Startups are faced with numerous security threats right from launch. You don’t need to be a huge and very profitable business to be targeted. Every business has some data that can be of use to hackers, and some hackers do it just for fun. Plus, there are many hacking tools out there that make it possible for malicious actors to target hundreds of businesses at the same time.
If you’re a brand new startup, your business will certainly become one of these unlucky targets one day. Sadly, more than half of small businesses that get hacked end up closing 6 months later. The first step in avoiding this is to get to know the main security threats your startup may be facing.
- Endpoint attacks An endpoint attack is when a hacker targets one of your business systems and tries to use it as an entry point into your business servers. For example, a hacker might target one of your employee’s business devices. If that employee hasn’t properly secured their device and uses old software and weak passwords, then the hacker will probably be successful.
- Malware Malware is any kind of software that is intended to harm a person or organization through digital devices. Depending on the kind of malware your device is infected with, it will either slow your device down, steal your data, leak your data, or it may even block your network and deny you and everyone else from your organization access to your database.
- Phishing Phishing is when people are tricked into revealing sensitive information or clicking on a link containing malware. If you fall for a phishing scheme, you may accidentally disclose your company passwords or even bank account information.
- Data leak Building a strong reputation for your startup is one of the most difficult things to do. A data leak can ruin all of your efforts and bring your reputation down for good. Customers trust you to keep their data safe, and if their data ends up on the dark web through your negligence, they won’t want to do business with you anymore.
If you want to prevent endpoint attacks, you should treat every business device as a possible entry point for hackers, and therefore secure each one of them. This means keeping software up-to-date at all times, protecting login information, and setting up two-factor authentication.
You can infect your device with malware by clicking on a malicious link, downloading a malicious file, or even using a malicious USB flash drive. To protect your startup from malware, you should set up a good antivirus software and firewall and always be careful before clicking on links.
Phishing schemes are so widespread lately that it’s very difficult to recognize them. The only way to protect your startup from phishing is by viewing every single message you receive as a potential phishing scheme. Always think carefully before interacting with any message and always verify the identity of the sender.
There are many ways in which a data leak may occur. It may happen through an endpoint attack, malware, phishing, or simply human error. To protect your business data from a leak, ensure that the number of people with access to it is as limited as possible and that those who do have access to it know how to protect their devices and know to look out for possible scams.
Even the smallest and least profitable startups can be targeted by criminals. You now know the 4 main threats that startups face. Always keep them in mind and follow the tips mentioned in the article to stay safe.