Top 8 Common Cybersecurity Weaknesses in Businesses
Your business cannot afford to become a victim of internet criminals. It only takes one threat to compromise a weak security system, and then your business is exposed.
Cyberattacks are common and occur now more than ever. More importantly, they happen quite frequently with small to medium-sized businesses. According to a study, 43% of cyberattacks are directed toward small businesses. Meanwhile, only 14% prepared for hackers.
Cyberattacks don’t just target small businesses, though. Any person can be at risk for identity theft and more. That’s why it’s important to be aware of cybersecurity weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
What Is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is the process of protecting computer and network systems from harm and theft regarding hardware, software, and data. Additionally, it helps businesses look for a way to avoid disruption.
Aside from internet and software attacks, few people think of the physical components of a computer when it comes to cybersecurity. They don’t realize the harm cyberattacks can do to a device itself.
Cybersecurity Elements of Protection
For cybersecurity to make an impact, organizations need to plan their efforts throughout the entirety of an information system. The components of cybersecurity include the following:
- Network security: A safety process for protecting a company’s network from unwanted threats and attacks.
- Application security: Requires continuous testing and updates to ensure programs are secure.
- Endpoint security: For companies with remote access to the business network. There can be a weak point in the system for thieves to steal data. Endpoint security protects remote access to the company’s network.
- Data security: This protects company and customer information inside networks and applications.
- Database and infrastructure security: Protects the physical equipment and databases involved in the company’s network.
- Cloud security: Protects data and files stored on the cloud. This presents many challenges since data protection involves a completely online environment.
ERP Cybersecurity Strategy
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems provide one database that functions across all departments to enhance communication and collaboration more efficiently among employees. For example, companies run business processes through manufacturing, supply chain, sales, finance, marketing, and human resources. This system houses a record of data for planning, decision-making, and operational management.
ERP serves as a solution for businesses and partners involved in product development, marketing and sales campaigns, mergers, and acquisitions. This usually means more data flowing and opening up to many users. The more data coming through an ERP, the more security risks and vulnerabilities to a business’s software and information systems.
Unfortunately, ERP security is often not a top consideration for companies when selecting a provider. Furthermore, ERP has increased in vulnerabilities in recent years. As threats increase in frequency, severe disruption to your ERP system can cost your company money and time.
An ERP system strategy can assist with risks related to cyberattacks. Here are the other top eight most common cybersecurity weaknesses that businesses should consider.
Top 8 Common Cybersecurity Weaknesses
Cybersecurity teams can collaborate with businesses to work on the following:
1. Unsecured Networks
Networks that aren’t secure are open to cybercriminals gaining access to your system. Once they infiltrate the system, they have access to all devices and systems connected to the network.
2. Unsecured Communication Channels
Businesses exchange sensitive information regularly, so it’s important to secure all communication channels. For instance, investing in an encrypted email platform is excellent for communicating with clients safely.
3. Outdated Systems
Software developers and hardware engineers constantly look for security threats that can hurt users. Once they find an issue, they patch it to eliminate the threat. Hardware and software updates must be conducted at the device level in order for a patch to work.
Outdated systems can cause businesses to be at risk. Set devices and software to auto-update so they fetch any incoming patches designed to fix known security holes.
4. Unknown Bugs
Bugs in an application give cybercriminals easy access to user accounts. This could be from a flaw in the application programming interface that integrates two different apps. Or, there could be a fault in software you’re using from a third party.
Preventing and detecting absolutely every bug is impossible. However, you can enhance security by proactively scanning your applications and vetting vendors carefully.
5. Lack of Cybersecurity Strategy
Many businesses lack a high-end strategy for their cybersecurity needs. They’re often missing a security infrastructure component because they didn’t take it seriously or deem it a low priority. A strategic approach sets the stage for main security priorities and serves as a guide for anticipating and responding to attacks.
6. Lack of Monitoring
Monitoring traffic and proactively scanning for distributed denial of service attacks and ransomware are all efforts you should take. Without proper monitoring, businesses are vulnerable to these types of invasions. Modern monitoring even incorporates artificial intelligence for even greater vigilance.
7. Lack of Employee Training
When it comes to data breaches, 90% of those threats are caused by human error. This happens when an employee involuntarily hands a password over to someone. In turn, they gain access to the business’s data, opening the way for attacks to surface.
Training employees on best practices in cybersecurity teaches them to use strong passwords, identify various attacks in advance, and how and when to use company networks.
Essentially, companies should provide consistent training to ensure they retain the information.
8. Internet of Things and Multiple Connection Points
The IoT (Internet of Things) is one of the many technologies companies use to leverage business. This can involve several connection points on a single network. While IoT provides businesses with higher productivity and efficiency, it presents more points of vulnerability.
Preparation for remote access security threats and building awareness of the risks is vital to threat mitigation.
Final Cybersecurity Measures to Take
Communicating security risks with the entire workforce should be a priority in a business’s cybersecurity measures.
Additionally, employees are the first and last lines of protection. The key to business security is a strong team with upper management collaboration. Common weaknesses are often present when there’s a disconnect between teams and operations.
Take a stand on cybersecurity by embedding it into your operations and having everyone on the same page when it comes to responsibility. Establishing a security-minded, ownership-focused culture can help fill the gaps and maintain resiliency. Change and constant commitment start within an organization for cybersecurity initiatives to take effect.
Furthermore, awareness and preparation is a proactive approach to implementation. Businesses that test and document risk mitigation plans minimize risk and strengthen client assurance.
Prevent Data Breaches
Risk planning and cybersecurity maturation are continuous processes for organizations. Consider these essentials to keep the organization nimble, adaptable, and aware of current and emerging threats.
Zac Amos writes about AI, cybersecurity and other trending technology topics, and he works as the Features Editor at ReHack.