By Brad Smith (Tech Writer)
I don’t need to tell you that running a startup has its own way of building stress. I’m sure you know that firsthand. One form of stress—a major pain-point for many startups, big or small—is cybersecurity.
Cybercriminals, hackers, and malicious software plague the Internet, and it’s only a matter of time before one of these targets your startup. Phishing scams, malware attacks, data breaches: these all pose a threat to your startup and, in the case of many small businesses, can ruin it.
For example, Equifax’s 2017 data breach ruined the financial lives of millions of Americans. A group of Russian hackers were involved in the infamous JPMorgan Chase data breach of 2014. Even a high-schooler, Michael Calce, was able to cause billions of dollars in damage back in 2000 with a simple DDoS attack.
Today, I want to share with you 4 main ways in which you can protect your startup from suffering the ill effects of cyberattacks and help keep your startup from becoming another example of security gone wrong.
Four Ways To Secure Your Startup
1-Educate Yourself in Cybersecurity:
Knowing your enemy is the key to defending yourself against them. In the case of startups, knowing the various cyber-risks and how to avoid them is key to keeping your startup running.
Take time out of your day to educate yourself on cybersecurity, and how you can defend yourself and your employees. If you have the time and finances, you can even hire cybersecurity professionals to hold a cybersecurity seminar for you and your employees.
2-Set Up Proper Cybersecurity Tools:
After educating yourself and your employees/co-workers on cybersecurity, it’s time to set up the tools needed for success. From your network to each individual PC, there are plenty of tools available to secure your startup.
Add a firewall to your network to keep network-borne threats out. Install a VPN on your router to encrypt all information on your network. Put anti-virus software on all devices used. Every installation, every piece of software used brings your startup a step closer to security.
3-Update Software Regularly:
But there’s one thing many people neglect, myself included: software updates. Usually, we like to ignore update notifications on our computers or phones because they can be annoying and obnoxious. However, these software updates typically come bundled with security patches/fixes.
Ignoring these updates makes your devices vulnerable, so be sure to force auto-updates as often as possible, maybe around once a week.
4-RMM promotes better cybersecurity and compliance:
Assign Roles/Limit Employee Access to Certain Information
Windows/Linux servers are essential to any business or startup, not only because it makes managing data a lot easier, but because a server allows you to assign roles to people.
For example, you only want a certain subset of your employees to be able to access financial records—let’s say HR. You can assign those employees a role that gives them access without giving every other employee access.
In this way, you can limit the information employees can access. This not only makes things more organized but makes sure certain information stays secure and isn’t accessible by everyone.
Now is not the time to neglect your cybersecurity protocols. Like the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By making cybersecurity protocols part of your operational strategy, you will be protecting your IT business for the long haul.