Common Cybersecurity Compliance Mistakes Businesses Should Avoid

Cybersecurity compliance is not merely a box to tick; it's a necessity for safeguarding business assets and data. Despite this, many companies fall into the trap of making basic errors that compromise their compliance posture. At VLCM, we specialize in enterprise technology and data and cybersecurity solutions. Based on our extensive experience, we have identified common mistakes that can cost your business dearly.




Overlooking Employee Training

One of the biggest vulnerabilities for any organization is its people. Many companies implement high-end security solutions but neglect to train employees on basic cyber hygiene. Failure to educate your team is an oversight that could lead to accidental data leaks or successful phishing attacks.


Helpful Resources and Action Items

  • Implement comprehensive cybersecurity awareness training for all employees. This should cover best practices, such as secure password policies, recognizing phishing attempts, and safe internet usage.
  • Utilize interactive learning modules, frequent workshops, and simulated cyber threat exercises to engrain security-minded behaviors.
  • Encourage a culture of security where employees feel responsible and empowered to act as the first line of defense against cyber threats.
  • Fight security threats with Barracuda Security Awareness Training


Inadequate Data Classification

Businesses often mishandle data because they don't categorize it according to its sensitivity. Without proper data classification, you can't apply the right level of security measures, leaving critical information vulnerable.


Helpful Resources and Action Items

  • Data Classification Software Tools: Invest in software solutions that automate the classification of data, ensuring that sensitive information is consistently identified and adequately protected. Examples include Symantec Data Loss Prevention, Netwrix Data Classification, and Varonis Data Classification Engine.
  • Data Classification Frameworks: Adopt a comprehensive data classification framework that aligns with industry best practices. Frameworks like the ISO/IEC 27001 provide guidelines on collecting, handling, and accessing data securely.
  • Data Handling Policies: Develop clear policies that define how different types of data should be handled and who has access to it. Ensure these policies are communicated effectively across the organization.
  • Data Classification Training: Provide targeted training for staff members responsible for classifying data. Ensure they understand the various data categories and the protocols for each.
  • Regular Audits and Assessments: Schedule routine audits to assess the effectiveness of your data classification processes. Use these audits as opportunities to refine and tighten your classification criteria.
  • Compliance Checklists: Utilize checklists to ensure that all data classification activities meet compliance standards relevant to your industry, such as HIPAA for healthcare or PCI-DSS for payment card information.
  • Access Management Solutions: Implement robust access management solutions that ensure only authorized personnel can access sensitive data, based on its classification.
  • Incident Response Planning: Update your incident response plan to include scenarios involving the mishandling of classified data, ensuring a quick and effective response to potential breaches.
  • Download Netwrix’s classification policy template to get started


Over-Reliance on Legacy Systems

Maintaining legacy systems poses significant risks to businesses. These systems, often running on outdated software, are prone to security vulnerabilities due to the lack of regular updates and patches. Additionally, they may not be compatible with newer, more secure technologies, which can lead to integration issues and increased exposure to cyber threats. Moreover, as these systems become obsolete, finding the necessary skills to maintain them becomes increasingly difficult and costly.


Strategic Migration Approach

  • Assess and Prioritize: Begin with a thorough assessment of your legacy systems to understand their functionalities, dependencies, and the risks they pose. Prioritize systems based on the level of security risk and operational importance.
  • Develop a Migration Plan: Create a detailed migration plan that includes timelines, required resources, and potential impact on business operations. This plan should focus on minimizing downtime and ensuring data integrity throughout the process.
  • Budget-Friendly Solutions: Consider cost-effective migration options like phased rollouts, where critical systems are upgraded first. Leverage cloud-based solutions for a more scalable and flexible infrastructure.
  • Data Migration and Backup: Ensure that all data is backed up before migration. Use data migration tools that can handle large volumes of data and maintain data integrity.
  • Testing and Validation: After migration, thoroughly test the new system to ensure it operates as expected. Validate that all data has been accurately transferred and that the new system integrates well with existing processes.
  • Training and Support: Provide comprehensive training to your staff on the new systems. Ensure that ongoing support is available to address any issues promptly.


Leveraging Expertise in Migration

Migrating from a legacy system can be a complex and daunting task. This is where partnering with cybersecurity experts like VLCM can be invaluable.


Our team offers:

  • Expert Consultation: We provide insights into the most efficient and secure ways to migrate from legacy systems, tailored to your specific business needs.
  • Cost-Effective Solutions: VLCM can suggest affordable and scalable solutions that fit your budget and business objectives.
  • Implementation and Support: We offer hands-on support during the migration process, ensuring a smooth transition with minimal disruption to your operations.


Lack of Regular Audits

Companies often make the mistake of not conducting internal audits. Periodic checks can identify gaps in your cybersecurity framework and help maintain compliance with industry standards.


Helpful Resources and Action Items

  • Penetration Testing: Incorporate regular penetration testing into your cybersecurity audit routine. Pen-tests are critical for uncovering potential vulnerabilities in your network and applications that might not be apparent during standard audits.
  • Audit Checklist Development: Create comprehensive audit checklists that align with industry standards such as ISO/IEC 27001 for information security management. These checklists should cover all aspects of your cybersecurity infrastructure.
  • Third-Party Auditing Services: Engage with VLCM for an independent audit. We can provide an objective view of your cybersecurity health and uncover gaps that internal teams might overlook.
  • Regular Audit Scheduling: Establish a schedule for regular audits. Depending on the size and complexity of your IT infrastructure, these could be quarterly, bi-annually, or annually.
  • Employee Training on Audit Processes: Train employees on the importance of audits and their role in these processes. This helps in creating a culture of accountability and continuous improvement.
  • Incident Response Drills: Include incident response in your audits. Regular drills can help assess how effectively your team can handle real cybersecurity incidents.
  • Update and Review of Security Policies: Use audit outcomes to regularly update and refine your cybersecurity policies and procedures.
  • Benchmarking Against Industry Best Practices: Compare your audit results with industry benchmarks to understand where you stand against peers and identify areas for improvement.


Ignoring Incident Response Planning

An incident response plan is crucial for minimizing damage in the event of a cyber attack. Many organizations lack a formal strategy, leaving them unprepared when disaster strikes.


Helpful Resources and Action Items

  • VLCM's Incident Response Planning Guide: Utilize VLCM’s comprehensive guide to develop and refine your incident response plan. This guide provides a structured approach, covering everything from initial preparation to post-incident analysis. It’s a crucial resource for ensuring that your organization is prepared to respond effectively to cybersecurity incidents.
  • Cybersecurity Frameworks: Refer to established cybersecurity frameworks like NIST’s Computer Security Incident Handling Guide. These frameworks offer best practices for incident response and can be tailored to your organization's specific needs.
  • Regular Plan Reviews and Updates: Ensure that your incident response plan is a living document, regularly reviewed and updated in response to new threats, technological changes, and lessons learned from past incidents. We recommend reviewing your Incident Response Plan at least annually, or under the following circumstances: 
    • After any security incident
    • When there are significant changes in IT infrastructure
    • Regulatory changes
    • Organization/personnel changes



Cybersecurity compliance is a continual process that requires regular attention and updating. Avoiding these common mistakes can significantly bolster your organization’s cybersecurity posture. At VLCM, we offer a range of cybersecurity solutions that can help your business stay compliant and secure. Contact us to learn how we can assist you in avoiding these pitfalls.

For a consultation or more information, please visit or call us at 1-800-817-1504. 


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