How startups can be vigilant about cyberattacks
India’s technology startup ecosystem is growing at a superfast pace. While global tech giants are setting up a base in India, home-grown technology startups are also going global and gaining international recognition. Undoubtedly, the startup ecosystem is developing some of the most groundbreaking technologies in India. However, the fast-paced advancements in startups have also made hackers around the world more interested in the data of Indian consumers.
India is a leading startup destination in the world, with some of the best e-commerce, food delivery, and ride-booking apps in the world. The Indian government has also been tremendously supportive of the sector and announced several policies that support the growth of the startup ecosystem. Moreover, Indian and global venture capital firms have shown interest and trust in Indian startups by investing in them generously. But in today’s day and age, the success of a startup cannot be only measured in terms of funding, valuation, or even profit. It is also measured in terms of how well equipped a startup is to combat cyber threats.
Due to the lack of a robust cybersecurity system and strategy in place, most startups and small businesses are less secure and easy targets for hackers. Though most of the startups are technologically sound when it comes to offering quality products to their customers, many startups do not have strong IT backup systems and cybersecurity systems. This makes them more prone and vulnerable to data breaches and cyberattacks.
Having a simple yet effective cybersecurity system results in a secure online environment for working, enables seamless communication, and ensures data security for the organization and its people.
How can startups protect themselves from data breaches in 2022?
There are many financial implications associated with companies facing cyberattacks. A 2021 IBM report found the average cost of a data breach among companies around the world to reach $4.24 million per breach. However, the biggest cost that businesses have to pay is the loss of customers and their trust in your startup after a breach.
Apart from financial implications, startups that become victims of cyber attacks also might have legal consequences, like government fines and penalties.
Here are some ways in which you can secure your startup from being bullied by cybercriminals:
1. Install anti-virus on all devices (computers, tablets, smartphones, etc.) used by your startup. There is free anti-virus software available, but it does not necessarily offer the optimum level of protection required by a startup.
2. Enable two-factor authentication. This adds an extra layer of protection and security and restricts unauthenticated access.
3. Use the cryptographic method for setting passwords in which certain characters are inserted in every password during the encryption process. This method essentially makes stealing password hashes worthless.
4. Make sure the software you are using is updated. The updates released by software-makers usually include security improvements. You can also schedule automatic software updates on your devices during weekends or holidays to avoid workflow interruptions.
5. Create multiple backups of your startup data in secure environments. Having data backup means that even if your startup becomes prey to a cyberattack, the daily operations of your business won’t be affected.
6. Provide cyber security training to your employees. Through this training, the employees can be educated about how to spot fraudulent texts and emails, and what steps they need to take if they come across any such online messages.
7. Protecting just your software isn’t enough. For ensuring 100% security of your startup from data breaches, you also need to secure your hardware from theft. Install tracking software on all your devices so that they can be located in the event of theft or loss.
When it comes to securing your startup’s network, it is always beneficial to be safe than sorry. Even after implementing the above cybersecurity measures, regular security audits should be conducted to make sure that your infrastructure is secure.
PruTech offers industry-leading cybersecurity services, including Next Generation Threat Management, Data Compliance & Audit Assessment, and Identity and Access Management Services. Learn more about our services here.
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 IBM & Ponemon Institute (2021) “Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021” [Online] Available from: https://www.ibm.com/in-en/security/data-breach [Accessed December 2021]