Proactive Ways To Protect Your New Business From Cybersecurity Attacks

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Proactive Ways To Protect Your New Business From Cybersecurity Attacks

Jun 05, 2022

If you are starting a new business, then there are a few things you should know. You need to understand your customer base, have a financial plan, and, most importantly, have a strategy for deterring cybersecurity attacks. The fault of many new organizations in the digital age is that they don’t think about how to protect their digital assets, and business ownership is risky enough without worrying about the chance of losing it all after a data breach.

The fact is that you cannot wait until an issue happens, or it may be too late. Instead, you need to be proactive by educating your team about common threats, enforcing common-sense security steps, and ensuring that every branch of your organization is protected. Let’s talk about steps you can take today to be protected against the most common threats.

Inform Your Team of Threats and Issues

While management may understand that the risk of a cybercrime is a real possibility, you also need to get your team involved and promote data security in your workplace, or else you aren’t really protected at all. Employees who do not know the risks can easily make many of the mistakes that can lead to a breach, which can range from sharing their passwords to leaving their devices unattended in or outside of work. 

The fact is that as a new business, you may be at a greater risk of an attack than the more established brands, and that is because hackers know that you are likely not taking the issue as seriously as you should, either due to lack of knowledge or resources. A successful attack could lead to the loss of customer data, and that in turn could lead to lawsuits or at least a lot of money spent trying to repair your corporate reputation. Your employees need to know that they must be a part of the solution, or the company and their jobs could also be put at risk.

The first step to being proactive is to have a training class at your organization where you educate your staff on common threats, from phishing emails to the different types of malware, and the red flags to watch out for so they don’t take a wrong step that could lead to an intrusion. It is a good idea to have every employee sign off on what they learned. By doing so, they will have a reminder of the severity of the situation and they can be held accountable if they make a mistake that could have been avoided.

Proactive Security Steps

Now that your employees know the risks, you must put the proper proactive protections in place to create the best chance to thwart an attack. That starts by ensuring that all employees use smart passwords for all of their systems. The passwords should have a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters, and they should have a separate code for every system. No duplicates. 

On top of your passwords, you should also add a form of two-factor authentication, which is a second input that must be made before the program can be accessed. Typically this is a separate code that is sent to their phone or even a biometric scan like an eye or fingerprint. 

Once all of your systems are secure, you need to implement the software that will create a safety umbrella for all of your programs. For starters, you need to implement a solid firewall that will stop hackers from gaining access in the first place. If you have remote employees, then make sure they have this protection as well. Pair that with a good antivirus package, and make sure to run scans at least twice per week. That way, you can catch any potential viruses or issues before they escalate. 

Employees should also be signed into a virtual private network at all times, whether they are in the office or working remotely. A VPN will disguise your location and automatically encrypt all incoming and outgoing messages so they cannot be read by hackers.

Social Media Cybersecurity

While it is important to protect your main systems, you must remember that in this digital world, any department within your organization that works online is also at risk. For instance, many companies use social media for marketing their business, and while there are many benefits to using social media, you must be proactive to keep cybercriminals at bay. 

In general, when posting on sites like Facebook and Twitter, you should definitely use a password and two-factor authentication and also check the permissions that you have set and make sure that only designated employees have access to your accounts. You should also limit sharing permissions wherever possible. 

It is also important that you use a private Wi-Fi network. Create a policy where employees are not allowed to access your corporate social media accounts from a public place, or they can easily fall for fake networks created by hackers. If the criminal gains access, then they can use your social media channels to make their way into your main corporate network.

Many companies now use YouTube for their marketing efforts, and while this is a great approach, you need to be careful in this space as well. When you start a YouTube channel, you need to put a lot of thought into your video ideas and create attractive content that will draw potential customers to your brand. While you do so, also make sure to be selective about your channel managers. You should only have one or two managers. Avoid giving access to everyone, or you open yourself up to the chance of an upset employee posting things that you don’t want to share. Also, check your permissions to ensure that you aren’t sharing information with any bad actors.

In the end, your proactive cybersecurity efforts need to start on day one, and you should continuously work to evolve in this regard as your business grows. Use the tips and advice listed here as a starting point so you can continue to work without fear of attack.

Meet The Author:


Luke Smith

Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger.

The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Association for the Self-Employed or its members.

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