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A report published in Forbes regarded 2019 as a “total disaster” following the numerous cyberattacks which occurred in the first half of the year. The reported breaches were just a little short of 4000 attacks and interestingly, 3 of out these attacks made it to the list of the top 10 largest breaches ever recorded.
Database breaches are now rather commonplace and for startups, weathering the storm of a cyberattack can be excruciating. Often times, many of these startups don’t make it out of these storms in one piece.
Financial and Infrastructural Implication of Cyberattacks
Given the number of uncertainties and activities that occur in startups, especially at its inception, it is not unusual that cybersecurity measures do not get as much priority as resource gathering and income generation. What most of these startups do not realize is that even the tiniest of attacks could put them out of business as soon as the attack hits.
A survey carried out by Ponemon Institute revealed that small and medium-sized enterprises run into an average loss of $879,582 per annum. Among the 141 cybersecurity predictions made by Forbes is a study that says 2020 will see a 3 times increase in ransomware attacks directed particularly at small and medium scale businesses in the United States. This prediction included the fact that these attacks, backed by ransoms amount of about $300,000 per attack, will run one in every five businesses bankrupt or force them to close.
Top Cybersecurity Measures to Implement in a Startup Business
Given the aforementioned, it would be good if every startup owner saw cybersecurity as an asset worth investing in. In the long run, it will not only save the business a lot of money in recovering from the effect of the attack but also preserve the business in its entirety. Asides gaining an understanding of these risks, it is essential that certain measures be taken to ensure a stellar security status of the business. Examples of these measures are:
- Utilize Infrastructure Security: Utilizing cloud services for your small business has several benefits. Asides the cost, reliability, and option to scale as desired, the top infrastructure services such as Amazon Web Service, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud provide a lot of security implementations based on your needs. A good rule of thumb is to use different accounts for development, production, and testing environments – all of which should all be enclosed in a virtual private cloud with limited IP access.
- Implementing on-site Security measures: It is not sufficient to rely only on security measures provided by cloud services as a breach could come through many other channels. Some of the ways by which securities can be enforced locally are to have antivirus software installed on the employees’ computers. This is to prevent any form of virus from getting into the PC and eventually to the organization’s network.
Another security measure is to install a VPN app on the PC in order to enforce data encryption and IP address masking. This way, transferred data do not get intercepted while being transported.
- Employee Education: Every organization, especially startups, should imbibe a “security-first” culture into their environment. In as much as the IT department is responsible for the bulk of the duties relating to cybersecurity, it is imperative that employees also apply best practices when using the Internet – particularly on the office networks.
Organizing occasional security boot camps and discussing the several tactics employed by these malicious individuals will ensure that employees abide by the laid down security protocols.
The aforementioned are the three core ways startups can ensure good cyberspace within and without their organization. Some other methods include regular security audit, constant software updates, and the use of a disaster recovery site in the event of a successful attack.