ways to protect company data and themselves against all sorts of cyberthreats.
3. Installing browser extensions
Browser extensions seem pretty harmless, but they can be a nightmare when it comes to privacy. Once you install them, you give these tools permission to capture and track your online activity, which include the pages you visit, login credentials you input, and more. What's worse, browser extensions can offer an easy way for cybercriminals to harvest your data and infiltrate your corporate network.
Carefully vet browser extensions before using them, or avoid installing them altogether. However, if certain extensions are necessary to your operations, implement a trusted endpoint detection and response solution so you’ll be alerted of any unusual activities and potential threats in your network.
4. Connecting personal devices to your corporate network
While using personal devices for work is convenient and can boost productivity, doing so comes with a host of risks. Connecting unmonitored endpoints to your network creates entryways to your critical business assets. And since these devices typically do not employ the same security measures that your network does, they are easier to exploit.
You are better off restricting access to work-related systems and information to corporate devices. But if you must connect personal devices to your network, make sure to keep them up to date, install trusted security apps on these, and use encryption when accessing sensitive data. Better yet, use a mobile device management solution, which allows you to monitor and manage all mobile devices linked to your network.
5. Putting off updates
People typically postpone updates and upgrades, mainly because they don’t want to be interrupted while using their computers or mobile phones. However, doing so actually leaves their devices vulnerable to a slew of security issues. As soon as patches for vulnerabilities become available, cybercriminals are quick to reverse-engineer these and create exploits that they can use to compromise unpatched devices.
Regularly implement or automate patches so you won't miss out on any critical security updates. This ensures that your computers and systems are always protected against the latest known attacks. What's even better is that these updates come with improvements to the performance and stability of your apps and devices.
What’s the best way to prevent security breaches?
Clearly communicating and enforcing your cybersecurity policies ensure that your employees know the proper ways of handling company data and devices. What's more, conducting regular security awareness training helps them to stay on top of emerging threats and learn how to effectively protect against each one. An educated workforce is your best chance at thwarting security breaches and more.
We at Prosum will help you kick these bad habits and strengthen your cybersecurity with our comprehensive managed security services. Our seasoned technicians will proactively monitor and maintain your systems, safeguard essential business assets, and keep your organization compliant with government and industry regulations. Call us today and protect your data, reputation, and bottom line.