If you are a startup, you would first be concentrating on achieving BEP in your line of business instead of playing around with cyber security and investing plenty of money there. But, sadly this is not 90s anymore!
It’s rather obvious that startups are working on edge and are in cash crunches mostly. Most of the startups are nothing but a high-speed internet connection paired with a high configuration laptop.
What we need to understand is when the whole business is dependent on cyber world, cyber security should be your major concern.
Why is Cyber Security Service Essential for Startup Business?
Business is all about revenues and cyber business needs online portals to transact. Now, what if we tell you that you can lose all your hard-earned money to a hacker in just a matter of seconds if you don’t use appropriate cyber security services. Cringe!!!
Whether you are a hardcore manufacturer or an internet startup, if you have data stored online, you are vulnerable to the cyber crimes.
Here are Top 5 Ways to Protect Your Startup Business from Cyber Attacks
1. Avoid Phishing Attack
Have you ever come across a well-crafted email from your bank or Facebook asking for your login credentials?
This is exactly what is called a phishing attack. This socially engineered attack will contain a web link with urgent instructions to fill out your credentials and no matter how authentic these emails may look, never fill your details. Giving away your credentials is like empowering a stranger to exercise your powers. It doesn’t sound good, right?
To avoid such attacks, train your staff and create awareness for such attacks. The basic checkpoint is everyone needs to get skeptical about the emails they are reverting to.
Solution: Mandate multi-factor authentication (MFA)
MFA demands additional authentication, like proof of possession of that user’s mobile phone by sending OTP(secret code) via text.
MFA curbs phishing quite effectively but still being skeptical is always recommended.
2. Malware detection and prevention
To define it briefly, malware is a malicious software that you download from the web and run.
Now, the next question is why would you download a malware?
Attackers are very smart this way, they persuade the user to download a malware by presenting it as a legitimate and useful program.
This malware can pose a serious threat to your business because it can do anything that the user is permitted to do, and so lots of damage is done already.
Solution #1: Install antivirus
The prime defense to mitigate this threat is to install a legitimate antivirus.
If you are running a business and you are not using an anti-virus (AV), you are pretty much putting yourself out there.
AV is an essential ingredient to your IT security recipe. It will detect the malware just as you are about to run it and block execution if the program is a possible threat to your system.
Let’s sort it once and forever if you are using Windows 10, you have a default Window Defender enabled and hence you need not pay for other AVs.
And if you are not using Windows 10, you need a paid AV installed. It applies to Macs as well. I repeat it applies to Macs as well.
Get a paid version, to keep yourself secured and renew your subscription periodically.
Solution #2: Use latest web browsers
Latest browser like Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge are equipped with a download defense that checks for malware.
These browsers check download of .exe file & blocks the download if the program is a malware.
Solution #3: Try app-only platforms
If you are a risk-averse person, go for app-only platforms.
When AV lets everything run except for a list of known-bad-stuff, app-only platforms block everything except for stuff that comes from that platform’s app store.
Platforms that support only apps from an app store (iOS, Android, Chrome OS, Windows 10 S, and Windows Device Guard) are more secure against malware than other platforms. You are denied to download from anywhere but the verified app store, which significantly reduces the risk of victimising from social engineering attacks.
Additionally, app-only platform runs apps inside a sandbox which restrains the app from accessing the user’s files or other critical resources, without user permission.
3. Survive ransomware
Ransomware needs no introduction after the mass sabotage it did. It is a malware that encrypts and ransom your data files.
Solution: Periodical offline backups
Keeping all your data online saves you from natural disasters but at the same time, you are vulnerable to the gruesome cyber attacks.
Imagine the world where an intruder has equivalent rights as you do regarding your online data or payment gateways.
It’s prudent to keep offline backups for your data on a periodical basis to recover faster from damage done by cyber attacks.
4. Startups= Outsource DBMS requirement
Being a startup, managing your server is not a good idea. Plus, you may not have enough resources to manage it. Misconfigured internet servers are a very soft target for attackers and can cause public defamation at times.
Solution: Leverage the cloud
Best bet for startups is to leverage cloud services, such as Azure, AWS, Google, Oracle, IBM, etc. It is cost effective and your data is relatively secured.
5. Monitor BYOD
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a famous and cost-effective concept these days.
Before you opt-in for this option, get a perspective on the risks involved in it. Your data is with people who may or may not use a secured browser or may get conned in a phishing attack or may use an insecure network for daily operations.
Little savings can cost you a fortune if a hacker intrudes in your network due to inadequate IT security.
Solution: Enable mobile device security
Draft and implement a good IT security policy for mobile devices. Good policies for your minimum bar should include:
Require a PIN/Password: Mobile devices when accessing the company’s database should require a strong password.
Device encryption: Ensure that the device’s storage is encrypted. Latest OS has the feature of encrypting the device storage by default.