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In launching any startup, you’ll have to maintain an online presence and use a variety of different technological tools. While a necessity, your use of digital resources exposes you to the threats of hacking and data breaches. It will be up to you to address these issues and take preventative steps to protect your business and its customers. These steps can help you develop a strong cybersecurity strategy.
Limit Access Control
One of the most basic cybersecurity measures you can take involve restricting access to your computers, mobile devices, and online accounts. This should require the use of usernames and passwords for everyone with approved access to your business’ data. In allowing your employees to create their own passwords, you should have protocols in place for helping employees choose strong passwords. They should also be required to change their passwords every three months. It’s equally important to have a system in place for removing access from individuals who are no longer associated with your organization. Whether you stop using a particular vendor or an employee quits, their access should be immediately revoked.
Install Cybersecurity Software
Your business cannot afford to operate for a single day without some type of cybersecurity defense in place. You can start with a simple cybersecurity suite that provides virus protection, firewall, site blocking, and other features. This is typically a one-size-fits-all package, and it may be enough to help you get started. However, most businesses find a pre-packaged option insufficient to protect their businesses. Instead, they turn to a monitored system, such as Foresite managed cyber security services for your business, that provides them access to updated security protection and live responses. This is often the best option for keeping a business and its customers protected on an ongoing basis.
Train and Test Your Staff
Even though you may have a third-party cybersecurity provider keeping your system updated, you and your staff should also stay educated on cybersecurity issues. This means staying aware of new threats as they emerge. Learning about trends in cybercrime will help your staff stay aware of threats in their daily interactions. Additionally, you should randomly test your employees to determine their skill level in identifying threats, such as phishing scams.
You should send out random emails that ask your employees to click on a link to a phishing site to see how they respond. Random tests will help you identify your staff’s proficiency in identifying scams, and it will keep your employees from getting complacent in their daily online activities.
Encrypt Your Data to Avoid Cyber Criminals
Your cybersecurity provider should also help you set up a virtual private network (VPN), and that service should remain live consistently. A VPN will help disguise your location and it will encrypt your data to protect it from breaches as it travels across the internet. This service will protect customers when they’re purchasing items from your eCommerce store, and it will protect the data your business sends to clients, other businesses, or to a cloud computing account. A system that requires a secure VPN service and restricts account access at both ends ensures the business and its customers will experience the highest level of cybersecurity protection.
Create a Response Plan
There isn’t a single business in existence that’s 100% secure, so you should be aware that your business can be breached. Cybersecurity protection reactive, meaning updates are in response to threats after they emerge. For that reason, you should expect to have your business breached at some point, and you should have a response plan for that eventuality. A good response plan will help you protect your customers’ information and help you get back up and running more efficiently.
Your response plan should include prioritizing a list of calls to make as soon as the breach is identified, restoring any files that were lost, and notifying customers of the breach. When you work with a cybersecurity specialist, they can help you develop other important steps in creating a strong response strategy. This will help your business to avoid cyber criminals.
Conclusion for Avoiding Cyber Criminals
Taking effective steps to protect your startup against cybersecurity threats will also help you appeal to more consumers. As your customers securely interact with your business and experience how you protect them, they will vouch for the safety that your business provides. This can help you with word of mouth advertising with consumers who are looking for more secure brands and businesses.