The world is undergoing a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. The penetration of new technologies such as connected devices, apps, and digital working environments is driving profound and rapid changes in the global business ecosystem.
Despite the benefits, this evolution has also increased the risk of a new and jeopardizing threat: cybercrime. All over the world, cyberattacks are on the rise. Increased reliance on new technologies continues to expose more businesses, especially smaller ones, to the risk of cyberattacks. Here are some of the most common threats facing start-ups.
- Data Breaches. Data breaches have become common these days. Start-ups are a popular target for data breaches, often with devastating consequences. A single data breach costs $3.86 million on average in 2020. Most small businesses don’t recover from such an attack.
- Malware. Ransomware is one of the most common types of malware. In a ransomware attack, hackers deploy malware to lock a business’s mission-critical data until a specified sum of money is paid. Report has claimed a 715% year-on-year increase in detected ransomware attacks in 2020.
- Phishing. Phishing is a sneaky social engineering attack disguised to access and steal user data. Although phishing is one of the most common types of cyberattacks, many businesses are still unable to effectively defend against this cybersecurity threat. The attack often takes the form of an email or text message.
Although cyberattacks are a threat to businesses all over the world, the risk is even higher for startups. They can be easy targets for hackers since smaller companies often lack the knowledge and resources to safeguard their sensitive information and customer data. Nearly 60% of small businesses are forced to close down after a cyberattack.
In face of these imminent risks, here are some of the steps you can take to secure your start-up against cyberattacks.
Risk assessments will help you identify the various information assets that could be compromised in the event of a cyberattack. These include intellectual property, customer data, laptops, systems, and hardware. You will also be able to identify, analyze, and evaluate the various threats that could compromise these assets.
Provide regular training sessions on cybersecurity best practices to help develop a cybersecurity culture at the workplace. Employee training is a smart way to improve digital security in your start-up. Seeing as the lack of awareness among employees becomes the biggest cybersecurity threat for businesses, regular training can help offset the threat.
Use a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is one of the most effective ways of protecting valuable business data from a wide range of online threats. Some startups choose to use a VPN router to secure all connections in the office. This can protect your business from online threats as your start-up’s data client information is properly encrypted through the software.
Incident Reporting Mechanism
Ensure that you have an incident reporting system in place within your start-up. Having an efficient incident reporting mechanism within your business will help you ensure that all incidents and attacks are reported to the security team. This system will, in turn, help your security team prevent security breaches before they occur.
Back-Up Your Data
Backing up your data offsite can help you to quickly recover your data and get back to business after a cyberattack. A good backup strategy as it offers a way to restore lost or destroyed data is key to your company’s cybersecurity. Having a reliable backup plan can help your business prevent a ransomware attack.
No matter where you are in the world, the threat of cyberattacks is ever-present and ever-growing. Research shows that young start-ups are always more exposed than traditional businesses. In the current tech environment, no business is ever too small to consider robust cybersecurity measures. If they are to survive, start-ups and small businesses must prepare for digital intrusion and become cyber resilient.