Experience is a good teacher. However, you don’t have to wait to get your system hacked before learning a thing or two about the evils of technology. Just because you are only starting up does not mean you are prone from cyber attacks. Think about what happened to startups, some well-funded at that, when they failed to prioritize digital security.
Do not be that startup with the security horror stories to tell. It is better to be the one that learns from others’ mistakes. Here are 5 statements to ponder when it comes to dealing with network, or data and cyber, security:
It starts at home.
Foremost, consider the dual rise of digital workplaces and remote work. Founders can build startups in garages. Their employees can work from the comfort of their rooms. About 50 percent of all firms are home-based, according to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship (SBE) Council.
Security is one important aspect to cover when it comes to this operating from home trend. Home security firm Ooma reports that 74 percent of the 2.9 million annual burglaries occur at residential properties.
Chances are you’ll be using devices that may attract the attention of thieves. Not only laptops and mobile phones can be stolen. The data they contain can also get into the wrong hands. An on-premise security system will deter 60 percent of burglars. So, make sure to get that in place.
It’s about the approach.
Because of this bootstrapping nature among startups, the budget for online security can get bumped by more important aspects, like marketing. If you are a one-man team and specialize in something other than information technology, the subject of security can also look intimidating.
But here is a tactic: perform risk assessment regularly. Depending on the flow of data and other important matters, you can schedule a scan daily, bi-monthly, or monthly. When you find threats, determine how fast you should act on each. Based on these steps, you can then shop security solutions to mitigate risks. There’s an array of tools to choose from, but you can always make a decision based on your budget and objectives.
It also matters to small firms.
Cyber attacks that make it to the morning or evening news are often large in scale. Specifically, malicious software that are created for extortion purposes, popularly known as ransomware, typically target big firms. But this does not mean small, budding businesses are far removed from this kind of alarming situation.
Any breach of your client data endangers your business. But aside from customer records, your intellectual property, employee records, and business correspondence are also vulnerable. In addition, there is no telling what the hackers will do with the compromised data. Among small firms that experienced cyber attack, 60 percent do not recover and shut down within the next six months.
It pays to pay attention to it from the top down.
You should understand that people can be the cause of cyber security issues. If you have employees, you should train them with regard to the basics of privacy and security. Teach them about connecting with public wifis such as those in cafes and airports.
If you can afford it, installing a credible VPN client on their devices can give you some peace of mind. Protecting your small business from employee negligence is also an integral part of overall security. Of course, having a dedicated IT team is an important investment. If you are not an IT expert yourself, it will be best to make space for a chief technology officer or a tech consultant.
Having the right people in place can help improve your security situation, process, and result. But if this is not yet possible, a little team know-how can go a long way, especially if you are working with a remote staff.
It is an industry concern.
It is never just an individual effort. Actively taking part in startup groups in your area will potentially lead you to a cyber security startup. If not, you can ask for recommendations from within those circles. Other founders understand your need to grasp some concepts before buying into a program or solution.
You may also find firms offering business analytics and consultancy based on industries, to help you contextualize solutions. Use that opportunity to field your questions to the right audience. You can also keep abreast with data protection regulation through your network as well as news and studies.
It may sound like a lot of work, and it is. So think about converting that time you’re scrolling down your Facebook feed aimlessly into checking out your startup groups, looking for cyber security threads, and participating in helpful discussions about the topic.