Best Ways To Ensure Cyber Security Of Your Startup

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There was a time when risk managers would list things like competition and changing consumer trends as the biggest risks to startups. Today, cyberattacks, especially those targeting SMEs and startups, are the number one threat and major trouble spot for risk managers. Your startup is at its most vulnerable at any stage should you be at the receiving of any kind of cyber breach or attack. 

A recent Verizon report indicates that 58% of recent cyber-attack victims were SMEs with startups falling in the bracket. Amidst all the widely publicized megahacks targeting large organizations and government institutions, a larger, unreported number of attacks are being directed to startups and SMEs like yours. 

Here are some of the most common cyber threats likely to be directed towards your startup now or in the near future: 

Direct Breaches: Cyber Espionage, Database Breaches, Internal Threats And Ransomware 

Startups will often get direct attacks from cybercriminals or internal elements trying to gain access to critical data, steal it or destroy it. This is especially common in technology startups or those on the cutting edge of innovation. Falling victim to any of these direct attacks could be devastating to a startup given how much resources are dedicated to innovation and data security. 

Why And How Often Do Direct Attacks Happen? 

As evident from the number of ransomware and database breaches in the recent past, direct breaches are becoming the most common attack method for high-value targets and SME. The improvement in tooling and emergence of organized hacking outfits has also made direct attacks quite common unlike in the past where there were isolated cases. 

Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) Attacks 

Most budding startups seem to have a preference for a relaxed working arrangement where employees are allowed to work from anywhere including on cafes and restaurants or on the road. More often than not, these people tend to use unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots that have emerged as the number one MITM attack channel. 

Why And How Often Do Public WIFI MITM Attacks Happen 

Most public hotspots have very poor security and are open for everyone to use including malicious elements. The past few years have seen a sharp increase in the number of MITM attacks launched through public WIFI. Chances of having your data accessed by malicious characters on public WIFI are quite high in the current environment. 

How do you secure your startup against these growing threats given the limited resources you might have at your disposal? 

Top 3 Ways To Secure Startups From Cyber Attacks 

1. Invest In Security Software And Infrastructure 

Antivirus software alone does not offer enough protection for startups. Instead, you should consider investing in more robust security software such as custom firewalls, secured routers and downloading a VPN app for each employee in your startup. 

2. Do An Internal Risk Assessment 

How does your current IT setup and capacity match up against the growing threat from cyberspace? As a first step, ensure that you conduct a comprehensive risk assessment whose results will guide in implementing the required safeguards. 

3. Train Your Staff On Basic Cybersecurity 

The biggest threat to your startup’s security could be your own co-workers and employees. In this regard, it has become a requirement for all organizations to train their staff on how to behave on the internet and utilize company IT resources safely. 

Secure Your Startup

All in all, securing your startup against external cyber threats comes down to internal policies and your approach towards security from the top to the bottom.

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