Start-ups cannot be lenient or flexible when it comes to cybersecurity. Your business must be secure from the beginning in order to reduce risk for cyberattacks and build trust with new customers. Imagine being a victim of hacking when your business is just starting to take off. That’s a devastating scenario. You can drastically reduce your risk for such a situation by adopting the following good cybersecurity practices:
Have a Super Strong Password Policy
First of all, you must have an airtight password policy. Routinely change business passwords, and instruct everyone how to come up with strong and unpredictable passwords. Discourage reusing of old passwords. You should not use a single password for multiple services either. The best policy to practise here is to invest in a web based password manager. Such software can generate random and impossible to predict passwords in addition to encrypting and securing existing passwords.
Ban all Outside Storage Devices
Do not allow anyone, including yourself, to plug external storage devices into office computers. Don’t let employees bring in their personal USB sticks and other similar devices into the office. This increases your risk for cyberattack both intentionally and unintentionally. Some employees may have lax cybersecurity practices at home, which can make their devices vulnerable to malicious software. When they plug those infected devices into your network, your entire business becomes vulnerable.
Secure the Network
Be secure by encrypting all Wi-Fi networks and passwords protecting all connections at the office. Hide your Wi-Fi network from the public. Also, set up firewalls in all devices to eliminate risk of malicious software infection. It’s best to use an internal server for cloud storage and other needs.
Consider Getting Cyber insurance Coverage
Cyber insurance may cover your losses in case your regular business insurance doesn’t cover general liability issues posed by a potential cyberattack. Cyber insurance policies can be expensive, so you need to assess your risk and liability before you purchase a policy. If your start up is primarily a digital business, it might be worthwhile to purchase a cyber insurance policy from the get go.
Tech Employees Safe Practices
If you have already employed other people at your start up, it’s your job as boss to teach them how to stay safe online. Make them aware of phishing scams. Tell them how to verify a website to know if it’s secure. Make sure that your employees know not to click on strange email links or not to give up passwords without verifying the authenticity of a website.
Vet IT People
If you are hiring IT people, like network managers and security personnel, you might want to run a background check on them first. Make sure you are not hiring anyone who does not disclose a past cybercriminal background up front. Remember that you are entrusting sensitive business and customer information to the IT people you hire. So, you need to make sure that you hire the best people for the job.
Get Antivirus and Antispyware Software
Do not avoid purchasing business-grade antivirus and antispyware software. This is an essential investment, not luxury spending. Once you do purchase the software, make sure it always stays up to date.
Cybersecurity is more important now than ever. Most start-ups that end up victims of cyberattacks have serious trouble building trust with customers. So, follow the above tips and develop the best practices.