4 Tips For Setting Up Your Company Securely From The Get-Go

Wawa, a convenience store and gas station, was hit with a data breach in 2019. The company lost approximately $9 million. The legal fees are not included in this figure. This is a lot of pocket change compared with the $886million Amazon owes for violating EU consumer data protection laws.

Your company might not be as well known in the local or global markets as Wawa or Amazon. It is important to start protecting your organization early on. This can help you save a lot later.

Cyber security is an essential part of any startup or established customer base. Below are four important tips to reduce the risk that your company is the headline-grabbing victim of cyber attacks.

1.Your suppliers and partners should also commit to cyber security.

“Any chain is only strong as its weakest link.” This adage applies to cyber security more than in any other area. Although you may be doing all you can to secure your business’s and customers’ data, it takes just one lousy partnership with someone who doesn’t share your values to cause havoc.

By doing business with a supplier later hacked, more than one security-conscious company has been compromised. Cyber criminals make a lot of money from supply chain attacks, and they pose a grave threat to all businesses, big or small. If you have a business model that involves exchanging sensitive information with any party, be sure to cross all your Ts and put all your Is when signing contracts. You can take every precaution to minimize both liability and exposure.

If you ever have to merge or acquire another company, it will be a brilliant idea to think about the “weak connection” analogy. Mergers or acquisitions require that a lot of information be shared during due diligence. When you engage in discussions, make sure everyone involved shares news through secure virtual data rooms (VDRs) like those offered by CapLinked. Do not send documents as email attachments to companies that are beginning to exchange sensitive data with third parties.

2.Make sure your employees are educated and place safety technology at the top of your list.

Your brand’s online security can be compromised by the choices you make as an employee. Security Magazine found that over half of people use the same password for all logins. Further disturbing is the fact that approximately one-fifth of workers admit to sharing passwords via SMS messaging.

These facts reveal a problem in many remote teams. These teams either don’t take cybersecurity seriously enough or don’t know how to protect data. By providing current training on how you can avoid common issues, you can change that.

You might want to include topics such as spotting phishing scams and safer Internet protocols in your workshop. It is possible to have employees test their knowledge after each lesson to assess team understanding and spot areas that need improvement.

3.Make sure you have standard operating procedures and data workflows in place.

Gaps within your operational workflows can make your business vulnerable to malware and ransomware attacks. It is worth reviewing all your standard operating procedures (SOPs) to make sure they are current. A good time to create SOPs to simplify systems and increase efficiency.

What are the red flags you and your colleagues should look for? Anything that exposes information about internal or external stakeholder data could be problematic.

One example is that customer support agents could share buyer information through emailing using personal accounts. The customer’s data could be exposed in this case since the emails weren’t encrypted. Don’t panic if there are many inconsistencies that you discover as you start your investigation. Instead, see them as opportunities to secure your systems.

4.Establish a plan to manage cyber security crises.

Data breaches sometimes happen even when you make every effort to ensure strong cybersecurity in your business. What can you do to prevent data breaches? Is your team prepared to go into crisis management mode? Or will you “wing it” like so many other companies? It is essential to have a plan. This will help you decide which steps to take.

While you don’t have to share your plan with everyone in the world, it’s a good idea to give your executive team access to agreed-upon procedures. You hope that you will never need that plan. If you do get a call from an IT administrator panicking at 2 a.m., it will be a good thing that you took the time and were proactive.

Cyber security is not the most enjoyable topic to tackle as a founder or owner. This is one of the most crucial topics you will tackle. If you take the time to secure your business against digital attackers, it will make it easier to get and keep profitable. Knowing that you are protecting their information well will help you build stronger relationships with customers and employees.

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Samatha Vale
Samatha a senior writer for HC's entertainment team. She is an entreprenuer, mother and an excellent writer. She's also an avid reader, music enthusiast and all around inquisitive person - which is just a nice way of saying she's nosy.

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