7 Ways to Step Up Your Startup's Security

As a startup, you are expected to deliver the best products or services to your clients. That you also have a responsibility to secure your place of business, however, is least talked about. Since you are operating mainly online, you have an obligation to help make the internet less dangerous for everyone. And you can begin by building a strong security system for your company.

Even small steps can help take your security game to the next level. Here are 7 ways for starters: 

Devise a solid security plan.

First things first. Develop a plan and cover as many areas as possible. Increase accountability through a policy governing data usage, exchange, and disclosure. Determine which tools will help you defend your system from a cyber attack.

You may also impose one password across accounts (more on this later) and require employees to install VPN on their devices. It is smarter for everyone from your company to use the same service. On the high end, one provider that supports a wide range of devices is HideMyAss A good VPN down the middle of the road is PureVPN.

Further, complement online protection with strict access within office premises. Place CCTV cameras in hidden corners. Lock paper documents containing confidential data in drawers.

Capture minimal customer data.

Your privacy policy is meant to protect the sensitive data collected from customers. Store minimal information to avoid getting them compromised. Yes, you might want to know if your site visitors are using an iOS or Android, or are making transactions on desktop or mobile. But tell them you are not storing their credit card details. Remove this type of data from your system once time from checkout has elapsed.

Set up a strong password management system.

According to Avatier, a person manages an average of 27 passwords. The human memory has a physical limit, so users tend to create easy-to-remember or duplicate passwords. Your company cannot afford to risk data accounts because of weak discrete logins.

Single sign-on (SSO) and social login prove to be effective solutions to your security issues. SSO equip users with one password to access a suite of systems. It caters to enterprises of all sizes. Meanwhile, social login allows individuals to register on an app or a site via their social media account, such as Facebook or Twitter. Its usage grew from 53% in 2012 to 77% in 2014.

Conduct privacy checkups.

With social login on the rise, you might want to audit all of your business’ social media accounts. A Facebook page needs at least one admin to run. It is typical for admins to use personal profiles to access settings and controls. While you should trust your people, you might want the admin to create a separate account for Facebook page management.

Further, activate the two-factor authentication method not only on Facebook but also on Gmail, Twitter, and Instagram, among others.

Transact only with trusted vendors.

Conduct due diligence before striking a deal with any vendor. The IT space seems to be filled with startups whose main thrust is to help other startups. However, you should take the situation with a grain of salt. If possible, look for real clients and reviews online and offline. Find out what they are saying about its security. Has this company built or been building a loyal following? If not, then maybe you should investigate further. Some businesses are just out to milk other people’s bank accounts without concern for their security.

Update firmware.

Turn automatic updates on, according to the National Cybersecurity Alliance. That should minimize the maintenance job for your IT team. Make sure to remind employees to update operating systems, browsers, and software accounts.

Again, security is also about promoting a sense of accountability in your organization. It is everybody’s responsibility to protect company data. That should be clear to all of your employees from the get-go.

Think before you click.

Lastly, be wary of suspicious links and offers. When in doubt, do not click. Some hackers have stepped up their game. They can conceal malware in an email. For instance, they can use your bank’s logo and email address to direct you to a phishing site.

Train your people to be vigilant at all times.

Raise the importance of verifying the identity of the parties they are dealing with daily. They are at the forefront of your company’s security. Give them all the support they need in playing their part.

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