No business is safe from a cyberattack, and just because you’re still a small fish doesn’t mean cybercriminals won’t target you. To keep your startup safe from opportunistic cybercriminals, here are the cybersecurity mistakes that you must work actively to avoid:
1. Not prioritizing security
Putting your startup’s security on the back burner is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Whether you are running an enterprise or a small startup, security should be a top priority.
If you don’t prioritize security, all your data, including passwords, client details, credit card numbers, and electronic fund transfers, are put at risk. Needless to say, a breach can be catastrophic for your business, leading to possible legal issues with clients and other equally as devastating fraudulent activities. Hence, utilizing security tools such as SecureCircle‘s products is a must.
2. Failing to use SSL
Setting up SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a necessary step that all business websites should make. In addition to securing your online transactions, setting up SSL will give your customers confidence when they use your website. This is especially true for e-commerce websites that ask for customer information, including credit card details.
3. De-prioritizing password updates
Changing passwords every now and then is an excellent security measure against potential breaches. In general, passwords should be updated every three months or less, depending on the sensitivity of the data you handle and the level of risk present. Instruct your IT team to make it a point to change passwords for every employee regularly.
4. Not updating software
Using good security software for your server and company website is necessary to protect your data against hackers. However, even if you have the best security software in place, failing to update it regularly can provide an opening for cybercriminals. To mitigate this risk, create a schedule for regular software updates and make it a routine task for your IT team.
5. Allowing too much access
Allowing too many employees to access certain information in your database increases the risk of an internal attack or an unintentional leak. Especially for highly-sensitive data, limit the number of employees who have access to it, and only allow access to those authorized to handle that data.
6. Not educating employees about cybersecurity
Employees play a significant role in protecting the business against cyber attacks. Thus, it is imperative that you educate them about cybersecurity measures, including proper Internet usage and data protection. Furthermore, it is also a good idea to educate them about the signs of an ongoing data breach so that they can alert you as soon as it happens.
7. Letting your IT guy have total control
Unfortunately, you can’t give your 100% trust to your employees, even if they are highly skilled and experienced in their field. So while you let your IT team do their thing, keep an eye on what they are doing to ensure there is no risk of internal attacks. Don’t micromanage, but maintain a certain level of control.
8. Not backing up regularly
If ever your security system blows up, it is easier to pick up the pieces when they are in large chunks instead of tiny shards. Backing up data regularly will help you get those chunks. If your system is breached, you can easily wipe it out, eliminate the threat, and then restore your data from your backup.
Without a backup, however, your business operations can be completely derailed. Not to mention the confidential information that might be lost in the attack.
9. Neglecting cloud storage security
Cloud storage services are extremely useful in backing up and storing data, but they are also prone to cybercriminal activity such as viruses, ransomware, and hacking. Do not neglect your cloud storage security even if your provider promises a high level of safety. Have your own policies in place, including limited access, password changes, and two-factor authentication.
10. Letting employee use their own devices
Your employees’ laptop or smartphone might not be equipped with the best security software to ward off potential attacks. Moreover, their devices are more susceptible to loss or theft because they bring them out of the office. Hence, when you let employees use their own devices when handling confidential information, you might be risking leakage and fraud.
To avoid compromising security in this way, only allow employees to use company devices when handling work-related data.
The more you underestimate the threat of cybercrime, the more at risk you are of being a victim. Don’t let cybercriminals destroy the business that you’ve worked so hard to build. If you are making these cybersecurity mistakes today, it’s high time to start doing better.