The history of data security reflects a constant arms race between security measures and threats, with innovation driving both sides forward. Some businesses have grown alongside the technology advancements and adapted over time. Others have fallen prey to misconceptions and continue to hold onto outdated security practices. These habits and refusal to adapt are putting their customers and business at risk. 

The Ongoing Cybersecurity War

Throughout the 1960s to 1980s, computing technology expanded in use and availability, leading up to the development of the Internet in the 1990s. Early on, as attackers test the watts, the Data Encryption Standard (DES) and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) were created. They became the foundation of encryption algorithms. 

As technology advanced, so did the methods of attackers. Cyber threats started as simple viruses and worms. Later, sophisticated malware and phishing schemes emerged and advanced persistent threats (APTs) followed. 

These new threats prompted the development of proactive security measures such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS), and antivirus software. 

Data security continues to evolve with advancements in technologies like AI and blockchain and the war rages on. As time has gone by, though, many business owners have fallen off the trail and still use some of the outdated data security practices. 

Outdated Data Security Practices

Here are some of the dangerously outdated habits and protocols that we find occurring in businesses that come to Commprise for help:

Most Common Misconceptions 

Here are some things we frequently hear from new clients in our conversations about what is holding them back from making stronger security decisions:

“We’re too small to be a target”

Many small businesses believe that they are not significant enough to attract the attention of cybercriminals. However, attackers often target smaller organizations precisely because they may have weaker security measures in place, making them easier targets.

“Compliance equals security”

While compliance with regulations like GDPR or HIPAA is essential for protecting sensitive data, simply checking off compliance requirements does not guarantee complete security. Compliance standards provide a baseline, but businesses must go beyond mere compliance to implement robust security measures tailored to their specific risks and needs.

“Our data is safe in the cloud”

Cloud service providers typically offer strong security measures, but the responsibility for securing data in the cloud is shared between the provider and the user. Businesses must understand their role in securing data and ensure that proper configurations, access controls, and encryption are in place to protect their information.

“Antivirus software is enough”

While antivirus software is a critical component of a layered security approach, relying solely on it is insufficient. Modern cyber threats are diverse and sophisticated, requiring a combination of tools such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and employee training to effectively mitigate risks.

Do Away with Outdated Data Security Practices

Addressing these outdated practices and misconceptions is crucial for organizations to strengthen their cybersecurity posture and adapt to evolving threats effectively. Here are several things these businesses should be doing to bolster their cybersecurity:

Implement a Layered Security Approach

Adopt a layered security approach that includes multiple security measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection systems, encryption, and access controls. This multi-faceted approach helps mitigate different types of threats and provides defense in depth.

Stay Up-to-Date with Security Trends and Threats

Continuously monitor the evolving threat landscape to stay informed about emerging security trends and threats. Subscribe to relevant security publications, participate in industry forums, and engage with cybersecurity experts to stay abreast of the latest developments.

Engage in Regular Security Audits

Conduct regular security audits and assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of existing security controls and identify areas for improvement. Utilize external auditors or cybersecurity professionals to provide an objective evaluation of the organization’s security posture.

Enhance Communication and Transparency

Foster a culture of open communication and transparency regarding data security within the organization. Encourage employees to report security incidents or suspicious activities promptly, and ensure that channels for reporting are easily accessible and well-publicized.

Seek External Expertise

External perspectives can offer valuable insights and help identify blind spots. Partnering with external cybersecurity experts — like our team at Commprise — is a great way to gain guidance and expertise. From conducting Security and Compliance Audits to providing a full range of Managed IT Services, we are highly skilled at developing and implementing effective security strategies for businesses of all sizes.

When You Know Better, Do Better

Many businesses underestimate the likelihood of experiencing a data breach, assuming that it’s a problem that only affects larger or more high-profile organizations. However, data breaches can happen to any business, regardless of size or industry, making proactive security measures essential for all.

By adopting better approaches, businesses can effectively address misconceptions about outdated data security and strengthen their overall security posture. It will help reduce the risk of data breaches and protect sensitive information from unauthorized access or disclosure. Contact Commprise today for a free consultation to discuss your current practices and get input on strategic security improvements.

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