Cybersecurity for Startups | Quick Guide

    Running a modern business is a challenging task yet an exciting part of any new founder. You finally kick off the process, have a team, and your plans and dreams begin to materialise, where the only limitation is money. Digitalisation also allows you to reach customers all across the world, boost marketing, get fundraising and achieve your highest goals.

    However, digitalisation also comes with challenges. One of the key challenges that modern companies face is threats and cyber attacks. Since most dangerous attacks happen with large enterprises, startups believe that they don’t need to protect their business. But the truth is that they represent an easy and appealing target for attackers, mainly because of their poor cybersecurity.

    Why do Startups Need Cybersecurity?

    Cybersecurity is essential in modern realities. Since 2019, companies have moved to remote work, the use of mobile phones has greatly increased, and attackers have found new ways of damaging company data. So whether you’re a startup or a market giant, cybersecurity is a must-have for any organisation.

    Not having enough security in place can damage your business. That is because hackers will either steal or damage your sensitive data, which will reduce customer loyalty and cost millions. Based on the 2019 Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report, almost 65% of all businesses have faced a cyber-related issue. And 60% of these businesses are targeted by hackers every six months.

    How to Secure Your Startup

    Assign an Account Admin and Role-based Users

    If you run a startup, you may think that giving admin access to everyone will boost transparency and allow them to work more efficiently and download all needed programs. While this is true, it can also leave any (and sometimes all) information that you store vulnerable to cyberattacks. That is why it is recommended to assign one or a few people to manage access to sensitive information like customer info, employee info, financial data, and all other data you don’t want a stranger to see.

    Perform a Penetration Test

    One of the most advanced and effective methods to boost a company’s security is performing penetration testing. This process is done by cyber specialists that use the same tools and technologies as hackers, mimicking real attacks. The vulnerability assessment stage helps organisations to explore their main vulnerabilities and see how effective their security is at the moment.

    Cybersecurity Training

    Just testing your security posture isn’t enough in modern reality. Cybersecurity and steps needed to protect your data should always be in place. That is why it is highly advised to include security awareness training in your workflow, so experts can teach your employees about attacks and ways to prevent them. Bear in mind that lack of knowledge is the key way for attackers to damage your business.

    Multi-factor Authentication and Single Sign-on

    Even though it has been a long way, now multi-factor authentication is becoming a must-have rather than a preference for most organisations. Instead of using only a password, we recommend you employ multi-factor authentication as an extra step and another layer of cybersecurity that will protect your data. You can do this by using specialised applications like Authy or Okta, which also send a push notification to the account owner in case someone tries to log in and verify the identity.

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