The 6 Cybersecurity Myths That Small Businesses Should Know

The 6 Cybersecurity Myths That Small Businesses Should Know

As a business owner, you need top-of-the-line cybersecurity. Otherwise, you can’t protect your customers and financial data from cybercriminals. Unfortunately, there are a number of cybersecurity myths out there that could make protecting your company difficult.

Are you protected through the right software? Do your employees know how to spot phishing scams? If you want to keep your company safe, read on to discover the top myths about cybersecurity.

Myth #1: You Can Easily Spot Phishing Scams

Most people remember the Nigerian prince scams of the 1990s and 2000s. Someone, stereotypically a Nigerian prince, emails you needing help transferring funds because of an emergency. They promise to send you a wire transfer for millions of dollars, but the wire transfer is canceled as soon as you send them money.

These kinds of scams are easy to spot, but hackers have gotten even more sophisticated. Now, they send out emails where they pose as government officials, the Internal Revenue Service, or your email provider. In a recent scam, hackers use blackmail and extortion to get your hard-earned money.

With the new scam, hackers send an email to you with your email address and a familiar-looking password in the subject line. Then, they demand payment, or they will post a webcam video of you going to a porn site.

In reality, the hacker doesn’t have a video. They just got your password and email address from a data breach. The best thing you can do in these circumstances is to change your password.

As a business owner, you need to train your employees to spot phishing attacks. Some companies will even send out their own phishing emails to see if employees will click on them. If the employee responds to the message, then they need more cybersecurity training.

Myth #2: I Have Cybersecurity Software, So I Don’t Need Anything Else

Another one of the most common myths about cybersecurity involves software. Somehow, people seem to believe software programs provide perfect protection from hackers and cybercriminals.

For example, the 2017 Equifax data breach left 143 million people exposed to online criminals. Because your data is stored by another party, your computer’s software won’t stop a criminal from accessing your data. Even major cybersecurity companies, like Bitdefender, Avast, and McAfee, were subject to a major data breach by Fxmsp.

Because no single method will protect you completely, you have to use multiple techniques to keep your company safe. Once you get cybersecurity software, you need to update it and your operating system regularly. You should do the same thing for your phone and other devices.

If a hacker breaks into your router, they can access any device you connect to it. Because of this, you really need to protect every device, router, and software program on your system.

Myth #3: I’m Safe on Social Media

When you’re on social media, it feels like you’re hanging out among your closest friends. You feel safe, but this is just another one of the most common cybersecurity myths. While you might enjoy chatting with friends online, your online profile could be an opening for cybercriminals.

In one common phishing technique, a cybercriminal creates a fake profile for one of your friends. Because it looks like your friend, you add them. Then, the fake profile sends you a link to a funny video or website.

Because you clicked on the link, you gave the hacker an opening into your own data. Phishing is prevalent on social media because people naturally trust their friends more than they trust complete strangers. Even if you are seemingly among friends, you can’t let your guard down completely when it comes to cybersecurity.

These same issues can also plague businesses that use social media profiles for their company.

Myth #4: I Can Tell If Something Is Wrong With My Device

Listening to cybersecurity myths like this one can put your company at risk. A cybercriminal’s goal is to leave no obvious signs of entry or exit. If they can escape without being caught, they can use your data for longer and reap the financial rewards.

Right now, there could be viruses on your computer already. While some viruses can slow down your system, others won’t. The only way you can keep your system safe from online criminals is by using proven cybersecurity techniques.

Myth #5: Small Businesses Aren’t a Target of Hackers

We really wish this wasn’t another one of the myths about cybersecurity, but it is. Small businesses don’t have the resources of large corporations, but they still have to fight the same cybersecurity risks.

Back in 2018, the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found 58% of attacks targeted small businesses. Hackers set up automated systems to target businesses at random, so companies of any size can be hit. Other cybercriminals deliberately target small businesses because they know small businesses are less likely to have expensive IT teams and data protection software.

This means small businesses have to protect their customers, data, and employees from cybersecurity attacks. Otherwise, your brand’s information, reputation, and revenue could be at risk.

Myth #6: Cybersecurity Risks Only Come From Outsiders

This is another one of the cybersecurity myths we can quickly dispel. While this is sometimes the case, most cybersecurity threats come from insiders.

In extreme cases, employees can steal data, sabotage your business, and abuse their access rights. They may also pose a risk because of carelessness. For example, one of your workers could click on a link in a phishing email or log in to their work computer using public wi-fi.

It is important to protect against insider and outsider threats. For insiders, you need policies and systems in place to deter cybersecurity risks. Additionally, you should create a system for monitoring these kinds of threats.

You Can Protect Your Company From Cybercriminals

While you can’t stop cybercriminals from targeting your company, you can stop their attack from being successful. The first step is learning the truth behind these myths about cybersecurity. Once you know the most common cybersecurity myths, you can start protecting your company, your investments, and your customers from cybercriminals.

Find out what Makios can do to improve your cybersecurity by reaching out to our team!