Everything Startups Need to Know about Cybersecurity

Our world is seeing a startup boom, it is the best period for an individual who is looking for a startup opportunity. However, it is not so simple, many aspects determine the success of a startup.

And one of them is security, precisely cybersecurity. Hackers are waiting for the right opportunity to breach the privacy of an organization and steal the most valuable asset of an organization, i.e., data. We have seen several instances in which hackers stole money or breached the security of an organization and much more. 

Moreover, the most vulnerable target of hackers is startups. They can easily breach privacy, which leads to the loss of assets, loss of faith in the customers, and reduction in productivity.

Even after knowing all these risk factors, some startups do not pay attention to the security of their data. In the beginning stage of a startup, the last thing they bother about is cybersecurity and that is the most important thing, as, in these digital times, the most important thing is data. 

One cannot afford to risk it at any cost. If you are someone who is an owner of a startup or an aspiring entrepreneur, one thing that should be in your mind is that the key to scaling up is safe data. Keep your data safe from hackers for swift growth. Read it till the end to get more knowledge of cybersecurity and how you ensure the safety of your startup.

Why is cybersecurity important for a startup?

The primary reason behind the implementation of cybersecurity is your customers. Whenever a customer shares his crucial data with you, there is a trust build-up between the organization and the customer.

And an organization cannot afford to risk that, as millions of lives are connected with a business. Most importantly, ask yourself if you care about your business then why not protect it?

Hackers don’t give any alert prior to the cyber-attack, therefore never think that it won’t ever happen with you because it will if you will not take the crucial steps. 

In 2019, a Hiscox Cyber Readiness report stated that around 65% of all businesses have faced cyber-related problems and within 6 months 60% of the targeted businesses have gone bust. And another reason is that cyber-attacks can cost you a fortune.

On average, it can cost an organization a minimum of $200,000 a year. And it is a lot of money to lose, while you are just starting up. On top of that, think about the time and other resources your company will lose in identifying the security breach.

And the sad part is that the system becomes vulnerable as soon as you have an email address. Therefore, It’s never a good idea to skip cybersecurity.

Note: If you would like to Enrich your career as a Cybersecurity certified professional, then visit MindMajix– A Global online training platform for “Cybersecurity Training”.

Why would hackers be after a startup?

You must be thinking that why would hackers go after a small startup when there are other big businesses. However, small startups are the perfect target for cybercriminals. 

In the beginning, you may think that you don’t need cyber security and that is the primary reason behind startups being hackers’ first choice. Hackers are smart enough to identify the vulnerabilities inside your company and take advantage of them. Especially, if your business deals in medical or health care services then it becomes more crucial for you to adopt cyber security. 

It is the most afterthought field among cybercriminals, as most of the sensitive medical information is handled by IoT devices. They are easy to hack, which leaves the life of your patients at grave risk. However, in this era of technology, where everything is handled through mobile devices, every business is unsafe. 

The right way to fight against hackers

We have already discussed the consequences, now it is time to see how to respond if you got hacked.

Hackers are creative enough to find new ways to get into various files and devices. Before you can figure out how you got hacked, all of your crucial information is already stolen by them. Then how can you respond the right way if you got hacked:

●      Let everyone know immediately 

Inform everyone from your customers to employees about the security breach. They should know that as soon as possible. Don’t wait for years to inform them.

●      File a complaint

Don’t hesitate in complaining about a case, it’s better to let professionals handle the case now. 

●      Examine the hack

Thoroughly check the organization to look for signs of a breach. It would be better to let the professional carry out this service, i.e the Cybersecurity experts. Or you can make your in-house IT team respond to the hack.

●      Install a response plan

Do not wait for another hack, lay the guidelines to follow in such cases. So that your team has something to follow at such times of panic.

●      Hire a cybersecurity team

They will perform several tests to identify the source of the breach and act on it to make the company’s system strong. 

9 Tips to make your system safe from hackers

The hackers are getting smarter day by day, you cannot overlook the fact that one day it will happen to you too if you won’t take the right actions. Fortunately, now we have various sets of rules and regulations which we can abide by, to ensure that our organization is safe from various cyber threats:

1.     Take security seriously from the start

Businesses, especially the ones dealing with cloud-based services or SaaS services. They should pay more attention to the security from the onset of their company. 

In the beginning, it may not seem like a need to install a cybersecurity team into your department. However, if you implement them from the beginning of the company, you can save a huge sum of money and time, which you can invest in other purposes to scale up your business. 

Also, your system will stay safe from all kinds of safety concerns. Moreover, ask your IT department to use OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project). OWASP will focus on the protection of your software, and overall cyber security in your company.

2.     Save everything connected to Security

Let’s say you have hired a cybersecurity team to your IT department. However, the work is not done yet, still, you will need to retain the files, documents, business data, and almost everything you will do for security.

Documentation will help you track the policies and the methods you used for security. Moreover, documenting the security measures will also help you in scaling up. As whenever you are doing business with an individual, you can show them the privacy measures you took for security. 

Your buyers and auditors will be interested in knowing your privacy policy and it won’t be a good impression on them if you don’t have any file explaining your policy measures. One more advantage to this is that when you will try to scale up abroad, regions like Europe will ask your privacy policy and guidelines mostly in high privacy sectors like healthcare.

3.     Inform your employees

The easiest target of cybercriminals is those who are unaware of things like phishing, ransomware, and data breach. Therefore, it’s very essential to make your employees aware of such things as they are the backbone of your organization as well as the most vulnerable links.

Educate them about all such privacy concerns, whenever there is a change in your privacy policy, inform them and educate them. Hold meetings to make your team understand cybersecurity, even though you have to use more resources in making them understand.

It would be better if you make your employees understand this at the very beginning of their joining the company, as this will help them to understand the rules and regulations of your startup.

It is logical if you make someone from the IT department educate them as they will teach them better, you can also hire someone to teach them and this will lead to the increment of your success. 

4.     Make your website secure

Most data breaches begin from unsecured websites, your business’ website should be enabled with features like Secure Socket Layer (SSL) that encrypts the delicate information and prevents unauthorized access to your data. It also prevents the snooping of cybercriminals with your data.

The primary benefit of SSL is that when you use it, you can share and receive files and other such confidential pieces of information from your customers, auditors, and buyers without worrying about the data leak as it makes your connection encrypted. Moreover, if you have a SaaS business or cloud platform which collects the data of your customers, then SSL will protect it from hackers. 

And the most important part is that this will increase your buyers’ and customers’ confidence in your organization. Around 85% of online customers say that they decline to buy something from a website with no SSL certificate. This will eventually direct you toward success.

5.     Don’t wait for later

Even highly educated CEOs wait for the right opportunity to implement cyber security. However, it will become more difficult and expensive for you later because when your business is doing well cybersecurity won’t strike your mind as much scaling up will.

When you have more customers, more employees, and more assets, trying to establish the security department at such a huge level will cost you more time. When your startup is doing well, you may not want to rewrite the guidelines and frame the rules and regulations, some things are better if done in the beginning.

6.     Two-way verification systems

While working, your employees could enter the password and username to a phishing site. The only way to encounter this problem is to adopt a two-way verification system.

Even if some of your employees enter their password or username of the organization’s system, a second code will be generated to verify that it is your company that is asking for the password or some phishing site. The code can be sent to any responsible person of your team, this will help in eliminating such threats. 

7.     Use strong passwords 

In an organization, every employee has a different system with a different password, it could be possible that they might have a vulnerable password. That is why make sure that every member has strong, complex, and hard-to-define passwords. 

You can also add another layer of protection by assigning the passwords yourself. Or you can delegate this part of the work to your IT department. This is how you can ensure the safety of each system, and no one else but you know the passwords. 

Additionally, you can make sure that the members don’t have access to install or delete any software from the system because limiting the network will increase security.

8.     Secured Cloud-Storage

A secured cloud-based storage system of your confidential data makes your data breach-free, and by creating backups you can add a layer of safety. However, try to reduce the physical access to that cloud storage system, make sure only responsible and trustworthy members of your team have physical access to that. Moreover, use the trusted cloud storage provider only. 

When it comes to sensitive details such as the bank details of your customers, you can save them on your server instead of storing them in the cloud.

9.     Invest in firewalls and strong internet security connections

Let’s consider that you have implemented all of the above-said tips, however, your system can still be hacked if you don’t have a secure internet connection.

Having a secured internet connection eliminates the risk of getting viruses. Fortunately, now we have antiviruses with internet security and firewalls. This is how you can prevent the random installation of malicious software and detect them.

Conclusion

Cybercrimes have become normal these days, and not having a strong cybersecurity team in your Startup, can lead to the loss of millions of dollars.

Hackers can leave you bankrupt, that is why it is essential to implement the above-mentioned tips. Keep educating yourself with new trends of the hackers, so that you will stay updated. Hope you have learned something new from this blog. Thanks for reading.


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