Blog: What can startups do to amp up their cybersecurity?

by Karla Cloete

In the world of remote work, the risk of cyber-attacks has only increased.

According to one survey, 43% of startups had no cybersecurity strategies in place.

This is concerning since Business News Daily shared that 46% of security breaches in 2021 were targeted at small and medium-sized businesses. The cost of such breaches can be anywhere between $826 and $60,0000 according to IBM and the Ponemon Institute. Not taking cybersecurity seriously can not only cost your business big time, but it can also cost you the trust of your customers. 

So, why take cybersecurity seriously?

-To protect against cyberattacks and data breaches

-Prevent unauthorized access to accounts and systems

-To maintain the trust of your clients and their privacy 

-To prevent financial losses for your company due to theft or loss of business

Cybersecurity can be complicated, but it doesn't have to be. Here are a few simple solutions you can start implementing to protect your business. 

Start with a risk assessment 

Prevention is key. Knowing which parts of your business are most likely to be desirable to a hacker can help you double down on security measures. Get an expert to help you do some risk assessment for your business, which can help you determine what measures are necessary to keep your business safe.

Train your employees in the ABCs of cybersecurity 

Educating your employees on the fundamentals of cybersecurity is the easiest way to circumvent your company’s digital weak spots. Your employees should know how to create strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication- ones harder to hack than your dog’s name, your street or your mother’s maiden name. They should change passwords regularly to prevent brute-force attacks. These security policies should be clearly spelt out and regularly updated.

Limit admin privileges- no one employee should have access to all systems. They should only have access to the necessary data systems and these employees should accept responsibility for their role in the security of these systems.

Help your company stay safe, even at home

Whether you’re working from home or slumming it in the office your employees should work from securely encrypted and hidden Wi-Fi networks. Hackers can easily gain access to your company’s information by hacking your employees’ Wi-Fi at home.

Their home and work computers should also be protected by up-to-date anti-virus software. According to the National Cyber Security Centre of the UK, out-of-date software is responsible for 80% of cyber-attacks. Updated software, web browsers, firewalls and operating systems are also important. Keep your computers clean. These protocols extend to mobile phones- if employees are logging into their work emails and sending documents from their phones- those devices should be secured too.

Make automation your friend, not your foe

When the threats are so plentiful and ever-changing it’s best to put trustworthy systems in place that can automate your security concerns. AI technology can take charge of threat detection and responses which can excel your response times to low levels of threats rather than overloading the human systems.

Not only that but incident response tools can help you navigate any serious threats by showing you the way so you don’t have to go it alone. You can also help workers automatically back up important data and files to prevent losses should there ever be a system failure or hack.

Cybersecurity is complex and incredibly important, making it a massive industry. Atara Partners is proud to work with many up-and-coming cybersecurity firms. 

If you’d like to learn more about Atara Partners and the work we do in executive search contact us here.