Top Cyber Security Bad Habits

Top Cyber Security bad habits that stop you from preventing costly breaches, ransomware attacks, and phishing-based endpoint attacks. Cybercrime is on the increase. Cyberattacks are becoming faster, more subtle, and more sophisticated. Breaches from these attacks have been on the rise. The number of breaches rose 27 percent in 2021. These attacks show no signs of slowing down.

It’s hard to believe, but many people are careless about their digital security. Such bad habits can be more dangerous than it seems at first. For example, reusing the same password for multiple accounts is a common bad habit. It may not seem like an issue if you have only one account on a site, but what if that site gets breached? You’ll be in trouble if the hackers steal your password from there and then log into your other accounts with it. 

Businesses cannot afford to ignore the importance of cyber security. In fact, data breaches are reported to cost anywhere from $1 million to $8 million. In 2021, the average cost of a data breach was $4.24 million per incident.

If a hacker breaks in and steals your data, your company could be in serious trouble. Read this list to learn how to avoid 6 common security mistakes.

1. Poor Password Hygiene

Why do people make it easy for cybercriminals to infiltrate their systems? More than 60% of all data breaches involve stolen or weak passwords. The same passwords are often used over and over again, and passwords are also shared by multiple people. This makes it easy for cybercriminals to gain access to your systems. Don’t make the attacker’s job easier.

Good Habits: Stop using weak passwords and sharing them. You need to protect your brand by reducing the risk of data breaches. To do this, you must have a company-wide policy on how to create strong passwords, change them frequently, and enable multi-factor authentication. This will keep you and your customers safer online.

2. Convoluted Processes and Policies

Policies and checklists are important documents that should be accessible and used by your team. They should act as a guide for the team on how to properly conduct business and resolve issues. The documents must be drafted, but never forgotten. They must be constantly assessed and updated based on the challenges and risks observed.

Good Habits: Periodically, you should ask your team to review the policies and processes they have in place. Ask them to tell you how they are doing their work, and whether they would do it differently. If they tell you they would, then you can make changes. You also need to get company-wide buy-in on the policies and processes you have created.

3. Outdated Software and Non-secure Devices

Remote work has been a growing trend for years, but it was the last two years that saw a seismic shift in where, when, and how teams work together. Remote work brings significant security challenges. Unpatched systems, widespread unsecured Wi-Fi, mixing work and personal devices, skipping regular data backups, and more are all commonplace. These are the weakest links in security.

Good Habits: Make sure you keep your devices up to date with automatic software updates and patches. Establish a mobile device policy like no personal or sensitive data is allowed on personal devices. Encourage staff to use company devices, which are connected to a secure VPN, and only use them to access sensitive data.

4. Lack of an Internal Audit Program

No matter how well you set up security policies and procedures, they should be treated as living documents. You should regularly test them and audit them to see if what you have is still relevant. You should also understand how your security program is maturing (or not) and stay aware of emerging threats that are growing in scale and complexity.

Good Habits: In order to maintain top-notch security, run regular internal audits. Keep your security posture in line with the threat landscape.

5. Untrained Staff

Phishing and malware are common causes of security breaches. Hackers can use these to make money from people by locking their files, demanding payments, and other methods. By regularly training staff on security best practices and ensuring that everyone knows security is a company-wide priority, businesses can prevent these types of incidents from occurring.

Good Habits: To ensure that your employees follow best practices for security, conduct security awareness training at least annually. Test their knowledge periodically by asking them random questions about how to be secure.

6. Complacency

Too many organizations think that they won’t be attacked. But breaches are happening all the time, and security is not just for IT. Everyone must understand the threats to the business and their roles in protecting customer data.

Good Habits: A culture of security is vital. Make sure your employees know the importance of keeping customer and business information safe. Communicate to them the benefits of following established policies and procedures, so that they understand that security is important in their jobs.


Most data breaches are preventable. While some security threats cannot be avoided, most of them can be addressed through training and compliance testing. These measures are key in reducing the likelihood of a costly security incident.

I hope this article was helpful, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. If you would like to be notified of when I create a new post, you can subscribe to my blog alert.

Discover more from Patrick Domingues

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

author avatar
Patrick Domingues

Leave a Comment

Stay Informed

Receive instant notifications when new content is released.