Cyber Security: Myth vs. Reality

The phrase“cyber security” has a catchy ring to it and instantly evokes feelings of relief and safety for business managers who haven’t taken the time to research what it actually means. Small businesses with tight budgets are at the most risk of taking low cost security strategies for granted. Here are reasons for all business professionals to raise their awareness about this fragile topic.

Common Misconceptions

  • IT departments are always well prepared for security breaches
  • any high-rated security software will be sufficient to protect data
  • hackers mainly target big companies to steal financial information
  • new technology keeps reducing cyber crime
  • all hackers are tech gurus
  • cloud providers always offer bulletproof security

Damage Beyond Data and Privacy

Cyber attacks come in multiple forms such as spying, identity theft, credit card fraud, viruses, malware, spam and more. But serious damage to hardware and software can also occur. That’s why it’s imperative for businesses to have a robust cyber security system as well as a backup and disaster recovery strategy. Backing up data constantly to backup servers is one of the safest cyber security measures a company can take.

Not only must email and databases be protected, the same is true for websites, operating systems, networks and any type of server. Ironically, the main cause of cyber security breaches is due to human error, according to CompTIA.

Why Not All Hackers are Criminals

One of the biggest cyber security myths is that all hackers are criminals. Prior to the widespread adoption of the web, the term “hacker” usually referred to technicians who test software for system vulnerabilities. Since the 90s the term commonly refers to cyber criminals who cause damage to the online community, although the original connotation is still used in the IT industry to include legitimate professionals. Even the FBI hires hackers. In 2016 they paid over $1 million to undisclosed professionals to hack an iPhone. The term “crackers” applies to criminal hackers.

Balance Between Fear and Confidence

Every business that uses hardware, software and electronic communication needs to be aware that any digital device with an operating system, whether online or offline, can be hacked. At the same time, governments have exaggerated cyber security fears for propaganda purposes. Consequently, there is mass confusion on the precise definition of cyber security. Understanding this complex mix of factors is essential to running a smooth operation that guards against unwanted security breaches.

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CEO, Author of the #1 Risk to Small Businesses

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