I often wondered why most start-up firms do not make it off the ground after the first 3 to 5 years? Well, this is due to a number of reasons, ranging from the increase of competitors to the lack of financial resources to fund the firm. However, one thing is clear, more often than not, cybercrimes play a major role in these problems faced by startup firms.
Ways by which Startups get Attacked
As of last year, over 60% of all firms targeted by cybercriminals were start-up firms. There are many numbers of ways cybercriminals could affect startups – some of which are highlighted below:
- Data Breach: Although this is a general problem facing all establishments, start-up firms usually suffer the brunt of hackers bypassing their database security and stealing customer data and information. Unlike major firms, who have over the years gained experience in such situations and consumer trust, startup firms do not do so well in this area as people generally begin to assume that the firm is trading their information for extra funding, which can lead to loss of customers and premature closure.
- Malware: As expected with startups, the security system is not as enhanced as one would expect it to be, meaning that cybercriminals can easily gain access to the firm’s server, and install malware on the firm’s computers. This malware can crash the computer, or in even worse cases, lock the users out of their files and data on the said computer until a particular amount is paid as ransom. Sometimes, startups may not have the funds to settle said ransom, leading to indefinite closure.
These and more are many of the issues startups face while trying to build off the ground. Luckily, there are solutions to these problems.
Cybersecurity Measures to Secure your Startup
- Security for Hire: There are organizations that are fully invested in ensuring that the security of another firm is delivered. These organizations root out existing malware and prevent incoming malware, in order to ensure that customer data is encrypted and the startup’s data is secured. Admittedly, it is an extra cost incurred, but it is a safe way of ensuring that customer and company data is not lost to cybercriminals.
- Avoid Public Connections: Although it is often free to connect to public WiFi while outside of the reach of office connection, it is highly unadvisable to do so while handling sensitive office content as the public WiFi may have already been compromised. Public WiFi may contain malware that could get on the device and steal its information.
- Protect Your Devices: Aside from ensuring that the database and server are fully protected, it is imperative to ensure that all devices and connections located within the office space are secured. It is advisable to employ the use of a secure VPN to encrypt connections and devices to ensure that malware is not transferred from one system to another.
- Sandboxing: This is a process of adding an additional layer of security to all login pages, in which a login ID and unique code will be sent to a trusted device in the office space in a case of personal information breach of any of the staff.
Reiterate the Importance of Security
Up to 80% of all data breaches in the world today arise from phishing; which is why it is important for top officials in firms to continually remind staff on the importance of security and advise against opening unknown ads and links to avoid malware. With the increased growth of technology, so comes the growth of cybercrimes, which is why it is important to constantly be updated on new risks and how it is possible to stay above the situation when it arises.