Many at times, cybersecurity may seem like a complicated topic, especially for individuals who are starting a business. Similar to other types of companies, startups demand the right level of attention by their entrepreneurs. Ideally, they are tied up with many activities to run their businesses, including daily operations, marketing, and sales, to mention a few. Such operations may deter their attention, whereby they don’t see the need to prioritize cybersecurity in their activities.
The truth is, that is where entrepreneurs go wrong. Primarily, every startup entrepreneur has to have basic knowledge about security before starting a business. What’s more, prospective business persons also have to look at the numbers-how frequently do startups suffer from cyber-attacks? What’s the estimated number of startups that have suffered from cyber crimes? Entrepreneurs should understand that cyber hackers have become bolder; hence threats to businesses have increased. In essence, startups are the most vulnerable when it comes to cybercrimes.
Why are Startups a Primary Target?
Cyber attacks mainly target startups to steal sensitive or classified data. Hackers may also use the information as ransom. Other attacks may also seek to harm the reputation of a company or the value of its brand. As such, the attacks misinform people via websites, social media platforms, or blog posts. Well, cyber attackers harm startups in various ways. More to it, they are well informed about a particular company before striking it at its weakest point.
The above threats, however, should not restrain entrepreneurs from growing successful startups. A prospective business has to take the necessary steps that would help the company in the future. So, which are the 5 cybersecurity mistakes all startups make? Which tactics can meet business owners employ to counter cyber attacks and enhance security? Well, below is more insight:
1. The “Underestimating” Factor
Many individuals starting a business do not understand the worth of their information. In essence, they don’t consider the fact that their companies are prone to hacking. Ideally, anyone who is in the trading industry is a target. Hackers look for anything that would benefit them, from personal data, to contact networks and financial accounts.
Most startups would want to digitize their operations. This puts them at risk even more. As most hackers execute automated software, a business should have a dedicated IT staff. The staff should also have advanced cybersecurity experience to protect the business network. Ultimately, a startup should not underestimate the size of an attack or its potential to affect the organization. Simply put, it should be prepared for anything.
2. Failure to Prioritize the Importance of Security
Another mistake that startups make is a failure to invest in significant security. It is not unusual that upcoming businesses want to spend less money. For this reason, many entrepreneurs are reluctant to invest in cybersecurity. However, they end up regretting their decision down the line.
Ideally, cybersecurity doesn’t demand a lot of money. Startup owners can always go for anti-malware software that is cost-effective, yet offers quality protection. Cost-effective security solutions would enable startups to increase stability and provide for themselves as well. Startup owners who invest in security early would be safer from cyberattacks.
3. Sole Reliance on Endpoint Security
Businesses employ various defense strategies to protect their operations. Gone are the days when companies only used endpoint security. “Layered security” is a better approach. Unlike endpoint security, the layered approach protects a business on multiple levels. Apart from securing networks and machines in an organization, layered security neutralizes entry points that are prone to cyber-attacks.
While endpoint security can protect startups effectively, entrepreneurs should not rely on it alone. Hackers can follow the slightest human error to exploit your data. Employing the layered security strategy would be the same as providing a backup for your endpoint solution.
4.Poor Management of Startup Devices
Primarily, startups don’t have any equipment or devices to secure. As such, many install security software on individual devices. While this step might be helpful for a start, its relevancy may become an issue when the company upgrades or buys more equipment. With such advancement, the “case-by-case” protection would not work. It would only grant attackers access to many devices. Interestingly, they would only need access to one security software to manipulate your entire startup network.
Startups can employ various approaches to combat such a threat. Entrepreneurs should integrate solutions that secure the entire network instead of individual devices. Equally important, startups should be careful when using personal tools to carry out business operations. Storage of sensitive data in third-party devices or applications can raise more security issues. To combat this, a startup can implement regulations that layout the use of personal devices to run business operations. Other security applications such as VPN software can significantly encrypt and secure the traffic of any startup.
5. Ignorance of the Impact of Human Error
People working for a company affect it significantly. Regardless of the human workforce, the security of a startup is secure when employees adhere to their roles. Primarily, your employees determine whether your business succeeds or fails. In this aspect, access control is a critical issue. Ideally, startups employ various administration tools to enable employees to access different levels of operations. Startup owners also control how employees are granted permission to access multiple user tools.
To enhance access control, there is a need to ensure that employees use strong passwords for login details. Weak passwords such as the company’s name are too evident for anyone to guess. Subsequently, the business owner should revoke access by persons who cease to work for the company.
Education is also vital to protect your company from cyber-attacks. Training startup employees and administration on potential vulnerabilities would enable them to employ suitable protocols. While these measures may require more investment in time and money, it is worth it.
No business or startup can ascertain the challenges it would face due to cyber threats. As technology continues to diversify, the cyber threats confronting each industry also evolve. Therefore, it should not be a struggle to invest money, time, and training to enhance the security of a new business. Other than benefiting a business, top cybersecurity also attracts investors, customers, and potential partners. As an entrepreneur, invest in the primary strategies for your business- firewalls, strong passwords, and encryptions for classified information. First, the entrepreneur has to learn the type of cybersecurity that the startup needs. Correspondingly, a significant action plan would be formed to strategize it across the business.