Cyber-security risks and threats are continuously evolving and, at the same time, reshaping the business landscape. Besides affecting your ability to do business, breaches also compromise intellectual property and cause reputational and lasting legal damage.
As cybercrimes grow in sophistication and frequency, early-stage start-ups and small organizations become the primary targets for cyber attackers.
Medium and small-sized businesses account for more than 74% of data breaches, which is projected to increase.
Plus, most early-age organizations are open to cyber-attacks as they don’t completely understand their cyber-security standing or the threats to which their organizations are more susceptible.
Common Cyber Risks Facing Start-Ups
Many start-ups are faced with security risks right from their launch. You don’t have to be a profitable and huge business for cyber attackers to target you.
Every business organization has data, which hackers can use, and some attackers do so just to have fun. In addition, there are a lot of hacking tools, making it possible for attackers to target thousands of businesses.
Of course, you don’t want your business to be compromised in any way, so the most important thing is to protect your online accounts using strong passwords. You’ll want to build passwords that cybercriminals are unlikely to break. To help you with that task, check ExpressVPN’s guide on how to keep your accounts secure.
As an entrepreneur owning a brand new business, your business can also become an unlucky target through the following cyber-attacks:
- Phishing – The most damaging and widespread threat facing start-ups. It accounts for more than 88% of all data breaches that business organizations face. This attack has also increased by 66% and is responsible for more than $13 billion in business losses. Usually, phishing happens when attackers pretend to be reliable contacts and entice users to click malicious links, download files, or give them access to sensitive details, bank accounts, and customer information.
- Ransomware – This kind of attack has plugged start-ups for years now. Successful ransomware attacks have caused businesses millions, if not billions, encouraging attackers to keep refining and using those threats. According to a prediction report from McAfee, the process by which hackers manage to buy ransomware kits on the dark web is becoming much more accessible, not to mention the attack itself is becoming more sophisticated.
- IoT Attacks – IoT is becoming more ubiquitous day by day. According to Statista.com, the number of gadgets connected to the Internet of Things is projected to reach around $76 billion in the next three years. These gadgets include tablets, laptops, smartwatches, and household appliances, to mention a few. But the more connected devices are, the greater the risk. This makes IoT networks more prone to cyber infections and invasions.
Protecting Your Start-up
Hardly a week goes by without another data breach dominating headlines. Since the Target data breach about a decade ago, the severity and pace of failed cyber-attack incidents have increased tremendously.
Entrepreneurs and start-ups are profitable targets for cyber-attacks. Many businesses focus on finding customers and investors, building teams, and exploring the market.
Only a few can afford the time to implement anti-malware systems. Unless you protect your start-up, data breach comes at a tremendous cost, both reputational and financial. One way to protect your start-up is to use secure passwords. Like most, perhaps you are guilty of reusing passwords, at times, even for your sensitive accounts, like emails and online banking.
As a business owner, it is advisable to avoid commonly used passwords and use strong passwords instead. And if your worry is about remembering your passwords, you can use a secure password management system. A strong password management system will enable you to share login credentials with workers without revealing them. Apart from using secure passwords, you can also use the following:
- 2FA (Two Factor Authentication)
- Install anti-virus software
- Educate your workers
- Update your software
The consistent cyber-attacks may keep your business from being too complacent about cyber-security. So it is important to prepare for the worst by using the right strategies to keep hackers at bay.