It’s only cyberattacks on major corporations and governments that hit the headlines, but it doesn’t mean cyberattacks don’t happen to small and young organizations such as startups. New businesses only thrive if they can keep up with fast-evolving technologies that drive industries today – one of them includes cybersecurity. It’s the agility of startups in adapting that gives them a fighting chance, but it also exposes them to a wide array of risks.
Almost 60% of small businesses go bankrupt within six months of a cyberattack. Many new entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking a cybersecurity program is unnecessary for a startup, deciding under the misconception that they are unlikely prey. In reality, hackers see startups as easy targets as they are often unprepared and unequipped for a real attack.
Young businesses don’t have the resources corporations have that would allow them to recover from a massive data breach. They are still earning the trust of their customers and even a small breach can jeopardize that. The reputational damage and financial costs of a cyberattack might become too much to overcome.
As a business owner, it’s your job to prevent your startup from suffering the same fate. In this article, we will discuss why new entrepreneurs should stop ignoring cybersecurity as well as some security tips.
5 reasons why small start-up businesses need cybersecurity
Here are 5 reasons why new start-ups and small businesses might need to use cybersecurity controls to protect their business:
It makes your business trustworthy
The last thing consumers want is to give their information to a business that isn’t properly equipped to defend it from malicious entities. When customers interact with your business, they are entrusting you with sensitive data such as their social security number, credit card information, and address. Businesses that invest in cybersecurity are more trustworthy to consumers, with 75% of them stating they will not avail of goods or services from companies they don’t trust to keep their data secure.
It deters attackers
Not all hackers are after the massive volumes of data collected by mega-corporations. After all, those organizations have layers upon layers of top-end defense that makes any hacking attempt extremely challenging. Only notorious cybercriminal groups target big businesses given the hefty amount of resources and the skill level required by each attempt. Startups that have little to no defenses, on the other hand, catch hackers’ attention.
There are smaller rewards for hacking a young business, but it’s easier to succeed at doing so. If you want to deter cybercriminals from attacking your newly started firm, then you should put up formidable defenses. Don’t cut corners. Get the best cybersecurity your funds can avail of and fortify it as your business grows.
It helps you survive an attack
If your new business falls prey to a cyberattack despite the deterrence, you’ll still be glad to have invested in cybersecurity. Without adequate defenses in place, a young business is unlikely to survive a cyberattack. The financial costs it entails and the damage to your brand’s reputation are likely to be insurmountable in that early stage. With a proper cybersecurity program in place, you lower the risk of an attack and reduce the damages of a potential breach.
It’s a compliance requirement in new markets
Having a cybersecurity program is a part of compliance, especially in new markets. Governments encourage companies to follow a systematic risk governance approach that abides by regulations, laws, and industry standards. Simply put, investing in cybersecurity is necessary if you want your business to be compliant.
It helps ensure long-term success
Cybersecurity is a long-term investment. If you keep your business well-protected as it grows, it has a better chance of achieving success in the long run. Building a strong relationship with your customers will become easier because they know they can trust your company with their personal information. Maintaining a robust cybersecurity program ensures you’re always compliant, saving you from hefty fines and lawsuits. Lastly, a cybersecurity program puts your business in better standing for people looking to invest in start-ups.
Tips to improve your cybersecurity
Here are two tips you need to consider that will help improve your cybersecurity practices to protect your business.
- Educate your employees and customers – a large part of data security rests in the hands of your employees and customers. This is why it’s important to raise cybersecurity awareness. Make sure your staff is properly trained on the best security practices so they can protect themselves and the company against threats like social engineering and financial technology fraud. You should also be proactive in a warning and informing your customers of the threats around them so they can better defend themselves.
- Bring in experts – sometimes only people from outside the company can spot its problems. Consider hiring a trustworthy company to conduct a security audit. This puts your cybersecurity under fresh eyes who are more likely to spot weak spots that you want to reinforce before they are targeted. An external audit allows your team to focus on maintaining security while the professionals you brought in focus on finding areas of improvement.
Cybercriminals don’t discriminate against small businesses. If a startup is not equipped to defend itself from an attack, it becomes more attractive to threats. As someone new to entrepreneurship, you want to make sure your first endeavor isn’t jeopardized by external threats. Don’t hesitate to invest in adequate cybersecurity even if your business is still in its infancy.