How to Protect Your Startup From Cybercriminals During the COVID-19 Pandemic
With the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on the economy and on the health sector, the need to secure an alternate means of income cannot be stressed enough. With the multitude of business closures, many people have opted to start their own businesses. Coupled with the fact that there has been a massive spike in internet use since the start of the pandemic, the appeal of starting an online business is difficult to deny, but it’s not all clear skies.
Just as there have been a great number of startups, there too has been an increase in the number of cybercrime cases that target startups. In fact, about 43% percent of all cyber attacks are targeted at small businesses.
What Makes Startups Vulnerable?
Startups and small businesses are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks because they either don’t see security as a priority yet, or because they haven’t earned enough money in order to invest in a reliable cybersecurity system.
The fact that the pandemic forced the vast majority of people to transact online has made small businesses a particularly lucrative target. Whether it’s in customer billing details, business trade secrets, and money, there are so many things that hackers can take from a startup.
How Can Startups Protect Themselves?
As bad as the situation sounds, there are remedies and preventive measures that startups can use to help increase their ability to resist these attacks.
Risk and Vulnerability Assessment
The first step is to determine the level of risk and vulnerability your business has against cyber attacks. The purpose of this is to identify weak points in your system so that you may patch these vulnerabilities later on.
Get Professional Help
There are many agencies and experts that offer cybersecurity services, whether it’s preventive measures like security implementation, or remedial services such as this Ransomware Recovery Service. There is a wealth of resources that are available to small businesses to help them protect themselves against cybercriminals.
It’s also important for your employees to undergo cybersecurity training so that they are made aware of the risks and dangers of the internet. This will help them identify and report any hacking attempts, which will drastically minimize the risk of getting hacked.
Use Antivirus Software and VPNs
While Windows 10 comes included with its own antivirus, you’re going to need much stronger software to repel more potent hacking and malware attacks. Remember that technology evolves at a rapid rate, and hackers learn new exploits regularly. With this in mind, it’s also important to keep your systems updated.
Virtual private networks (VPNs) help keep your online activity private. This is important because even when you have secure systems, hackers can intercept data transmissions.
Backup and Encryption
Cloud backup services are an essential addition to your cybersecurity arsenal, as they enable you to recover your data just in case it is rendered unreadable and encrypted (as is the case with a ransomware attack). Not only this, but backups help ensure the continuity of your business, such that even when you lose data, you’re still able to restore your backups so that you don’t have to start from scratch.
The realm of cybersecurity is one that many small businesses tend to overlook. With the current state of affairs, and with the way that we heavily rely on the internet, it’s about time that small businesses began taking cybersecurity much more seriously.