Cyber Security 101: The most common cyber security mistakes that Businesses make, and how to fix them.

Shamus Dougan
April 3, 2022

Businesses of all sizes are at risk for cyber-attacks. Hackers are getting more sophisticated every day, and they are targeting smaller businesses because they know that these companies often don't have the same level of security as larger businesses.

If you are a business owner or manager, it is critical that you understand the importance of cyber security. It not all about having top of the line multi million dollar security hardware or a crack team of security specialists in your pocket. Some of the most effective security practices are small every day things you can adopt in your business now.

In this blog post, we will discuss the most common cyber security mistakes that companies make, and how to fix them.

No guest Wi-Fi in the office (if you remember what an office is)

One of the most common mistakes that companies make is giving access to their Wi-Fi network to visitors and guests. If you have guests coming to your office, they should be using a separate Wi-Fi network than your employees. A guest Wi-Fi network allows access to the internet through your Wi-Fi but stops all access to other devices on your network. This will help to protect your company data and equipment from unauthorized access.

This is even more important post pandemic.As the world reopens its doors, the line between your office and your home I.T. environments tend to blur into each other. While businesses often put in security devices to protect the work network, vary rarely does this extend to setting up a secure home network. This is a security risk that can easily be avoided. A Guest network on the Wi-Fi at home also allows you abetter chance of keeping the home office more secure.

All modern Wi-Fi Access points have the ability to deploy a guest network, you just need to know where to turn it on.

Our advice? Set up a guest network and make sure it’s well-protected.

Shared accounts for online software/subscriptions

Having everyone in your business using the same account for any service is a ticking time bomb in terms of online security.While sharing the same account for your online application can be convenient and save you some money, it leaves you open to number of disastrous security problems.

There are several risks associated with password and account sharing. Firstly, if you share your password with someon eelse, they will have access to your account and could potentially make changes to your settings or even delete your account entirely. Additionally, if you share your account with multiple people, it becomes more difficult to keep track of who is using it and what they are doing, which could lead to problems down the line. Finally, if your password is compromised, or if someone gains access to your account without your permission, they could use it to do malicious things such as spamming other users or even stealing their personal information.

In short, password and account sharing can be a risky proposition. It is important to be aware of the potential risks before you decide to do it.

Our advice? Set up separate accounts for each employee so that everyone has their own login information and access to only the data that they need. This will help to keep your company's data more secure. If you do choose to share your password or account with someone else, be sure to trust them implicitly and be sure to keep an eye on what they are doing. Otherwise, it is best to keep your account to yourself to avoid any potential problems.

Password spreadsheet of death

Any business these days is going to have multiple passwords for the various accounts used day-to-day. The days of keeping them all in your head as sailed on by, so how do you keep a record of the various accounts?

One method we see a lot of is the spreadsheet of death. A perfectly set out spreadsheet with the access details to every account or system your business uses. Any one spot the potential issue? Even a password protected spreadsheet will only slow down the inevitable security compromise.

Yes, yes we know how scary that sounds but there is awesome software out there that can help you remember your passwords.

Our advice? Set up or on your desktop and phone. All you will need to remember is one password.


Onboarding and Offboarding staff

Did you know that it's also one of the most security-sensitive times for your business? That's because during on boarding, new employees are typically given access to sensitive company data and systems.If onboarding isn't done carefully, this can create serious security risks for your business.

When an employee starts at a new company, they should be given access to the resources they need to do their job and nothing more. They should not have access to sensitive company data or financial information unless it is absolutely necessary for their job function.

The same goes for when an employee leaves a company. Their access to company resources should be immediately revoked. If you don't do this, you run the risk of sensitive company data falling into the wrong hands.

Our advice? Make sure you have a process in place for onboarding and offboarding employees. This will help to keep your company's data more secure.

BYOD devices used in businesses

Many companies allow their employees to use their own devices (laptops, smartphones, etc.) for work purposes. This can be a great way to save money, but it can also be a security risk. If an employee's device is lost or stolen, the thief will have access to all of the company's data that is stored on that device.

Our advice? Make sure you have a BYOD policy in place that requires employees to encrypt their devices and set up a passcode lock. This will help to protect your company's data if an employee's

The Yellow Sticky of Doom

We now get to what I consider the greatest threat to computer security: the Yellow Sticky of Doom! This is when someone writes their password down on a yellow sticky note and sticks it to their monitor. Or worse, they write it on their keyboard or mousepad. This is a security disaster waiting to happen. If someone can see your password, they can login to your account and access sensitive company data. The best way to protect yourself is to use a password manager, which will generate strong passwords for you and remember them so that you don't have to.

Security experts agree that sticky notes are not great. They say the worst thing you can do with them is post messages on a monitor or keyboard since this gives an attacker information they need to take control of your system - but some people just don't have enough time in their day for complex passwords!

Our advice? If you're going to use sticky notes, at least hide them under your keyboard or mousepad. And try to use a different password for each of your online accounts. Better yet, invest in a Password manager like 1Password or LastPass.

These are just a few of easy to implement security precautions that a business can make. If you need help implementing the more in depth security measures for your business, contact our team of experts today.We can help you choose the right security solutions for your business and ensure that your data is protected from cyber threats.

Shamus Dougan

I am the Co-founder of Intelligen Technology Solutions. The company was started to take advantage of the changing technology in I.T. support services, and to bring cheaper and more responsive I.T. support to small and medium size business through out Australia.

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