With the growing number of data thefts and hacking attacks, following cybersecurity advice is essential for businesses of all sizes. Startups need to go the extra mile because the risk is higher for them, even if they do not have much data and assets. But inexperience and less attention to defense make them an easy target. Moreover, the smallest attack can have a daunting impact on them. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs overlook the importance of following cyber safety advice, which can lead to devastating consequences.
According to a recent report, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses, and 60% of those organizations go out of business within six months of an attack. Undoubtedly, startup owners must prioritize cybersecurity from the very beginning. In this guide, we’ll provide practical advice on how to safeguard your startup from cyber threats, so you can focus on growth with peace of mind.
Invest in reliable security software
Startups run short of time, funds, and experience, yet they cannot afford to go slack with security. Investing in reliable security software is one of the easiest ways to protect your startup from cyber threats without breaking the bank. Consider using anti-virus software, encryption tools, and firewalls to safeguard your systems and data. These tools offer significant protection against hackers, but you must opt for tried-and-tested ones and run the latest versions for the best defense.
Train your team on cybersecurity
Human error is a common way business data and networks get compromised. But most situations are avoidable, provided employees practice reasonable caution. As an employer, you must do your bit by training your team on cybersecurity with updated cybersafety advice. Educate them about potential threats such as phishing attacks, suspicious links, and spam emails so that they can steer clear of them. Implement a proactive cyber defense policy with strong password practices, endpoint safety, and role-based access, and include awareness in your training initiatives.
Bring an ethical hacker on board
Another valuable piece of advice for entrepreneurs looking to secure their startups is to bring an ethical hacker on board. You can hire a hacker to check your systems with penetration testing, find the tiniest vulnerabilities, and recommend strategic measures to address them. The good thing is that these professionals think like real hackers, so they can spot flaws others will overlook. Hiring them is a small price to save your business from a hacking attack, which can damage customer trust and the startup’s reputation for good.
Limit access to confidential information
Limiting access to confidential information is an important security measure for your startup. Data is a sensitive asset no business owner wants to lose, whether it relates to customers, employees, partners, or trade secrets. So doing an extra bit to safeguard it from leakage makes sense. Only grant access to sensitive data to those who need it, and implement user authentication and authorization controls to ensure only authorized users can access it. Also, decide whom you can trust with your data.
Monitor your network activity
Monitoring your network activity should also be on your cybersecurity advice checklist, as it can help you identify and respond to threats in real time. Using security information and event management (SIEM) tools is an ideal way to monitor your network activity and identify potential breaches. Being alert helps you save your business from damage by taking quick and appropriate measures.
Back up your data regularly
Besides investing in defense practices, entrepreneurs must also safeguard their assets. Backing up your data regularly is a critical measure to protect your startup from data loss. Use an external hard drive or cloud storage to back up your data files. Also, test your backups regularly to make sure they work. Having them in another location means you can save your business from downtime and disruption even if the worse happens.
Have a viable response plan
Having the best defenses in place gives you peace of mind, but you cannot be too sure about cyber safety. No matter how well you protect your startup from hackers, there’s always a chance of things going haywire. However, you can rely on a response plan to help you respond to a security breach. It ensures that your team knows what to do in the event of a cyber attack. Also, practice it regularly to ensure everyone is ready.
Remember, cybersecurity is a continuous process, so you cannot take a set-and-forget approach to it. Startup entrepreneurs must commit to staying vigilant to stay safe from cyber threats. Follow this cybersafety advice to safeguard your startup’s systems, data, and reputation.