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4 Data Security Myths Businesses Commonly Believe

As data experts, it’s sometimes hard for us to realize that – for the vast majority of people – issues related to big data and big data security aren’t all that familiar. That’s why there are so many misconceptions floating around. Unfortunately, these falsities are putting businesses around the world in grave danger.

Squash These Four Myths

The cybersecurity industry is growing at an astounding rate, which means the threats facing businesses are also increasing. From 2017 to 2021, Cybersecurity Ventures projects $1 trillion will be spent globally on cybersecurity. This means the average year-over-year growth rate for the foreseeable future is a whopping 12-15 percent.

In other words, just because a business hasn’t been targeted yet, doesn’t mean they won’t. That’s what makes the following myths even more frightening:

  1. Hackers Only Get Through the Perimeter

Software is obviously a huge aspect of running a business, but the issue is that many companies don’t understand how to properly protect themselves when implementing software. They don’t realize that every program they use essentially increases their risk of being compromised. And even if they do, they generally think patching is enough to secure the perimeter and prevent all issues.

“Perimeters are just a small piece of the puzzle,” says Kai Miller, IT security professional. “Any application, device or system connected to the internet is a potential entry point for cyber-criminals to deliver malware.” It’s critically important that today’s business leaders realize that hackers can get in via a number of entry points.

  1. Only Large Organizations are Targeted

Did you know that almost half of all global cyber attacks last year – roughly 43 percent – were against small businesses? More than 7,000 American companies were victims of attacks in 2013 (the last year data was available), equaling losses in excess of $740 million. So this idea that hackers only target large organizations is a myth.

Hackers see small businesses as easy targets, because they know they’re less likely to have robust security solutions in place. This makes their data extremely vulnerable and puts hundreds of businesses out of operation each year.

  1. Firewall and Anti-Virus Solutions are Enough

Hackers are creative people. As soon as one defense mechanism pops up, they either find a way to overcome or bypass it. This means simply having a firewall or anti-virus solution in place isn’t enough.

Businesses must understand that security isn’t a stagnant thing. It’s constantly changing and must be continuously updated. Specifically, businesses should be taking a layered approach to security in 2016. This means developing strategies that include data encryption, malware software, password and access controls, network segmentation, data backup solutions, and more.

  1. Hackers are Totally Harmless

Somewhere along the line, the idea that hackers are just harmless kids playing around in their parents’ basements developed. Once again, this is totally false.

Today’s hackers are sophisticated adults with expensive technology and malicious intent. They aren’t just hacking for fun. They’re hacking to gain access to valuable data that can then be sold or held for ransom. It’s a serious issue that must be viewed through such a lens. Until businesses begin looking at hackers as criminals, it’s unlikely that their attitudes will change.

It’s Time to Set the Record Straight

As an expert who spends time working with data on a regular basis, it’s imperative that you use the knowledge you have to debunk dangerous myths like these. The longer businesses wait to protect themselves, the bigger of an issue global cybersecurity will become.

It’s time to set the record straight and establish the truth – even if it isn’t what people want to hear.

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