Establishing a solid online experience has become the utmost priority for most businesses. As lucrative it is for your startup to join the online bandwagon, there are also risks and limitations. Cyberattacks being the prevalent and most intimidating factor.
Startups and small businesses might be alluring to cyber-criminals because they lack the security framework of larger enterprises. It’s easy for your yet-to-be-established brand to be overwhelmed by cybersecurity terms, tools, tips, threats, and attacks, especially now that the internet has become an integral part of delivering clients and partner needs.
However, with the right tools and the best digital hygiene practices, concerns about data security and protecting intellectual properties will be a far-fetched idea. Digital hygiene is not only the pivotal first line of defense against the ever-dynamic cyber threats, but it also keeps your online business experience organized, capable, and effective.
The following is a checklist of vital components to protect your startup from malicious digital attacks.
Digital Hygiene Checklist for Your Startups Security
1. Document Cyber Security Policies
Documenting your information security policy gives an informative comprehension of digital security policies, procedures, prescriptions, and standards. At a glance, you can seamlessly expound on the location and importance of a particular system or file to a specific clientele.
Along with guaranteeing the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your clients’ data, efficacious documentation of cybersecurity policies entitles your startup to better planning and decision making.
2. Strong Passwords That Are Regularly Updated
Most data breaches occur due to weak and predictable passwords. Ensure that both the managerial and low-level employees use strong and secure passwords with a combination of random numbers, letters, and symbols. Each system, file, or website should have a different password. Additionally, strong passwords combined with other forms of access control such as two-factor authentication offer extra protection from hackers and malicious software.
Also, it’s vital to encourage your staff to update their passwords regularly. Not to forget, they shouldn’t use the startup’s passwords for personal use, such as social media accounts.
3. Maintain Backups
Regular and automated backup of crucial files, data, and systems is one of the most critical processes of safeguarding your startup’s data against loss or corruption. Store copies of your data in systematically tested mediums such as the cloud and external hard drives. A regular backup ensures there is minimum or zero loss of data lost between backups.
If any system failure, data corruption, or malicious attacks occur, you should seamlessly recover and restore the affected data.
More importantly, encrypting the backup files makes it utterly impossible to reconstruct the data without your assurance. Microsoft, Apple, and some software have encryption features that encrypt files before storing them.
4. Limit Access To Your Startup’s Data
Not all employees should have access to your company’s data—especially the critical assets, financial information, and intellectual property. So protect your startup’s data by restricting access to sensitive data. One practical approach to this is determining whether a particular employee needs specific permission to do their job.
Keep sensitive data separate from publicly accessible information. Only authorized employees with a legitimate reason can access the sensitive information.
5. Keep Your Softwares And Systems Up-to-date
Outdated old infrastructure is an evident sign of poor digital hygiene. Out of date hardware and operating systems leaves your startup open and vulnerable to cybercriminals, data loss, and slow operations. Not to mention the new features and upgraded functionalities your employees are missing out on. And, your competitors probably give you an upper competitive edge from such benefits.
Update all of your startup’s software, applications as soon as they are available to address security issues.
6. Sign Up For Cybersecurity Insurance
Cyber insurance is a wise precaution for any size business. A data breach can impact more than just a revenue loss. Your startup’s reputation and clientele information might be at risk. If, for the worst such malicious attacks happen, cyber insurance protects you by:
- Covering the cost of legal presentations.
- Alert your customers about the breach.
- Restore the personal identities of the impacted clients.
- Repair the damaged computer systems.
- Cover the expenses involved in restoring or recovering the breached information.
Every personnel in your startup is entitled to the responsibility to ensure the digital hygiene is in check. For instance, a member of your staff may unknowingly take some shortcuts that may lead to a severe security breach. It’s vital to offer a basic security education program to all employees or new hires.
Other cyber hygiene practices that will go a long way in improving the security of your startup are:
- Being cognizant of your most vulnerable files.
- Use safe browsers regularly. You can also install secure browser extensions.
- Install anti-malware software on all employees devices and your network servers
- Firewalls can be helpful to identify potential attacks trying to insert malware into your servers.
In addition to these digital hygiene checklists for your startup’s security, it’s best to be privy to the newest attack trends and how to combat such threats.