The Internet has earned its reputation for being dangerous. It can be a bad world, with prominent hackers prowling and waiting for businesses to make security mistakes. All it takes is one slip for them to get into your Website or your data and wreak havoc. This is one of the reasons why cybersecurity these days is considered to be such a big deal. Organizations hire experts to put in special security measures that will keep these hackers at bay.

However, small businesses and startups that are new to the business arena may not be aware of these problems or may not take them seriously. In fact, they might unknowingly make some mistakes that can actually prove to be disastrous for their organizations.

A little care is all that these small businesses need to ensure that they do not make these mistakes. Here is a list of the common cybersecurity mistakes that startups and small businesses should steer clear of.

Not Updating Software

A business organization should use a fool-proof firewall and high-end security software for its Websites and servers. This is one of the best ways to keep hackers in check. However, remember that the computer world keeps coming up with newer technology with each passing day. So, hackers also come up with novel techniques to make their way into your system.

The best way to protect yourself from hackers is to update your security software every now and then. Most security software companies recommend this and even suggest it at regular intervals. It is also a good idea to store your secret files, like income statements, budget reports etc., in a system that is not connected to the server. Small businesses sometimes overlook the importance of this due to their busy schedules and other issues, thus causing a security issue and exposing themselves to hackers.

Untrained Staff Handling Security

Whoever said that once you have security software in place, anyone can take care of security was definitely not thinking straight. The truth is that cybersecurity is a crucial thing and should not be taken lightly. No matter how good your security software and firewall is, there will still be a number of risks that will be lurking out there.

Believe it or not, these risks cannot be understood or handled by an untrained person. So, handing over the cybersecurity of your business to a person who is not technically sound is a recipe for disaster. Only a trained person will be aware of the possible risks and will be able to mitigate them.

Not Using Strong Passwords

The password is there for a reason and is not something to be taken lightly. In fact, you might have noticed that time and again, your security software prompts you to use a strong password and even alerts you when you use a weak one. This is one crucial point that most small businesses pay no heed to. Then there are times when the password used is something that is easy to guess like name of the company, year of founding, etc.

Such password practices have been a point of concern for businesses since time immemorial. However, most companies still don’t take this seriously, making it easier for hackers to make their way easily into the business’s files.

Handing Over the Reins to a Single IT Person

Isn’t this why you hire an IT person in the first place? You want him to be responsible to take care of all things technical in the organization. There is nothing wrong with that. However, entrusting a single person with the task of maintaining security might not be a great idea, especially if the person is new and not someone you can trust.

The truth is that by doing this, you may be giving him an open invitation to make his way into your and your partners’ systems, which may house confidential information. He may also be lured by competition to help them make their way into your system. So, no matter how experienced an IT person is, it is important that you keep maintain some level of control over security without making your employee feel confined.

Failure to Back Up

This is something that most businesses tend to overlook time and again. The fact is that backing up your system can actually come in handy at times when cybersecurity is breached. If your files are all backed up, you can easily clean up the system, install new software and then restore the files from the ones that have been backed up.

However, if you do not do this, it could spell total disaster. This would mean loss of confidential information and can leave your company in jeopardy. So, no matter how busy you are, make sure to set some time aside to back up your systems every now and then.

Cybersecurity is one thing that should be taken seriously, especially if you are a small business. With tough competition in the market, there might be people waiting for you to slip so that they can jeopardize your business. Make sure not to make the aforementioned mistakes when planning the cybersecurity for your business.

Lisa Smith is a contributor to BusinessTown.com.