Advice

How to Secure your Startup on a Budget

When you and your business are just starting out, nothing can throw your plans off track quite like a burglary, data breach or other security crisis. Although you may not be able to afford the most top-of-the-line security solutions, you definitely can’t afford not to secure your startup at all.

Here are a few simple ways you can secure your startup on a limited budget. Use these guidelines to create a new security plan for your startup, or to re-evaluate the security measures you have already put in place.

1. Focus on cyber security. According to Stay Safe Online, U.S. small business owners have a false sense of cyber security. Cyber criminals frequently target small businesses because they know bigger companies are more likely to employ thorough security measures that will be harder to breach.

You can help improve your company’s cyber security by taking a few simple steps, such as securing your Wi-Fi networks, providing firewall security for your Internet connection and updating employee passwords on a regular basis. You may also want to create an Internet policy for your employees and implement clear rules. Train employees about how to avoid phishing attacks and instruct them to avoid opening emails that look suspicious.

2. …but don’t forget physical security. Cyber security is essential, but it doesn’t eliminate the need for old-fashioned, brick and mortar security. If your startup operates within four walls, you still need to secure your computers, documents and other valuable resources. A security system and security mobile app can go a long way when it comes to protecting your startup. An app like ADT Pulse, for instance, will allow you to keep an eye on your business even while you are away. It will allow you to see who is coming and going, while keeping an eye out for unexpected visitors. Many security companies offer competitive deals, and purchasing a security system is more than worth the price if it helps prevent a costly break-in.

3. Store data safely. If your startup is securing sensitive customer data, you should make outside access to this data as difficult as possible. You can do this by encrypting the data to make it useless to criminals. You can also store data by separating it into smaller pieces, instead of storing a large amount of data in one place. Although this may present some organizational hurdles, it will also create significant hurdles for potential criminals who are trying to steal sensitive information.

4. Training. When it comes to security, every startup should train its employees on best practices right from the very start. Setting clear guidelines will not only help improve your startup’s security, but it will also provide much appreciated guidance to employees who are new to your business.

5. Prioritize. It is important to realize that you are never going to be able to secure your startup one-hundred percent; there are inherent security risks in any business that you cannot entirely avoid. Decide which security risks pose the biggest threat to your startup, and try to minimize them as much as you can.

Following these security measures will help protect not only you and your business, but also your customers and investors. If your startup’s customers and investors feel confident that your startup is secure, they will be more likely to trust and support it. Don’t allow security mishaps to disrupt your goals; implement these proactive measures today.

This guest post is from Stacey Waxman. She is a startup guru and content writer for SecurityChoice.Net.

Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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