Innovation & Startup: 5 cybersecurity errors threatening SMEs that adopt telework

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Following the Covid-19 pandemic, several companies were led to set up a telework policy to ensure the continuity of their activities. Of course, the main objective of this passage is to guarantee the protection of employees. However, unlike office work, teleworking exposes the company and its employees more to the various dangers associated with cybersecurity.

So in today’s environment, you can’t expect every single one of your employees to be aware of the latest cybersecurity prevention measures. This is why, it is up to you and your IT department to ensure that the correct security protocols have been put in place by your employees. It is also important to ensure that everyone takes the right security measures during this telework period.

In this article, we are listing the top 5 cybersecurity mistakes that could threaten your business during this telecommuting period, and which you should definitely avoid.

  1. Do not update software and operating systems

New computer vulnerabilities are constantly found in applications, software, as well as in the operating systems we use in our daily lives. Cybercriminals therefore rely on the exploitation of these vulnerabilities to infiltrate the devices of their victims, in particular by using the creation of viruses that will allow them to launch massive attacks.

To address this problem, programmers regularly offer updates and newer versions that address these vulnerabilities which can be exploited by hackers’ viruses. This is why, the constant updating of everything installed on the various devices used for professional purposes is essential as it will protect your business against any potential attempt of cyber attack.

  1. Use unencrypted Wi-Fi

Few are aware of the dangers of using unencrypted Wi-Fi. This could possibly be the case for the employees of your company. In this sense, your employees may run the risk of disclosing all of your company’s sensitive information on a daily basis to any cybercriminal who intercepts their computers via unencrypted Wi-Fi, without even knowing it.

Fortunately, there are several methods for encrypting networks and securing data flows. Note that the most effective solution remains the use of virtual private networks (commonly called VPNs). Indeed, this type of network encrypts data, ensuring that no one can intercept or exploit it.

The best way to set up a VPN is to use a VPN router. If you are an SME with a somewhat tight budget, prefer inexpensive VPN routers. In addition to not being overvalued, they will allow you optimal and effective protection.

  1. Do not use complex passwords

Passwords are the fundamental foundation of cybersecurity. This is why hackers are constantly innovating to create ingenious and more advanced software that will make it easier for them to crack the passwords of their next victims.

It is therefore very important to use strong passwords to keep a company safe. Most employees, however, use basic passwords that are very easy to guess. There are even those who just use their names or that of the company.

With this in mind, SMEs should further encourage and encourage their employees to use complex and more creative passwords. It would also be ideal if managers could convince them to change their passwords on a more regular basis.

  1. Do not use antivirus software

Generally, companies take a series of measures to protect their computers from all kinds of malware. They opt in particular for the installation of advanced and powerful security solutions, the intelligence of any connection from an unrecognized device, the prohibition on employees to install any new application, and so on.

Therefore, to avoid this kind of problem, it is essential to encourage your employees to install a reliable antivirus on any device that processes sensitive company data. However, if your company’s budget does not allow you to do this, do not hesitate to use free antivirus. Even though this software offers only basic protection, it considerably reduces the risk of a possible cyber attack.

  1. Fail to train employees on cybersecurity

It might sound shocking to you, but the primary cause of corporate cyber attacks is, and always has been, employees. By leaving their laptops or mobile devices open and unattended in public places or in shared living spaces, employees are practically rolling out a red carpet in front of hackers, thus putting all sensitive company data at risk .

So, as an SME, it would make more sense to take a protective approach. Therefore, before someone compromises your data, your reputation or even your livelihood, be sure to train your staff beforehand. In particular, opt for continuous awareness-raising among your employees on the various cybersecurity challenges, threats and countermeasures.

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