As I have read articles and blogs throughout the month of October, otherwise known as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, I’ve seen many different points of view on cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is an important topic that businesses continue to address as the world changes and technology expands. However, these businesses tend to be large and have the revenues to fund major cybersecurity initiatives. But what about the small businesses and startups?
Having owned, operated, and sold a small business myself, I can see the challenges in which these companies are facing. When every dollar that is earned needs to be reinvested into growing revenue, how can a small business owner justify putting earnings into cybersecurity?
Startups Aren’t Targets of Hackers, Are they?
“No one would want our data.” “We’re not big enough to be a target.” “We use the most common business software, so I’m sure we’re fine.” These statements may all be true to an extent, but there is still a level of security risk each startup carries…on top of the typical startup risks.
Building solid brand loyalty and a positive image is critical to the success of a startup. Customers are purchasing solely off of the company’s word. That fragile trust can be immediately destroyed by an email letting the customer know a data breach occurred and their personal information is not secure. Startups can’t risk this, and need to realize no business, no matter how large or small, is safe anymore.
No Need to Break the Bank
Securing a startup’s data doesn’t need to break the bank, though. There are small things that companies can do to become more secure.
First, startups can train their employees to be aware of phishing and social engineering, using secure passwords, and limiting access to sensitive data. Employees that are aware of cybersecurity best practices and practice robust data security can go a long way in limiting risk to sensitive data.
Startups can also outsource cloud storage to reputable companies. Knowing that your most sensitive data is safely stored in a robust and secure cloud storage removes the constant worry of data breaches.
Creating cybersecurity policies also go a long way in securing a startup. Minimizing the data that is collected and identifying critical assets for the company can keep data storage costs down and ensure the “crown jewels” are secure.
While cybersecurity may be more challenging for startups to implement, it is crucial for long-term success. This October, or any month, really, don’t let your startup’s success be cut short by poor cybersecurity.
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