On the Internet, you can find a million ways to keep a start-up afloat. When it comes to company advice, advisors typically focus on matters like strategic planning, marketing, securing more funding, and so on. However, publications rarely address the challenge of establishing a reliable cybersecurity system. Nevertheless, a start-up’s inability to identify and assess dangers can result in the failure of a potentially lucrative venture. It was determined that we would discuss the most common cybersecurity blunders and how to avoid them.
Problem’s real root
You and a friend come up with a wonderful idea, debate it with your inner circle, recruit a bunch of enthusiastic supporters, and the dream team is ready. You may have heard of these other prominent projects starting out in the same fashion: Airbnb, Pinterest, Twitter, and Uber.
However, difficulties arise as a start-up goes from a simple concept to the creation of genuine processes and the inclusion of more employees. Currently, the small group of like-minded people expands and becomes a team of people from all walks of life and all walks of life’s opinions on life. There may be a wide range of views on what constitutes confidentiality and how to protect it in such a team.
An example of this is: As a result of one employee’s decision, a password for an internet service is written on a chalkboard so that anyone who needs the password can locate it immediately. On a social network, another employee posts a selfie from work with the caption “who would write something confidential on the whiteboard, where everyone can see it?” One of the reasons that young companies face cyber-security concerns is due to this kind of misinterpretation. The problem can only be overcome if a company cybersecurity culture is established.
Start-up workers tend to be enthusiastic and adventurous, and they can easily change their minds or leave the company after just a few months of service. It’s also common for modern start-ups to rely on IT experts who migrate from company to company over the course of several years.
When these two factors come together, substantial staff turnover is possible. Many mistakes, especially cybersecurity-related ones, can be made in these settings. This means that an easily avoidable cyberthreat is easy to overlook.
Typical cybersecurity mistakes
Allow us to conceive: your modest start-up has grown into a thriving enterprise without your knowledge. What are some of the security blunders you’ve made so far?
Excessive privileges granted
An administrator account is frequently granted to a start-up employee who requests access to corporate resources or services. As a rule, the person who shares those access privileges thinks it’s more convenient to grant access to everyone at once than having to deal with new requests for access every week. However, the more access a person has, the greater the likelihood of an error. As a rule of thumb, each process participant should have only the privileges necessary to do their assigned duties.
Lack of information storage system rules
This is detrimental to any company’s bottom line. Due to the high turnover of employees in a start-up, you may not be able to locate critical work documents one day. They’re very certainly out there, but exactly where they remain a mystery. One of the company’s developers or marketing interns may have previously been aware of this, but they recently left without notifying anyone.
Passwords for corporate social networks and other services that are infrequently used are another typical issue. In this scenario, the login credentials are lost forever if a new employee creates a Facebook or LinkedIn page to promote the company but fails to share the account information with the rest of the team before moving on to another position.
With a lot of turnovers, some people may think it’s a good idea to use a shared account. Due to phishing, ignorance, or malicious intent, passwords that are more widely known are more likely to be leaked because of this. It also makes an inquiry into an occurrence much more difficult. Malware is suspected of intercepting the password of an employee who had access to an account, and experts want to check the computer of that person. To discover that everyone else had, too!
Cloud service passwords
Another password-related blunder is to keep them in a Google Docs file, which can be seen by anyone with the link due to a faulty setup. Simply putting all the relevant passwords in one document and sending a link allows for a much more efficient method of disseminating information to all employees. Search engines can, however, index these Google content. You could lose access to all your passwords if your password file is compromised.
If two-factor authentication was used on work accounts, some of the problems connected with passwords would be mitigated. This protects you against phishing and other sorts of data theft. First and foremost, all financial services, including Upwork, should be protected by two-step authentication.
Tips for preventing all types of cyberthreats
Small businesses and start-ups are notorious for making common mistakes, so here are some suggestions to avoid them:
- The least privilege concept should be followed when allowing access to resources or services. To put it another way, an employee should only have the access privileges necessary to carry out their duties.
- Get a clear picture of who has access to your startup’s most important data, and where that data is being held. Use this information to create policies for recruiting new employees that specify which accounts are required for general use and which are restricted to certain job functions.
- Many cyber threats can be prevented with a well-developed company cybersecurity culture. Creating a cybersecurity manual for your staff can serve as a good place to start. New employees can learn from this example.
- Passwords should be kept in a safe place. There is less possibility that an outsider will be able to gain access to your accounts if your employees don’t lose or forget their cards. Whenever feasible, utilize two-factor authentication.
- Your staff should be instructed to lock their computers when they leave their workstations. Third parties, including couriers, clients, subcontractors, and job seekers, can all come inside a workplace.
- Viruses, trojans, and other harmful applications can be prevented by using antivirus software.
With Managex Small Office Security, a wide range of dangers can be averted. This solution provides a password manager in addition to ransomware and other typical cyber threats protection for your employees’ devices.