Over the years, cybersecurity has become one of the most widely discussed topics regarding managing a business online. More and more companies, even the small ones, have decided to use cyber security services to protect their data and make sure they don’t suffer from cyberattacks.
And not without reason. Cyberattacks are becoming more and more frequent in these times when almost everything is technology-driven. They not only make a company’s cybersecurity vulnerable and expose the sensitive data that it holds, but they also cost a lot. According to the Ponemon Institute’s Cost of a Data Breach Report, the data breaches cost enterprises an average of $3.92 million!
Cybersecurity of Startups
Cyber attacks are not only a problem for big billion-dollar businesses. So if you think your small startup company is safe, we’ve got bad news. In fact, more and more cyberattacks are aiming at small businesses. Why?
Indeed, small corporations and startups might not create as much revenue as large corporations or gather that much personal, and potentially attractive to cyber attackers, information from their clients. However, they are much more vulnerable to cyber threats.
First of all, they often do not have enough resources to set up a robust cybersecurity system. Second, they don’t expect it. Because of that, only 14% percent of small businesses are ready to fight a cyberattack when it occurs. And all those are bound to suffer from data breaches and, therefore the likely loss of customers and revenue.
Types of Cyber Attacks Aiming at Startups
Although there is a wide range of cyberattacks that can lead to a data breach, the most common cyber threats include:
- Malware: Ransomware attacks leading to the injection of harmful software, such as viruses, spyware, etc. in the system of a user to access control of it.
- Phishing: Providing a user with a fraudulent email, disguised as coming from a reliable source, to gain sensitive data and personal information such as passwords and credit card information.
- A denial-of-service attack (DoS): Hackers interfere with the servers and networks so that they can’t reach an intended web page or service.
And many, many others that can potentially lead your startup company to experience a data breach.
Luckily, there are a few tips on how startups can ensure that their security system will fight cyber attacks and overcome all cybersecurity challenges.
How Can Startups Provide More Data Security?
To provide cybersecurity to your startup, make sure to follow these three rules:
Don’t rely solely on antivirus software
Although it’s essential to make sure your company has antivirus software that’s functioning correctly, keep in mind that what it mostly does is detecting and alarming about emerging risks and threats that might lead to data breaches. However, besides informing you about the possible cyber threats, the antivirus software won’t do much to prevent your data from being stolen.
What startups need is more advanced endpoint security software. To protect small businesses from cyber attacks, their owners need to ensure their digital assets are monitored continuously in search of any modifications, destruction, or unauthorized use. If you’re serious about your company’s cybersecurity, make sure to obtain software that will continually analyze and protect your data.
Train your team
The weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity threats turns out to be employees. To provide data security, startups must realize that it is important that all employees are aware of security risks.
According to Kaspersky’s survey, 52% of businesses admit that it’s the employees who are the company’s weakness when it comes to security. In other words, most of the time, it’s a human error that puts the companies’ cybersecurity strategy at risk.
The threat results from the fact that a startup company’s employees typically work online, which frequently exposes them to cyber threats. Hence, it’s crucial to provide adequate security training, including cyber practices such as coming up with strong passwords, setting a fixed password rotation system, not clicking on suspicious links, or using a trusted WiFi network.
Use two or multi-factor authentication
Using only one-factor authentication, which is the most basic username and password combination, is a common mistake of startups and small businesses and is widely criticized by cybersecurity experts.
What you have to remember is that cracking your password won’t be a problem to any experienced hacker. However, it will be a big problem to you, as it puts your data security at serious risk.
Consider coming up with two or multi-factor authentication; for example, you can require authentication through mobile devices (mobile-generated passcode or a mobile app) or a physical token such as a USB device. It’s a perfect way for startups to obtain another level of data security, which doesn’t cost a fortune.
Even though cyber attacks are a hot topic many startups don’t seem attentive to this problem. As a result, a very low percent of small businesses can maintain their digital assets’ security and prevent cyber attackers from stealing their data.
To avoid a dangerous data breach, startups should set up a comprehensive security plan to keep their data safe. However, to do that, first they need to realize that a cyber attack can happen at any moment.