Why Cybersecurity Strategy Matters to Startups And Small Businesses?
The size of an enterprise is never a criterion for cyber-attack. Every business on the earth today is vulnerable to cyber security issues of varied types. Larger enterprises are often in the headlines for cyber security breaches. However, the fate suffered by most small businesses and startups go an unnoticed year on year. Studies show that over 65 percent of small businesses are succumbing to cyber-attacks that challenge their very survival. In fact, small businesses thriving on smaller capitals are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks since they depend on cheap protection platforms, outdated software and also unknowledgeable staff for their comprehensive cyber security needs.
In the same lines, even most startups by big players do not implement proactive measures to implement foolproof cyber security measures. Given the scenario, they are often the easy targets for hackers who capitalize on their vulnerability. The consequences and costs of cyber-attacks can be unmanageable. Hence, no firm can today remain indifferent to cyber security issues. Here is what every business must know about cyber security and data file protection.
Why do hackers target startups?
Hackers are highly attracted by the treasure of information that the startups possess at their disposal. Most firms have cached data of their customers’ credit and debit cards. These are a big piece of delicious cake for hackers attempting financial fraud. Some hackers are keen to grab the innovative ideas and the intellectual property that are maintained under secrecy by startups. Since several startups provide some ancillary services to corporations, some cyber criminals exploit the technology infrastructure of these startups to enter the networks of huge enterprises.
Way back in 2013, the most famous U.S credit card breach reported at Target was made possible on account of the vulnerabilities found in the third-party vendor network. On a contractual basis, Fazio Mechanical was offering HVAC services to Target. The hackers stole the network credentials of Target from this vendor and entered Target’s network to access the cash registers of Target by uploading malware. The attack gave way to the theft of details of over 40 million credit cards.
What is the threat?
Cyber hackers are at work around the clock. Therefore none can predict when the startup website, network or server can be hacked. Trend Micro’s research findings show that every second, 3.5 new instances of cyber threat happen. Startups and small businesses are increased risk since they are unable to upgrade their security systems in line with big corporations. In the next place, the proliferated growth of big data, mobile apps, and web apps have significantly enlarged the surface available for attacks.
Since most startups and small businesses sell their products and services on web platforms and mobile apps, gaining protection from these ends must be their top priority. Most importantly, startups and small businesses are shifting to benefit from the cost saving advantages of the cloud. So, threats targeting cloud are most likely to increase phenomenally. Furthermore, the hackers are also targeting to gain access to the online accounts of the top level management and key personnel of corporations to steal company data and database at a firm’s disposal.
Best practices to augment cyber security
Most cyber-attacks today capitalize on the lack of awareness in the employees than the vulnerabilities in the system. So, it is important to implement a vigorous internal security policy to protect information and also educate the employees on best cyber security practices. The organization must implement a strong cyber security culture like strong passwords, regulations to use the internet, not logging into company servers through unprotected networks, not using personal smartphones for official work, not installing risky third party applications, being able to distinguish phishing emails and handling customer data as per established guidelines.
Antivirus software and other software installed must be regularly updated and the employees must not be allowed to install or uninstall software without permissions. Over and above, backing up the company data regularly and establishing a threat intelligence platform are highly useful measures that businesses must take in the lines of advancing their proactive cyber security measures.
It goes without saying that no business can today afford to overlook the need for implementing strict cyber security measures on a proactive basis. High levels of cyber security measures will lead to enhanced protection against cyber-attacks and also will help increase customer trust, company’s credibility and brand image in the market. On the other hand, any negligence in this regard on part of small businesses and startups will increase their vulnerability to cyber crimes and see the brand image collapse with the erosion of credibility and customer trust. Therefore cyber security is never a small issue to be overlooked.