survival in the digital age

Cyber Security Misconceptions – Fact or Fiction?

When it comes to Cyber Security it is often difficult to keep up with what is fact and what is scaremongering. If Digital Security isn’t your core business then it makes sense to seek advice and find out once and for all whether the threats are actually real and whether you really should be investing in the new technology you’ve heard so much about.

There are some who do follow this approach, seeking out the experts and getting guidance on how to stay protected. There are many others though who allow certain misconceptions surrounding security to cloud their vision. These misconceptions, or ‘myths’, about Cyber Security can actually cause a lot of damage. With that in mind we’ve decided to put a few of them to bed. You’re welcome.

I’m not important enough to be a target

The assumption is that hackers are only ever looking to find a way to sneak through confidential government gateways or to bring down big corporations. Wrong. For an everyday cyber criminal getting hold of your email address, contact list, personal bank details and a proven credit history are just as valuable. Personal information can be sold, identities can be stolen and lives can be ruined. You may not be storing state secrets, but everything about your online presence is valuable and should be treated as such.

Companies can’t track my movements without my permission

Unfortunately this couldn’t be further from the truth, and without knowing it you are probably granting permission to more people than you think. Your mobile phone bleeds data at an astounding rate, something that High Street shops have quickly picked up on. When you enter a shop they will use your Bluetooth and Wireless ID’s to track your movement. Your phone company tracks you through mobile phone masts and your smartphone applications have access to a varying amount of location information. All of this enables companies to track your physical movements as if they were standing next to you.

My computer is safe because I don’t connect it to the internet

Once upon a time this could be considered true, but as technology evolves, so does the ability to take advantage of it. The past 12 months especially have seen hackers and nation states alike take on the challenge and develop extremely effective methods of jumping the ‘air gap’ and installing themselves on your ‘standalone system’. No computer can ever be considered completely safe, whether connected to the internet or not.

As a small business I can’t afford protection

Another assumption is that unless you can spend huge amounts on Cyber Security there is no point. Generally cheap means limited or lesser, but is that true for security? The answer, as you might have guessed, is no. Getting the basics right is the most important thing a small business can do. In Verizon’s 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) released earlier this year is was found that 70% of attacks exploited known vulnerabilities that had patches available, with some over a decade old. Patches are released almost weekly, so staying on top is vital.

At Digital Pathways we not only help you to get the basics right but also put more complex processes in place for when you and your business progresses. Hopefully above we have banished a few of the misconceptions that you or your staff may have about Cyber Security and if there is anything else you need to know about keeping your business secure then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.