Cyberattacks have become more frequent as businesses use digital platforms to store their data. Even though we’ve seen large firms fall victim to these attacks, ultimately leading to a damaged reputation or closure, startups remain the most vulnerable.
Most entrepreneurs just starting are so focused on growing their businesses that they usually forget to include cybersecurity in their operations as a deterrent to cyber criminals. But that shouldn’t be the case with today’s evolving threats and attacks. This post will cover what you need to know to help your startup avoid being targeted by hackers.
Why Are Startups The Most Common Target of Hackers?
Startups are typically the target of hackers who assume they are more vulnerable because small businesses lack the resources and expertise to defend themselves against harmful threats. According to the Ponemon Institute, over 45% of SMBs have experienced cyberattacks, and 39% do not have an incident response plan.
Due to consumer demand and intense market competition, many new entrepreneurs were able to invest their money in tools to expand their businesses, with cybersecurity coming last on their list of priorities. They don’t realize they need it until it happens to them. Cybercriminals use this mindset to identify your vulnerabilities, making it easier for them to hack and exploit your data. Additionally, as more companies transferred their operations to mobile, the likelihood of these attacks rose.
How to Avoid Getting Your Startup Targeted By Hackers
Hackers are getting more inventive with accessing different data and devices as cyberattack cases increase; they even utilize sophisticated tools. In that situation, you must know how to react once cybercriminals hack into your system.
- Inform individuals affected as quickly as you can if hackers access your system. Avoid making the same error Yahoo made by keeping the security incident a secret from their personnel and customers for years.
- After you report the security breach, allow professionals as much time as possible to handle the matter.
- Learn about any warning signs of security lapses through experiencing the hack, and allow cybersecurity experts or internal IT to respond to the hack.
- If your company doesn’t already have a response strategy, develop one, so your team has a guideline to follow in an emergency.
- Hire cybersecurity experts and let them conduct tests to evaluate your systems’ vulnerability.
Limit the Number of Team Members Who Can Access Your Account
Giving everyone admin access could encourage transparency if your company is small. However, this can make any data vulnerable to hackers. To safeguard your social media accounts from future cyberattacks, try giving account management to just one individual.
Create Strong Passwords
Weak passwords are one of the easiest methods for hackers to get critical information. That’s why it is crucial always to use complex, unique passwords made up of symbols, numbers, and letters. Many highly effective password managers are incredibly secure, recommend choosing complicated passwords, and even let you know if someone else logged into your account or your email appeared in a data leak.
Regularly Update Your Systems
Startups using outdated hardware and software are incredibly open to attack. Customers rely on you to safeguard their financial and personal information, but you cannot do so without current systems and software. Establish a day to regularly check that all staff has updated their systems and software if you want to foster a culture of security in your company.
Establish Multi-factor Authentication
Many industries nowadays incorporate multi-factor authentication in their operations to prevent future cyberattacks, and mobile banking is a typical example. It’s a good thing that multi-factor authentication is becoming more popular rather than only relying on passwords to identify and confirm whether you logged into the account or not.
Install a Firewall
Installing a firewall is essential for managing risk and serves as protection against hackers. Your firewall protects your network by monitoring incoming and outgoing data traffic and blocking harmful data packets and external threats.
Listen and Engage With Experts
To thrive, startups must move swiftly and nimbly, and devoting time and resources to security may impede this movement. Instead of striving to develop all the necessary skill sets internally, outsource to others for their cybersecurity expertise to help you identify threats and protect yourself from them.
The Importance of Cybersecurity for Your Startup
Cyberattacks are unavoidable, no matter the size of your business and whether you are operating remotely or not. Without a solid cybersecurity plan, you risk losing control over your data, which might affect your company’s reputation and integrity since it protects sensitive data from hackers. Cybersecurity is the cornerstone of any business and ensures continuous operations over time.
Additionally, having a robust remote security approach demonstrates your concern for your clients and company. Although you don’t have the resources to adopt cybersecurity methods, your status as a startup gives you more reason to do so. Because in contrast to large organizations that can recover quickly after an attack, you still have a lot to lose. When a cyber threat materializes, it could harm your clients’ trust in you and your company’s reputation when you’re still growing your clientele.
Cyberattacks are expensive as well. An organization might invest no less than $200 annually. As a startup, you cannot afford to waste a lot of time, money, or other resources trying to find the cause of the security breach.
Wrapping It Up
As more businesses rely on the internet to store their data, protecting your data must be a key priority for all sizes of organizations. Knowing the causes and risks of cyberattacks can better equip you to safeguard your business from hackers in the future.