Cybersecurity has become quite a buzzword, and it feels like everybody is talking about it. So how do you know which facts are not true about cybersecurity? How do you know what you can and can’t believe?
This article takes a close look at some of the most common statements about cybersecurity and debunks many of the myths you will encounter. It will leave you feeling more confident about managing your cybersecurity practices and knowing exactly where the threats are. Let’s get right into it.
1. Cybercriminals only target large businesses or wealthy people
There is a common misconception that cybercriminals will only target large businesses, government organizations, or even celebrities. This would mean that the average Joe isn’t really at risk. This statement is completely false.
Granted, there are groups of hackers specializing in taking down the larger corporations. But these are very specific groups of criminals, and for the most part, cybercriminals will target anybody. In fact, ordinary people and small businesses are probably an easier win. Why? Because they have weaker cybersecurity practices that can be infiltrated much faster.
A hacker could install keylogging software on your computer and gain access to your online banking, regardless of your bank balance. Don’t think you aren’t at risk just because you’re not in the top 1% or the public eye.
2. Cybersecurity is too expensive
Another false statement. Of course, expensive is subjective, and whether or not you consider cybersecurity too costly depends on personal circumstances. That said, there are many individuals and businesses that think cybersecurity costs considerably more than it actually does.
If you’re running a business with many users and have an extensive network, you will need to invest in security infrastructure to protect your business and employees. However, if you just want to stay safe browsing at home, the costs are much lower for single-use.
Regardless of what you think is a high price to pay for cybersecurity, it doesn’t come close to the cost of an attack. IBM reported that the average cost of a data breach in 2021 was $4.24 million.
3. My passwords are secure and will protect me
Gone are the days of using passwords that include our children’s or pets’ names. We all know to set secure passwords full of letters and numbers that are impossible to guess. The good news is that by improving your password practices, you have decreased your chances of being hacked. The bad news? Passwords are just the beginning.
Cybercriminals are finding new ways to bypass passwords, no matter how secure they are. This means that you also need to enable two-factor authentication to avoid any security threats. Two-factor authentication is a second layer of security, and most websites are now requiring it to be enabled by default.
4. You know right away if you have been attacked
This is arguably one of the most dangerous myths about cybersecurity. Many people expect to see an instant sign of an attack – a pop-up, a slow system, error messages, etc. Not seeing any apparent symptoms means that you don’t think that your system could have been compromised for a second.
It’s no secret that hackers and the technology they use, are advancing rapidly. Most cybersecurity attacks now happen with little-to-no evidence, with the exception of ransomware, of course. Your data could be stolen right from under your nose and you wouldn’t always know it was happening. This means that you should never lower your guard when it comes to the fight against cybercriminals.
5. Malware only affects computers
Once upon a time, this was true. Unfortunately, it’s not anymore. Every single device you own can be susceptible to malware, including your smartphone and tablet. The digital world and continuous internet access mean that malware is always a threat.
Although hackers tend to target PCs over any other device, it doesn’t mean that malware won’t be installed on your iPhone or Android. Cyberattacks can also happen on macOS and Linux, so you should be vigilant regardless of your chosen operating system.
6. My IT department or ISP will manage cybersecurity
They say ignorance is bliss, but it’s not when it comes to cybersecurity. It’s easy to think that cybersecurity isn’t your responsibility. At work, the IT department takes care of things; at home, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) keeps you protected, right?
Unfortunately not. Although these guys are actively monitoring and protecting the network, a lot of the responsibility also falls on the user. In fact, most cybersecurity attacks happen because of user error – a clicked link, an attachment in an email, and so on. As a user, you need to play your part in protecting the network and your individual device – it can be costly if you don’t.
7. Cybersecurity threats are only external
We, as internet users, have a habit of imagining cybercriminals operating in a far-away land shrouded in mystery. The truth is that some cybersecurity threats happen a lot closer to home. This is particularly true for businesses, where insider attacks can include employees and business partners. Impersonating an employee, accessing restricted tools, and stealing passwords are just some of the main cybersecurity threats businesses face.
The truth is that it can also happen at home. If your Wi-Fi network is left open, you are essentially inviting hackers onto your network. Always remember to set a password on your router, and only share it with people you know and trust. This will significantly reduce the chances of a cyberattack on your home network.
8. Some truths about cybersecurity
Now that we have cleared up which statements are false about cybersecurity, in the name of balance, we have also outlined some crucial truths. Check them out below:
- 94% of malware attacks happen through email
- A cyberattack happens approximately every 40 seconds
- Human error is the main cause of cybersecurity breaches
- It takes 206 days on average for a business to identify a data breach