Each year, 100 million startups are created around the world. Regardless of whatever business you are in today, technology plays a major role. It’s not just for startups developing the newest apps but for all kinds of industries. Hackers know how much businesses value their tech. So they target networks and personal devices to gain access to personal and corporate data. This costs the economy billions of dollars each year.
For example, the famous WannaCry ransomware attack hit over 10,000 different organizations. It affected businesses of all sizes and industries ranging from massive operations, like the UK National Health Service and Renault Automatic, to small, new companies with just a handful of employees.
So here are the top five reasons your startup needs to pay attention to cybersecurity right away:
1) No company is too small
Generally, we only hear news stories about corporate hacks on major companies like Facebook and Google. In reality, however, approximately 55% of all SMEs have experienced cyber-attacks. If your company has any type of digital footprint, whether that’s a website, cloud storage account, or email server, then you can be a target.
In fact, hackers often prefer to attack small companies because they do not have the same rigorous security protocols as larger businesses, making them easier targets. Moreover, with automated malicious scripts, it’s easy for cybercriminals to mass target a large number of companies at the same time. Even if they infect .01% of their targets, they can inflict incredible damage on businesses.
2) Your data is valuable
Once again, it doesn’t matter what industry you are in; your data is extremely valuable to hackers. They can penetrate corporate networks to steal employee and customer information. Startups are particularly vulnerable as many of them may be creating new, valuable ideas, apps, and other types of intellectual property. Criminals know how to exploit your data. Even if it is not of use to them, it can be valuable to you – and this is where ransomware attacks come into play. These types of hacks prevent you from accessing your data unless you pay a significant sum of money to the cybercriminal.
3) Downtime can kill small businesses
When data breaches occur, hackers may often also take down websites and critical network infrastructure. They may do this through DDoS attacks or other techniques. Large organizations like Sony and Dropbox have survived data breaches because they have the resources to withstand strong attacks.
For example, they have redundant servers, so should one server go down, they can still access key data. Startups simply don’t have the resources. What’s worse is their reputation takes a big hit from these attacks – something not every business can recover from. The US National Cyber Security Alliance found that 60% of small businesses shut down after suffering major cyberattacks.
4) Cyber security ensures productivity
This is in the same vein as minimizing downtime. Beyond reputational and other types of damage, data breaches kill productivity. When workers are locked out of key files and networks, they are unable to do their jobs. Moreover, startups with limited resources may not be able to keep working, as they have to divert their attention to recovering from a hack. As the old saying goes – prevention is the best medicine. And staying up to date with your cybersecurity practices is the best way to prevent data breaches.
5) Smart people make computing mistakes
Startups are full of bright individuals creating innovative ideas that can change the world. However, they don’t always understand digital hygiene. Digital hygiene is a set of best practices that help employees recognize suspicious-looking websites, avoid downloading malicious files, and know what to do in case of a cyberattack. Startups have so much going on; it can be easy for someone to download the wrong file, connect to an infected network, or make another innocent mistake.
How Startups Can Ensure Their Data is Safe
All companies need comprehensive cybersecurity protocols. However, this doesn’t have to be expensive. Begin by protecting your data with a file encryption service like NordLocker. NordLocker utilizes AES-256, Argon 2, Poly 1305, and other advanced technologies to encrypt files. It’s highly versatile and can be used for images, videos, word documents, or any type of file. All you do is encrypt the file on your computer and upload it to your cloud account.
From here, take steps to secure your accounts and networks with strong passwords and additional layers of cybersecurity, like two-factor authentication and biometric security tools – facial recognition technology and fingerprint IDs.
Finally, make sure all employees are familiar with the latest in digital hygiene strategy that will not only prevent data breaches but also help you minimize potential damage if one occurs. The stakes are incredibly high for startups, so be sure to protect yourself and help your company thrive through following these essential techniques.