Is it necessary to say something about the importance of an online presence for a business? And whether you are using the clouds to store massive amounts of data or you are limited to maintaining a website and using email, you need to keep cybersecurity in mind. Startups and small companies are especially vulnerable to cyberattacks. Hackers know that SMBs cannot afford to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on cybersecurity, and they take advantage of it. And that is the problem.
Read on to learn more about the most common cyber risks startups face, and how to deal with them.
1. Human factor
Unfortunately, ordinary employees are most at risk of making a mistake that can cause vulnerabilities in the system. This is explained by the fact that often the management of startups pays very little attention to explanatory work with employees, or to teach them basic methods of safe work on the Internet. Because of this, inattentive personnel may inadvertently download a file containing malware onto their computer or smartphone and distribute it throughout the work network. In addition, employees can connect to the network from their personal gadgets, and thereby also put the system at risk.
Keep in mind that protecting a startup company starts with simple things. Develop security rules for employees, require them to use strong passwords, tell them how to behave properly on the Internet so as not to become a victim of hackers or scammers. Also, explain to them what they need to do to protect customer information and other sensitive data.
2. DDoS attack
Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS. A very common problem that has been around for over 20 years. Its essence is that the hacker creates an artificial influx of requests to the server or network until it is brought to failure so that conscientious users cannot gain access to it. Often this is done for fun, but it also happens that attackers use DDoS attacks for intimidation, or to take advantage of a temporary network outage and launch other attacks. In this sense, a lot will be explained by the motives and imagination of hackers, so it is hard to say for sure.
Therefore, startups should analyze the likelihood of DDoS attacks in advance and develop a plan of action in case of a real attack. Despite its apparent simplicity, this is a very unpleasant offensive tactic and should not be underestimated.
Phishing remains the main method of penetration into the company. It is relatively simple and cheap, and is based on the fact that a gullible user will follow the instructions that the attackers will send him by email. Such emails may look like regular daily work mail, an advertisement, or a message written by the boss. Messages on the subject of salary changes, as well as those that contain information about relevant events for a particular company or department, have a very high level of reading. When a user clicks on a link in an email or opens an attachment, malware is downloaded to the computer that allows cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive networks.
The main method of countering phishing is employee training. You can also take additional security measures and completely encrypt the database.
4. Loss of information
If you store your database in the cloud, you must understand that by partnering with service providers who love to save money, you risk losing your corporate information. Of course, this can be avoided if you work with reliable providers who pay maximum attention to the equipment, as well as to their customers and their security. However, it is always better to play it safe when it comes to confidential information, customer data, financial information, and other types of data, the loss of which can deprive you and your business of money and reputation. To address potential gaps in cybersecurity, startup companies can also back up the database and update it regularly.
For extortion, special software is used. It often goes hand in hand with DDoS attacks and phishing emails. Scammers gain access to confidential information and encrypt it, or they block your computer system and demand a ransom. Paying money to attackers is only part of the consequences of such an attack. As a “bonus”, you also get lost productivity, system downtime, repair and replacement costs. It also happens that even after receiving a ransom, scammers can damage or steal information on a whim.
Small companies and startups suffer the most from this type of attack. As well as businesses that neglect to encrypt and back up their databases.
If you are a startup owner, you need to take cybersecurity very seriously. And first of all, identify risks and security threats, and then determine which security solutions will be most effective in your case, and implement them in the company’s infrastructure.
You can also consider options such as: staff training or delegation of cybersecurity issues to appropriate specialists. The latter option is more profitable, effective and safe. After all, the tasks of information security will be dealt with by specialized experts with appropriate qualifications and equipment, who are able to provide comprehensive protection for your business from cyber threats.
You can provide your business with a more serious level of security. How to do it? You can learn more detailed information for startups at the webinar from the owner of ESKA. Join the event and get the opportunity to personally ask a question to a cybersecurity expert. The event will take place on August 5th.