5 Steps To Help Protect Your Startup From A Cyber Attack

Although cyber security is often considered an afterthought, entrepreneurs should start to take cyber security seriously. 60% of small businesses close less than six months of a cyber attack. Such incidents are more common than that you might think. They are the most crucial target of all business cohorts, as 43% of all organized cyber attacks targeted small businesses.

Here are five steps that entrepreneurs can use to increase their defenses and lessen the chances of losing their startup due to cyberattacks.

1.Incorporate a data security program from day one

Bad actors find startups attractive because they aren’t dressing in cybersecurity until it is too late. This problem becomes more severe as a startup grows, making it crucial for startups to have a data protection policy.

Two things are the purpose of data security policies. The first goal is to promote transparency. A data security policy is clear and transparent should identify the data the startup collects and the storage methods. This policy should also outline each employee’s relationship to that data. It should outline policies and procedures for data access and the responsibility of each employee to safeguard it.

Attackers often target insiders to penetrate perimeter network defenses. Every employee must known to their responsibility for being vigilant. Cybersecurity is all about the human element. Simple awareness can go a long way.

2.Set IT hardware standards

Startups spend their first years trying to save money. From an IT perspective, this can leads to a reliance on a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model to keep hardware costs low. But, this can make it difficult for startups to standardize their hardware.

Every employee can use a personal device. This could lead to data loss or malware downloads. Establish hardware standards for all employee devices and enforce them to ensure a safe BYOD environment.

You will need to have the latest hardware. This includes no old smartphones or laptops. You can also limit the number of operating system updates required to ensure no vulnerable software is installed.

Software that provides security should be installed on all devices that can access company networks and data. Broadcom, ESET, or MacKeeper are excellent options for business-grade security software if you use Apple products.

3.If possible, eliminate passwords.

The vast majority of successful attacks are carried out by bad actors using stolen or compromised credentials. VeVerizon’sata Breach Investigation Report reveals that compromised passwords were a crucial component in 61% of attacks in 2020.

Although it is essential to have strong password policies for all company-related software and services, startups have a better choice: eliminate passwords. To protect data and assets, startups should use hardware security keys or biometrics whenever possible.

Enabling two-factor authentication is an option if passwords are still a problem. This reduces the chance of an attack being successful. Also, make sure to extend this policy to contractors or freelancers with access to company information—It’sommon for attackers to use third-party credentials in attacks.

The damage that can be done in these situations is varied. If guest posts are part of your marketing strategy, an attacker with access to your content management software can manipulate your articles. This could lead to more serious problems if an attacker gains access to an IT vendor’s account.

4.Backup critical systems regularly.

Ransomware attacks are on the rise, with 171% of them increasing in the past year. Startups can lessen the threat from ransomware by having a response plan that includes offsite backups of essential systems.

Identify and implement a backup strategy that will allow for complete data recovery. Online backup providers or removable hard drives can be used to do this.

A step-by, complete recovery plan should be created. It should detail which systems are restored first, who is responsible for the work, and how long it will take. Startups can minimize the damage caused by ransomware attacks down to a few days.

5.Consider cyber insurance as a financial security measure.

Even if a startup can recover from an attack or data breach, it is unlikely to survive the long term. Even if the violation involves sensitive information, the financial consequences can be more severe than small businesses can handle.

It is therefore essential to think about purchasing cyber insurance as a last line of defense. These policies could cover many of the costs a startup incurs in its recovery from an attack. This will reduce financial losses and provide continuity.

The secure startup

These preventative steps can address common weaknesses that make small businesses attractive targets. They also help you recover from the worst-case scenario. At the same time, this is often not an important priority for business owners, don’t wait until it’s too late.

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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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