If you’ve scrolled through a newsfeed at any point in the recent past, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that cyber security attacks seem to be on the rise. You might even hold your breath each time you hear of yet another business being taken down in the clutches of cyberattack, wondering if you’re going to be someone’s next target.

Don’t worry, you’re not paranoid. Cyber security is a very real, and very costly, challenge for businesses. It’s estimated that by 2021, cybercrimes will cost the world $6 trillion annually. If this number gives you pause, you’re probably also not going to like that 58% of malware attack victims are small businesses.

Why are small businesses such a big target? For many of them, it isn’t necessarily a lack of an approach to network security itself, but rather small, simple mistakes that your employees are making that put the business you’ve worked so hard to build at risk.

The truth is that many cyber criminals just have a keen understanding of the small, seemingly innocuous employee behaviors that leave businesses vulnerable to a sneak attack. Here are 3 ways that employee mistakes could be putting your business at risk.

A Lax Approach to Password Security

There’s a piece of advice that you’ve heard, and probably said, often. It’s that changing your passwords frequently and not using one that would be easy for someone to guess is the gold standard of cyber security. The problem is that employees tend to become lax about password security, especially if there hasn’t been an issue in the past.

Combine this with the fact that hackers have access to programs that can unlock simple passwords in less than the blink of an eye, and you’ve got a recipe for a data security disaster.

To avoid this, make sure employees understand how to create strong passwords (at least 8 characters, numbers, symbols, upper and lower case letters) and set a schedule for them to be changed. Also, make sure your employees are not writing the passwords on sticky notes. If so, they are simply trading one security risk for another.

They Get Bored

Sometimes your employees just need a quick break from their responsibilities to refocus, especially if it’s been an extra grueling day. Many businesses are fine with their employees taking a quick web browsing break, especially if it helps them refocus.

This in itself isn’t a problem, that is until one of your employees visits a site where they can pick up malware. If you don’t want to take away these privileges altogether, it’s important to instate a web usage policy and possibly add browsing controls to prevent your online security from being compromised.

You Haven’t Provided the Backup

Let’s face it, no matter what measures you take to keep your business safe from an IT security breach, you and the people you employ are human, and that means that mistakes will happen.

As a business owner or manager, it’s your responsibility to make sure that employees are informed and trained in security processes, but at the end of the day you still need managed IT services to protect your data, network and clients from a cyber criminal’s destruction.

You simply can’t assume that because you’re small that cybercriminals aren’t interested in you. The time to think about this possibility is before it happens, and we’re here to help. Contact Proactive IT to learn about our range of managed IT services to protect your business and keep it secure.