Did you know that 43% of all cyberattacks are geared at small businesses?
As if that is not dire enough, 60% of all the small businesses that fall to a cyber breach cease to exist after 6 months.
If anything, these tell you more about why you need to start thinking of better cybersecurity for your start-up.
Fortunately, even the experts confirm that simple things get the best results. Here are the simple things to start with today:
Step #1 – Password Security
This is not the time to play around.
Already, 63% of data breaches are a result of weak/ default passwords.
Don’t play the variable or guess game with the passwords to any of your files or systems. There is also no file too small to be secured. Hackers are great at infiltrating more secure systems with weaker links these days.
If possible, get a random password generator to come up with secure password strings. Pair that with a password manager to store all the passwords.
Step #2 – Add 2FA
Even though your passwords are secure, they are not unhackable.
From human error to stroke of luck, there are a lot of cases where the password becomes easy to hack.
This is where 2FA steps in to ensure that even with the password, an unauthorized person cannot get into your systems.
Step #3 – Create Backups
Most businesses that cave to ransomware demands do so because they need access to all of their files – and they don’t have these files stored elsewhere.
Switch up the game by maintaining two types of backups: an online and offline backup.
Should a ransomware attack occur, simply wipe down the system before the hackers get to copy data from the backend, restoring your systems to their default state.
Step #4 – Secure the Network
Security researchers discussed an unnamed casino that fell to a breach because the smart thermostat was left unsecured.
Even though the casino’s computers were locked down, they were easily breached since they were on the same network as the thermostat.
That tells you how important network security is to this entire business.
You can bring in a security expert to test the network and decide what needs to be locked down. Alternatively, you can easily secure the network with a VPN to encrypt all device communications and prevent unauthorized access to your systems.
Step #5 – Train Employees
Human error pairs with system failure to make up 52% of data breaches.
This tells you that you can cut the number of breaches by more than half when you invest in training members of staff the right way.
Let everyone know how sensitive the data they are handling is. Inform them on what to do to prevent a breach – and simulate an action plan for when a breach does happen.
That way, everyone works against the attack and is in place to tackle it if one does happen.
Step #6 – Employ Firewalls
Firewalls are an important part of every network and online security profile. The mistake that most startups make is either not using firewall systems at all, or using the wrong kinds.
The first thing to note is that there are two different kinds of firewalls:
- Inbound firewall – the most common kind which is even bundled on units like the Macs. This firewall prevents the entrance of malware from the internet to computer devices.
- Outbound firewall – when there is already malware on the computer, this firewall prevents them from reaching out to the internet, getting connected to the threat actor, and being used to carry out an attack.
From the above, you know that one kind of firewall is not enough. Make sure to have a strong system of both and go from there.
Step #7 – Attack Yourself First
Thanks to extensive testing models, it is now possible to simulate different kinds of attacks to see what comes of them.
You could do this by yourself if you have a strong in-house IT team or contract the job out to a security expert firm. The latter would be the best bet as those pros will attack your systems like they were truly trying to breach you.
By doing so, they can uncover exploits in your systems, know your vulnerabilities and give you actionable advice on how to move forward.
This might sound counterintuitive since the aim of this piece is to secure your start-up. However, if you don’t know where your chain is weak, how do you know what to secure?
Get Started Today
These are straightforward processes that you can implement for your start-up today. Knowing how important cybersecurity is for your brand, you should not waste any more time.
Fortunately, most of these are low-cost solutions that can be applied to this level of business at its starting phase. When you look at the possible cost of losing the business and regaining the trust of your clientele/ customers after a data breach, compared to what you are spending to prevent it, you see that it is a better investment.
Also Read: Defending your Startup Against Cyber Attacks
Matthew Stern is a technology content strategist at TechFools, a tech blog aiming at informing readers about the potential dangers of technology and introducing them to the best ways to protect themselves online.
As a tech enthusiast and an advocate for digital freedom, Matthew is dedicated to introducing his readers to the latest technology trends and teaching them how to gain control over their digital lives.