Every year, innovators like you create 100 million new startups around the globe. From digital service to fashion and everything in between, they all share one commonality—tech powers them.
Across industries, vital tools like the internet, personal computers, SaaS tools, and more make the startup world turn. Unfortunately, hackers recognize how important technology and target startup networks and personal devices are, breaching personal and corporate data.
The result is billions in damages. For instance, the infamous WannaCry ransomware attack hit over 10,000 different organizations across the business landscape. But startups are particularly vulnerable and often fold quickly after an incident.
Here are five reasons why cybersecurity must be the driving force for startups.
1. No Target Too New or Too Small
We are most familiar with news stories about large data breaches on the world’s biggest companies. In reality, however, nearly 60% of all SMEs have experienced a cyber-attack at least once.
If your company has a digital footprint like a website, cloud storage account, or even email, you can be at risk.
This is why hackers often prefer to target SMEs since they tend to have less rigorous security tools than larger firms.
2. Hackers Want Your Data
Your industry doesn’t matter. Cybercriminals penetrate corporate networks of all types to steal valuable data. Whether it’s intellectual property or employee data, it’s all of interest to them.
Worse yet, even if hackers don’t find anything, they might just use ransomware to lock you out of key files anyway to force you to pay up even if they don’t want to sell your data!
3. Downtime Can Crush You
When data breaches do happen, hackers often take down networks and websites in the process. While larger firms like Sony and Capital One have survived these types of attacks, they can only do so because of their long-established brand name and cash reserves.
Startups simply don’t have the resources to compete on that level. Worse yet, your reputation might take a hit that you’ll never recover from if your customer data is exposed.
4. Cybersecurity and Productivity Go Together
Cybersecurity does more than prevent downtime. It also keeps productivity up because you don’t have to worry about responding to incidents or getting locked out of important files.
The result is you can stay focused on building your business so remember that prevention is always the best medicine, especially when it comes to data breaches. This is doubly true since investing in cybersecurity is beyond affordable, especially when you compare to the damage even one small data breach can do.
5. Smart People Make Mistakes
Startups are busy. You might have people working 80/hours a week. In this environment, somebody might slip and click on an infected file or accidentally share their password with the wrong person.
These mistakes happen, so investing in cybersecurity tools and training now reduces the chances of one from happening and minimizes the damage should one occur.
Key Cybersecurity Tools and Strategies
While the number of things you can do to improve cybersecurity is virtually endless, we’re going to focus on three cost-effective tools you can start with right away.
First, get a VPN. VPNs are absolutely essential for startups. They encrypt your internet connection and anonymize your IP address.
This heightened privacy and security is the most effective way to reduce the size of your digital footprint and keep a low profile in areas you desperately need one like conducting financial transactions or communicating with your team.
Next, start taking password security seriously. Since there is so much blurring between our personal and professional devices nowadays, you need to ensure all your accounts are secure with unique, lengthy, and complex passwords.
The easiest way to do this is with a password generator. Best of all, you can now find deals online that combine both VPN and password manager services for some serious savings.
Finally, take the time to instruct your team on the principles of cyber hygiene. Cyber hygiene is the series of best practices everybody should be following. It includes using VPNs and password managers and learning how to recognize threats in the digital world and how to respond to security incidents.
Cybersecurity: The Most Important Investment For Startups
Startups are solving some of the world’s biggest challenges. Don’t let cyber criminals stop you from innovating and driving real change.
Harness these proven tips and tools now throughout your digital life, and you’ll not only be safer but a more private internet experience. And that’s something we all deserve!
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