How To Secure Your New Startup And Key Threats

Business Startups


How to Secure Your New Startup & the Key Threats

Young businesses today face more cybersecurity risks than ever before. 


It’s a sweeping statement, but when you consider our increased reliance on digital solutions and platforms, the number of software integrations in use, and how much more sophisticated today’s digital threats are, it holds true. 

The worms and Trojans of yesteryear have largely given way to advanced threats. Cybercrime is a distinct industry with nefarious solutions for hire and structured ‘businesses’; consider malware as a service (MaaS). You’ve invested time, money, and energy in your startup, but to give your business the chance to succeed, cybersecurity is critical. 

Here are the key concerns businesses need to be aware of:

The major threats to enterprises


Malware

Malware is malicious software; that is, it’s deliberately designed to cause damage to a device, a network, or data. Most of the time, malware is inadvertently downloaded via a link or hidden in other files. The AgeLocker program is one example. It has been causing havoc for SMEs in the UK. It’s spread through phishing emails, compromised websites, or vulnerabilities in operating systems.

Though the goals vary, malware may aim to gain access to data or hold data hostage for extortion if it’s ransomware. Some malware is just designed to ruin systems without a financial incentive.

Phishing

Phishing is not a type of digital threat in the same sense as malware; it’s more of a method. Phishing relies on human psychology to achieve its aims: opening a link, a website, or logging in to an account. Often dressed up as emails or text messages from legitimate companies, phishing remains a key threat because even today, it’s the main vector for many malware and ransomware programs.

Data breaches

A data breach is when sensitive information (that should have been protected) is stolen or accessed unlawfully. This information might be sold on the dark web, used to create accounts, or steal a client’s funds. The onus for data security is always on the company, so if your startup retains client information, you need to be very aware of your responsibilities. Breaches can result in regulatory fines, too, if you do not report them on time.

Keeping your company secure


There are a lot of moving pieces to good cybersecurity, but taking the following steps can make all the difference to your business’s security and ongoing success:

  • Use a full suite of digital security tools. That includes antimalware, antivirus, enterprise-level firewalls, authenticator apps, DNS protection, and a VPN for security online. Always choose high-quality paid solutions.
  • Keep your digital tools updated. Many new startups begin life with just a few employees, which can be both a blessing and a curse. If everyone is working on their own devices, it is of utmost importance that these are kept updated and run the latest version of apps. Vulnerabilities in outdated systems mean more chances for threats to land.
  • Educate staff. Everyone in your company must know cybersecurity basics, such as not opening suspicious links, websites or downloading programs onto work devices. Ensure staff are educated on the risks and taught to be wary of what looks suspicious. 
  • Risk assessment. Your business may need additional security measures depending on your industry. It’s always best to hire a cybersecurity professional to perform a thorough risk assessment.
  • Plan for the worst. Smart companies know that cyberattacks are more a matter of when rather than if. It’s how the company responds that matters. Have a plan in place for what you’ll do when the worst occurs. 

Protecting your startup from the beginning is always preferred, but it’s never too late to take action and bolster your defenses. So whether you’re just getting started or your new startup is gaining traction, follow the strategies above to keep your business safe and your client’s data secure.

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