Cybersecurity - WHAT? I am a Start-up!
The threat of cyber attack comes from all angles and is ever-evolving. Start-ups make up a huge share of a Nation’s intellectual capital and business growth; therefore Cybersecurity cannot be seen as a "luxury" they cannot afford.
As a start-up, cybersecurity is something of the future because the focus is about getting the product or services to the consumers in hope of generating sufficient revenue to then allocate to security. However, investors, consumers, and regulators are requesting to have start-ups and businesses to have a security plan. Cybersecurity is going to be part of your business plan and investor pitch.
Why? Because of the reliance on technology such as your laptop, tablets, planning, blueprints, intellectual property, usage of cloud services to store information places you at great risk from day ONE.
Cyber criminals are targeting startups and small business because of:
Lack of knowledge
Lack of urgency
Not a priority
Lack of IT resources or expertise to implement and manage security systems
Startups are incredibly vulnerable to cyber attacks in their first 18 months
60% of smaller companies go out of business within 6 months of a breach
Having a breach will result in down time and reputational damage
(Source: National Cyber Security Alliance)
Cos t effective ways for start-ups to protect from a data breach:
Establish data security policies to encompass file sharing
Establish BYOD (Bring your own devices) policies
Choose the right Cloud provider and review their security plan
Create a Security Plan and Security Team
Security Awareness Training for your team and employees
Allocate a budget for security as part of your start-up costs
Outsource your IT and Security needs
Have continuous monitoring
Encrypt your system and mobile devices
Minimize the amount of protected information in your possession
Start-ups and businesses need to know and understand how important cybersecurity is to the survival of their business. Cybersecurity needs to be part of your business plan and consulting a third party security professional is key.
Cybersecurity needs to play a big role in the start-ups risk management assessment, just like intellectual property protection, having the right team and funding. Start-ups build a team around them to include board members and advisors from different backgrounds who will help them achieve their goals and properly structure their company. Don’t forget your Security Advisor – who will play a key role to building your legacy.
Here are 10 Steps to Cybersecurity for Startups:
Business Cyber Risk Analysis
Embrace Security in Your Culture
Select the Right Platforms
Email is the Master Key
Your Web Site is the Front Door
Control the Internal Network
Plan for Failure
Be Open with the Public
Choose the battles based on risk and cost.
Start-ups have to improve their cybersecurity programs because it will translate into decreased chances of breaches, customer trust, credibility, brand value, and a responsible company. If not in place, reputation and brand damage will put you out of business before you start and eradicate your dreams. Cybersecurity is vital to your existence.
Remember the following when thinking twice about Cybersecurity:
An early starter may be concerned about how your data is handled and stored