5 Big Data Breach Myths the Hackers Don't Want Exposed

We all have sneaking suspicions about security, but as with all assumptions, some of these beliefs are actually myths. And they’re myths that hackers hope stay around as long as Nessie and Yetis. Separating reality from fairytale can help you keep your organization secure.

The Truth Is Out There

Security myths run rampant in the IT and business world. Any of these sound familiar to you?

  1. Myth: Cyber attacks are always sophisticated and attackers are super skilled hacking ninjas. Oftentimes, headlines make it sound like a giant underground global organization is attacking night and day to access your data. The reality is that most attacks are carried out by individuals or small groups simply trying to take advantage of poor security practices.
  2. Myth: Your business is too small to garner attention from hackers and attackers. Although there likely isn’t a hacking mafia determined to crack into your organization’s data, no business is too small to be vulnerable. Many attacks are automated, looking for unsecured websites, networks, and individual computers regardless of the size of the organization.
  3. Myth: Spending big money on cybersecurity will protect you. If you consider the security budgets of the behemoths that have been attacked, this myth is quickly debunked. Although security spending is well worth the cost, quality matters. Put your security dollars toward ensuring the basics are consistently prioritized; well-managed firewalls, timely system and software patch management, quality endpoint security solutions, employee training, and assessments that identify deficiencies in your cybersecurity posture are all critical.
  4. Myth: You’re safe from internal attacks. Although disgruntled employees are regularly featured in security breach stories and do pose a risk, it is untrained and unaware employees that are often the cause of breaches. Social engineering attacks such as phishing can lure even the most well-meaning employees, making ongoing security training crucial to overall security.
  5. Myth: As long as your firewall is there and you have antivirus software, your business is safe. These protections are important, but only as part of a larger security posture. Defense-in-depth is the best approach to protecting against attackers that don’t give up when facing basic or single-faceted security.

Acknowledging these commonly held views are myths is the first step toward a more secure stance.

When Myths Become Reality

The truth is so much stranger and harsher than fiction, so when incident response becomes necessary, you want a concrete and managed approach. The focus turns to minimizing losses, protecting assets that haven’t yet been compromised, and maintaining business continuity. Through managed security services, critical infrastructure prioritization and protection, network forensics to find the cause of a breach, and even law enforcement liaising when necessary, your organization can be ready for a real-world data breach.

An oft-quoted colloquialism states, Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. Along these lines, the myths we all believe about security don’t help us protect our infrastructure. For real-world expertise and tangible security practices, make sure your team or your security provider can separate truth from fiction and applies substantial best practices to keep your organization safe.