As business operations shift toward more automated and online-based systems, companies are opening themselves up to a relatively new but very dangerous threat: cybercrime. Cyber-attacks on businesses are becoming more frequent. With valuable information and financial dealings now based predominantly online, hackers are on high alert.
All companies, including small businesses and startups, have an online presence, and utilize computer software that’s connected to the internet. This puts them at risk of a cyber-attack. The majority of businesses do not have a cybersecurity policy, and even fewer have a plan for when an attack might happen.
What most people do not realize is that startups are the most vulnerable enterprises to fall victim to cybercriminals. Where largescale companies are likely to have strict security procedures in place, new businesses generally don’t invest in digital security. For this very reason, they are targeted.
One malicious attack can be detrimental to a startup, so the cost of cybersecurity should outweigh the risk. Here are five key tips for protecting your startup from cybercrime. For more additional information on securing your data be sure to visit Network Assured.
A strong firewall should be the first step in securing your company’s network. A firewall prevents any unauthorized access from making its way into your network. Whether someone tries to hack into your system directly or through your internet connection, the firewall is designed to shield the network from an attack.
As your first line of defense, a firewall is essential.
2. Use a VPN
A VPN (a virtual private network) is another effective way of securing your company data. It provides end-to-end encryption of your internet connection, meaning your connection is private. This blocks potential cybercriminals, wi-fi hacks, and prevents people or organizations from spying on your company.
Setting up your VPN on a router is a secure way of doing so, and is a useful security measure for any start-up.
3. Back up your data
Data and information are critical aspects of any business. Modern startups will typically store business and customer data in a digital format, meaning there are no physical copies. Therefore, it is vital that there are back up copies of this data.
Whether you are hacked, or system failure results in a loss of sensitive information, your backed up data will be a lifesaver.
There are several ways to back up your data, so ensure you pick the method that best suits your practices.
4. Anti-virus and theft prevention software
Anti-virus software is one of the most effective ways of protecting your device and installed software from malware and viruses. Once a device is compromised by malware, hackers can gain access to your business network and steal critical data relating to your finances and customers.
5. Secure log-in protocol
Having stringent security measures in place, it would be a shame for a data breach to occur because of sloppy password procedures.
Ensure that strong, unique passwords are used for all business log-ins. For added security, these passwords should be changed regularly (every three to four months).
Use multifactor authentication on log-ins where possible. This type of log-in procedure prompts the user to provide additional information when logging into a network or program. A username and password will be the initial step, followed by a second (and possibly a third) verification method before access is granted.