Technology has enabled companies to become more efficient and productive than ever before. However, in this age of cloud computing and the IoT (Internet of Things), businesses face new cybersecurity challenges that can threaten their operations, reputation, and bottom line.
While many companies are aware of the increasing cybersecurity threats and have tried to improve their security, many others are still struggling to keep up. Recent studies have shown that nearly 70% of SMBs have experienced data breaches at some point, and most never even knew it.
Cybercriminals are getting smarter and more sophisticated every day. Businesses must be prepared for the worst-case scenario and ensure they’re protected.
In this article, you will learn about five warning signs that it’s high time for an IT risk assessment.
You Deal with Extremely Sensitive Data
Many businesses handle sensitive data, but some are much more vulnerable than others. For example, if your company deals with credit card numbers or any other personally identifiable information (PII), you may be at risk greater than others.
But if your business is involved in something like manufacturing or engineering (which often involves trade secrets), that’s another story altogether. In either case, IT risk assessment can help identify potential vulnerabilities and determine whether you need additional safeguards.
You’re Still Using Legacy Software
The older your software, the more likely it is to contain security vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, many organizations still use legacy systems that are decades old and have never been updated or patched.
This is especially common among small businesses without dedicated IT staff who rely on outside providers for support.
This can make them more vulnerable to threats like ransomware, which often targets older versions of Windows. If you’re still using Windows XP or another outdated system, then it’s time to upgrade. It will also help if you work with a security partner who can help protect your data against modern cyber-attacks.
Your Employees Are Still Following Bad Password Hygiene
Poor password practices are responsible for the majority of data breaches in organizations. And even though many organizations have updated their password policies over the years, there’s still room for improvement.
Many employees use weak passwords or reuse the same password across multiple sites. It’s also common for users to create passwords that are easy to remember.
This is a bad idea because it makes it easier for hackers and other malicious actors to gain access if their credentials are stolen. Some organizations have implemented two-factor authentication (2FA) to combat this problem. While this isn’t foolproof too, it’s an important step in the right direction.
You’re Holding Personally Identifiable Information
A common misconception is that only large companies are at risk of data breaches. In reality, small businesses also must worry about this problem because they don’t have the resources to fend off sophisticated hackers.
If your company collects personally identifiable information (PII) such as names, addresses, and credit card information, you need to be extra careful in safeguarding your customers’ data. You must ensure that all your employees are trained to handle sensitive data.
You’re Not Sure How to Protect Against Ransomware Attacks
In recent times, ransomware attacks have become one of the biggest cybersecurity threats for organizations. Ransomware is malware that encrypts your data and then demands payment for unlocking it.
If you don’t pay up, the hackers will keep your files locked until you do. You don’t want to be surprised by a ransomware attack because there are no guarantees that your backups will work or be accessible.
If you still don’t have a plan to protect against ransomware attacks, it’s time to re-assess your cybersecurity strategy.
The companies that care most about their digital privacy need to be vigilant and aware of all the potential entry points of attack, both obvious and not-so-obvious.
If you wish to learn about the best cybersecurity practices and strategies, we recommend you visit our blog and contact us.