Five internal security threats your business needs to know about

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06 Nov 2022

Five internal cybersecurity threats your business needs to know about

It's likely you’ve thought about how to protect your business from the outside world, but have you considered defending it from the inside too?

As a business owner, the chances are you’ve heard about how important it is to keep cybercriminals out, but it’s easy to forget about internal cybersecurity threats to your business. In reality, this should be a huge part of protecting your company.

Keep reading to discover five common internal threats you should be aware of and how to protect your business against them.

Threat #1: Human error

Did you know a huge 82% of data breaches involve a human element, where employees expose information or make a mistake that lets cybercriminals in?

As it says in the name, these errors aren’t intentional. From accidentally sending an email to the wrong recipient to leaving a confidential document in a local café, the simplest mistake can compromise data.

To reduce the risk of human error, make sure every team member has undergone cybersecurity training. It’s important to create a strong culture of cyber awareness, too. This will keep security top of mind and help employees spot when your business has been potentially compromised.

Threat #2: Out-of-date software

Do you see constant smartphone software updates but don’t notice any real changes once they’ve been downloaded? Most software updates change things in the background that few of us would notice, but these updates are incredibly important. Especially since outdated software might not be able to withstand a modern cyberattack.

Since cyberattacks are constantly evolving, software needs to keep up. Although keeping your software up to date might come with an initial cost, it’ll reduce the risk of your systems becoming vulnerable to data breaches, ransomware attacks and viruses.

Threat #3: Infrequent virus scans

Chances are your computer’s antivirus software will notify you when it’s time to run a virus scan, but how many of us delay pressing ‘start scan’?

Whether it’s because you’re in the middle of a call or halfway through running a report, it’s important for your antivirus software to run at least once a week. Plus, you should always start an extra scan if your system is showing any suspicious behaviour. This could be anything that’s not normal, like glitching or your computer running much slower than usual. If in doubt, always run a quick virus scan.

Threat #4: Poor network security

If you use one computer or have a whole team using laptops, all your business tech will run off one network – and if this network isn’t secure, cybercriminals can, metaphorically, walk right in.

But there are a few ways you can help keep them out:

  • Limit access to your wireless network.

  • Turn on Wi-Fi network encryption.

  • Make sure you’re using an accredited firewall

  • Keep your router updated.

Threat #5: Poor password hygiene

Password hygiene refers to whether passwords are selected and managed in line with secure best practices, but what does this mean? If you don’t protect your accounts with strong passwords, this leaves them susceptible to cybercriminals, and increases the risk of cyberattack.

To help prevent this, the National Cyber Security Centre in the UK recommends using three random words with numbers and symbols. The more unusual, the harder to hack, but make sure you can remember it – you should never physically write down your passwords as they could end up in the wrong hands. You should also always use a unique password for every separate website and avoid sharing login details unless using a secure password manager.

So, as you set your cybersecurity plan, make sure you think about and protect your business against both external and internal threats.

If you’re wondering how to keep your business protected against both cyber and fraud risks, check out these five key steps to protect your organisation.

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