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Business data has never been more vulnerable. With remote work becoming the standard, businesses have rapidly moved to online solutions without giving security much thought.

That’s one of the reasons why cybercrime is at its peak, with no signs of slowing down. Companies must re-evaluate how they handle data and avoid mistakes that put them in danger of suffering a data breach.

Here are some of the biggest security mistakes companies are making with their data in 2022:

Reusing passwords

Passwords are one of the key elements of organizational security. Business data is stored across many different accounts and services only protected with login credentials. Unfortunately, this hasn’t stopped companies from using the same passwords for many of their accounts.

Not only are companies reusing passwords, but they’re reusing ones that aren’t secure at all. One out of five enterprises uses weak passwords, many of which are Fortune 500 companies. Brute force attacks a among the most popular attack vectors, it’s only a matter of time before a hacker exploits weak password vulnerabilities.

Decentralized security approach

Large corporations often take a decentralized approach to security. A decentralized approach means that the various business units within the organization are responsible for keeping their data safe. This translates to varying data storing methods, resulting in varying security levels.

Though a decentralized approach is easier to implement, it’s also much more difficult to control. A far safer approach is centralized data storage, where everyone must abide by the same rules and policies. Centralized data storage also means much easier data accessibility across employees. One of the best ways to centralize data storage in 2022 is with organization-wide tools, such as encrypted cloud storage for business.

No data access control

Data access control leverages the least privilege principle (POLP). This principle helps limit employee data access within an organization. It’s a standard approach to managing employee access to data based on their role and responsibilities. In other words, employees should only be able to access the data they need to perform their job.

Allowing everyone in the company to access all data is irresponsible and may lead to data spilling out of the company. It’s especially important to implement access control to sensitive data like:

  • Customer information
  • Financials
  • Acquisition plans, etc.

Not appointing anyone to take care of security

Not all companies need to have a dedicated security or incident response team. However, if nobody is appointed to secure critical data, chances are there will be a slip-up resulting in a major vulnerability.

The responsibility to secure data typically falls to the network admin or other IT personnel. Regardless of who it is, someone has to ensure that data security best practices are followed across the organization. Additionally, data traffic should be monitored to detect any anomalies.

Not seeing data security as a “business problem”

We’re at a point where the average data breach costs millions of dollars in recovery damages. That amount of money should warrant organization-wide dedication to security, starting from leadership.

Yet, many organizations view data security as something only the IT department needs to consider. Usually, executives only get involved after the data breach has already happened and they see the devastating effects it has on the business. When data security becomes a business problem, it’s far more likely to get the budget it needs.

Failure to educate employees on common attack vectors

The majority of data breaches happen because of human error. Employees constantly fall for phishing and other popular scams hackers use. While human error can never be fully eradicated, its effects can be greatly reduced.

Companies must invest in employee cybersecurity education, which will teach them how to perform their job without jeopardizing sensitive data. Training materials must be updated regularly to address the highly dynamic nature of cyber threats.

Final thoughts

The overnight transition to online data transfer and storage solutions has put many organizations at risk. Many leaders fail to recognize this risk, leading to data security mistakes that can jeopardize the company’s reputation and future.

Recognizing these mistakes is the first step in creating lasting changes. Companies must evaluate their current data security approach and make improvements before it’s too late.