The internet has become a deep and vast ocean filled with countless types of fish – some of which are benign, some of which are quite dangerous.

Since the majority of financial and IP transactions transpire online, businesses become more susceptible to breaches as they grow. Dangers lurk around every corner and the bigger you are – the scarier you appear in the sea trenches.

However, the size also signifies vulnerability on the web. If you want to cover all the weak points before anyone dares to attack, you should pay attention to these 7 data security mistakes business owners tend to make.

1. Failing to implement holistic updates

Applying a holistic update approach means that your company prioritizes security patches and software upgrades for every program and OS. The key is vigilance.

It is surprisingly common malpractice among small and medium-sized businesses that they forget to upgrade aspects of their infrastructure. For example, failing to update a singular program as soon as the patch is released can put a spoke in your wheel and render you vulnerable to cyber attacks.

From an impenetrable firewall to cutting-edge security software, each layer of protection is like an additional wall that protects the inner city from attacks.

2. Resting in the cloud without a safety net below

Moving into the cloud is not just a trend – it has become a common practice. However, many entrepreneurs believe that moving crucial data into the cloud will make them impervious to some attacks.

The illusion of invisibility can easily be shattered unless you have a reliable ‘safety net’ below. The key to this is to know your choices long before the data is uploaded.

For example, are you using a public cloud that also includes other companies? Encryption methods and partitioning processes should keep you safe.

If the breach happens in spite of the implemented measures, you should entertain the possibility that the attack had come from within. 

3. Secure access points

These days, we live in a peculiar business world that is a cross-section between physical and digital.

The layout and proximity of devices, their positional arrangement in the real world and the way they are installed and connected – these factors are reflected, to an extent, in the digital realm.

The banalest example of this is the arrangement of top-notch security measures around the doors and access points to server rooms. In order to secure your business, you have to cover ‘all entrances and exits’ both in the physical and, indeed, technical sense.

Failing to secure even the unlikeliest of emergency exits can pose a serious security risk. While the logistics of securing access points can be intricate, the solution is quite simple – the fewer active weak spots mean your business is more impervious.

4. Total BYOD oversight

When companies look for ways to secure all access points, they usually refer to ‘static’ areas and hotspots – doors, computers, server rooms.

However, since our software tech is constantly diversifying, many of the business processes have moved to portable devices.

This has rendered certain procedures more effective, but it also comes with its own can of worms, especially if the company has embraced BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) practices.

While transportable devices are much easier to steal, it is not as hard as it used to be to find an effective app that can track thieves down as effectively as it can lock them out of your data.

An obligatory setup across all company-related systems should do the trick. Otherwise, you are risking unstoppable cyber attacks and information leaks that can do a serious number on your company’s infrastructure.

5. Toiling away without real-time monitoring and the accompanying checkups

Your company is a proud hive of busy bees and everything seems to be going as smoothly as it is working efficiently.

This is a moment when you should definitely implement a 24/7 monitoring system, both in terms of live camera networks and ID checkups.

Of course, you should also have a vigilant real-time monitoring system that can neutralize threats as they emerge. When it comes to surveillance, you should make it a goal to have every corner covered and don’t overburden one camera with doing too many things.

Multiple strategically positioned cameras increase your chances of catching clear information – be it a license plate or a face.

6. Dismissing the importance of ID requirements

As your business expands your workforce will increase. They say that there’s safety in numbers, but this proverb also goes for potential thieves and hackers.

This is why dismissing the importance of IDs can become an Achilles’ heel of your company’s security. ID requirements should not only be obligatory – they should be enforced with the accompanying system of penalties.

Implementing ID badges and cards that will put employee’s moves on record is one of the soundest ways to pinpoint oversights.

This system will also build into the security of access points and real-time monitoring, which further enforces the data security of your company.

7. Infatuation with the latest trends in IT security

Techno-fetishism is a real thing and if it clouds the judgment of executives in a company that relies on IT and the accompanying data security, it can lead to lapses of judgment. If something is trendy, it doesn’t mean that it’s a sound method to protect your business; cutting-edge is a term with a fleeting quality.

You should be especially wary of the flashiest methods to protect company data, the ones that use a ‘silver bullet’ vernacular to sell themselves.

Remember – the good ol’ fashioned encryption may be getting refined as the years roll by, but it is a tried-and-true method that has worked for many years. The same goes for key management.

Final thoughts

Patching a data security risk may only appear to be akin to closing a door. However, matters are much less permanent than that.

If you are a responsible entrepreneur and a conscientious manager, you’ll understand that the very nature of data security is evanescent.

You need to maintain it constantly, establish strengthened iterations and make flexible decisions as your company (and indeed the internet landscape) changes.

 

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Natasha Lane

Natasha is a web designer, a lady of a keyboard and huge tech geek. Her expertise could be summed up in IT, branding and business growth-related topics. Natasha is always happy to share her knowledge by writing some awesome content. To see what she is up to next, check out her Twitter dashboard.

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