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How To Keep Your Startup Safe From Cybercrime - Carol Evenson - Blog

How To Keep Your Startup Safe From Cybercrime

Protecting your new business from cybercrime is one of the most important steps you can take in securing its future. With so much commerce now taking place entirely online, the dangers have grown right along with the opportunities. Here are five simple steps that any new entrepreneur should consider when it comes to keeping their startup safe online. 


  1. Learn the Technology

Digital threats catch many owners and managers off-guard for the simple reason that it's not their specialty. Even so, a basic knowledge of computer technology is the first step in having situational awareness online. Since artificial intelligence and automation now play such a large role in business processes, study machine learning infrastructure and its supporting technologies. Understand how an SQL injection attack can wreck your database. Know the reasoning behind the use of cookies and other potentially problematic tracking software. Reading cybersecurity periodicals to keep up-to-date on the latest threats can be one more small habit that ends up making a big difference. 

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  1. Teach and Enforce Online Safety Measures

Recent research by security company Tessian and Stanford University revealed that around 88% of data breaches have human error as a root cause. The solution to this problem is regular and repeated training in cybersecurity threats and countermeasures. In fact, the same research showed that one-third (33%) of respondents said that they rarely or never think about cybersecurity on the job. Get your employees thinking. Teach them how to tell a legitimate website or email from a fraudulent one. Educate everyone about phone professionalism so they're not taken in by a fast-talking scam artist. In other words, make sure that online security is as much a part of your corporate culture as the company mission itself. 


  1. Utilize Endpoint Security

With so much of that workforce now being decentralized across a widely scattered network, making sure there aren't any weak points in that network is critical. That's the idea behind endpoint security. It's a protocol for deploying defenses across all user endpoints, which typically means all of the devices used for business purposes by employees and the public. Staggering user access based on proven trust, standardizing antivirus and firewall software, and data leak protection are just some of the considerations taken in planning comprehensive endpoint protection. Strong data encryption is another vital consideration and is one of the reasons why blockchain technology is transforming the financial services industry. Security measures are easily scalable to a business' needs and resources, so find the combination of freedom and safety that works for your operation. 


  1. Backup All Data 

The sheer cost of a data breach can be crippling. According to Security Magazine, for small businesses, that figure hovers around $36,000 to $50,000 with $200,000 being the average across all business types. Some of the costs involved in being compromised lie in lost business due to loss of reputation among consumers following the attack. Always keep backups of your most important files, especially customer information. Having a backup in the cloud is good, but distributed data storage can also be compromised. Keeping vital files on a flash drive (and then putting it in a safe) or just having old-fashioned hardcopies eliminates the problem of vulnerability via connectivity entirely. Whatever your strategy, treat all of your information as the precious commodity that it is. 


  1. Engage With Experts When Necessary

Nobody knows more about the vulnerabilities of operating systems and databases than the hackers themselves. Thankfully, many of them are on the side of law and order. Ethical hacking is a necessary profession. These people are able to look at cybercrime from the criminal's point of view. Companies hire them to break into their systems in a controlled situation in order to expose any loopholes that programmers and administrators might have missed. Think of this approach as fighting fire with fire. 


Cybersecurity only feels like rocket science. In reality, all that digital safety requires is awareness and a plan. Consider these strategies when putting your own plan into action. 

Publish Date: October 24, 2021 3:31 PM

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