6 Myths About Cybersecurity (And 1 Big Truth)

No industry changes more on a day-to-day basis than cybersecurity. New hacks, breaches, and viruses pop up all the time, while the methods that cyber thieves use to deploy such attacks evolve just as quickly.

In January, a double-pronged attack highlighted these illegal and ever-shifting strategies. A combination of malware to steal data, followed by ransomware to demand payment for the return of that stolen data afflicted many through so-called “malvertising,” which tricks users into clicking on real-looking advertisements that lead to suspicious sites and then install both malware and ransomware on a user’s computer. That highlights the fact that no single method of cybersecurity focused on a single aspect can keep computers, users, and information completely safe.

Debunking that myth got us thinking about other common ones CMIT Solutions often hears: “We’ve never had a virus.” “No data breach has ever affected us.” “I’m completely covered.” Such thinking can be dangerous—especially if it leads you or your business to skimp on cybersecurity protection.

1. “We don’t get viruses.”

Every computer user in the history of computer use thinks this—right up until they get hit with an unexpected issue. What you may not know is that some of the most dangerous computer viruses out there don’t announce themselves. Instead, they’re designed to secretly work in the background harvesting your data without raising any red flags. Just because you don’t know about an infection doesn’t mean you haven’t been compromised.

2. “I’ve never had my data stolen. That means I’m safe, right?”

The truth is most data breaches don’t reveal themselves until months after they start—long after your most critical information may have been compromised. Even then, most data breaches are only revealed when customers report them or public pressure rises and demands a response. Comprehensive data security requires a multi-layered approach: enterprise-grade anti-virus and anti-malware software that keeps up with changes in the industry, robust firewalls that monitor and analyze Internet traffic, and other tools that are custom-fitted to your business, your industry, and your computing environment.

3. A strong password is enough to repel hackers.

No matter how unique your password is, cyber thieves are out there somewhere trying to figure out how to crack it. The key is to use different login credentials for different accounts and different platforms. That way, if one password is stolen, the hackers won’t immediately gain access to all of your accounts. In addition, two-factor authentication—logging in with something you know, like your password, and something you have, like a unique code delivered by text message or email—is a must. Proactive monitoring to track user access and look for illicit login attempts also provides another layer of security.

4. My data gets backed up every day… somewhere… I think.

Many businesses understand the immense importance of the data they store and use; many, many more don’t place the right amount of value on information, particularly customer information, which can represent a treasure trove for hackers. That’s why remote, regular, and redundant data backup executed automatically by a trusted IT provider is so important. Backing up your data on an external drive that sits right next to your computer isn’t safe in any number of scenarios, from natural or manmade disasters to data theft to ransomware infections that can plague any device plugged into a server.

5. I’m completely covered by cybersecurity protection.

The hard truth is that cybersecurity changes every day—sometimes every hour, and sometimes every minute. True protection and preparedness requires 24/7 efforts, research and development that stays current with online threats, and ongoing education. Think of cybersecurity as a never-ending ultra-marathon, not a one-time sprint with a defined finish line.

BONUS MYTH: “Cybersecurity is IT’s job, not mine.”

A trusted IT provider can help your business thrive. The best kind of partnership, however, represents both sides of the coin: trained security experts work wonders defending the computing environment while the employees that represent your business serve as the first line of defense. There’s the savvy computer user that may spot a suspicious email or raise a red flag about a questionable link. The manager that may make sure his or her employees stay up to date on cybersecurity education and training. And the business owner that empowers his or her employees with the most efficient equipment and the most robust cybersecurity protection possible.

Here’s one big cybersecurity truth: Every computer, every user, and every business deserves real data and network security. But it doesn’t come easy—and it requires hard work. With CMIT Solutions by your side, you can keep your company, your people, and your information safe.

Want to learn more about the ever-changing threats to your technology environment and what you can do to make a cybersecurity difference? Contact us today.