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Achieving Cybersecurity: Best Practices for Startup Companies

Besides favorable government and economic policies, the prevalence of the Internet, and advancement in the capabilities inherent in digital devices has paved the way for many startups to flourish. For business owners who would most likely want to harness these digital benefits, it is essential that they are fully aware of the importance of cybersecurity.

The ubiquity of high-profile hacks and data leaks are what brought to light, the pressing need for stringent cybersecurity measures in businesses. The implementation of the GDPR policy in 2018 was effected after these data-leaks revealed how users’ data could be misused.

Cybersecurity isn’t an option

For a startup company, probably tight on their budget, employing stellar cybersecurity measures might come off as rather expensive. This has therefore led many founders to risk employing little or no measures to secure their systems — with the hope of scaling up the security measures once their projected revenue starts coming in. This option is what has led many startups to close shops after one or a few cyberattacks.

In a post made by Forbes, it was stated that 2020 will see a 300% increase in ransomware attacks – the majority of which would be targeted at small businesses. Several senior executives in top companies such as Raytheon, Webroot, Varonis, MonsterCloud Cybersecurity, etc. made several claims backing the fact that ransomware attacks are on the rise. Ransomware is however one of many forms of cyberattacks that could pose threats to businesses. Others include:

  • Dedicated Denial of Service (DDoS);
  • Malware attacks;
  • Network Intrusion;
  • Viruses and Spyware attacks.

Security Measures that can be employed by Startups

Although the challenges are numerous, there are a few ways these startup owners can stay safe from these attacks. Here is a couple of them:

  • Migrating data to Cloud: Apart from the fact that the cost of acquiring local storage servers is expensive, the maintenance costs are usually on the high side. Cloud storages however provide an easy and cost-effective way to store and retrieve data. Given the reputation and criticality of business’ data handled by these cloud service providers such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Service, it is expected that they possess stellar security protocols which help ensure that their customers’ data is safe from any form of attack or manipulation.
  • Use Encryption Software: Encryption software help secure data by encoding them as it leaves the sender and then decoding it upon getting to the recipient. A typical way to achieve this is to download a VPN software and install it on local computers. A VPN adds several layers of encryption to the data being sent from the sender to the receiver. This way, even if a cybercriminal intercepts the data being transferred, it would be pretty much useless to the hacker since the data would be encrypted.
  • Employ the best security practices: This is basically the cheapest and easiest way to ensure proper cybersecurity measures within the startup company. Training programs to educate the staff on the protocols to be observed regarding connecting to the office network, use of passwords, exchange of files and so on would go a long way in ensuring that the network is safe and no attack could occur as a result of human error.

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