Protect Your Tech Startup From Hackers
An article published in the Forbes magazine estimates that by 2019, the cyber crime will cost businesses a whopping $2 trillion, and unfortunately, tech startups are more vulnerable than other businesses to being hacked. This is primary because tech startups store sensitive data of customers that are profitable on the dark net and black market. The other reason being – most startups do not have large budgets to ramp up their digital security.
Read more: Is India ready for high-tech startups?
Nonetheless, tech startups can take measures to minimize their chances of being hacked.
Beware of hacking threats
Remember the infamous cyber attack on Sony Pictures in late 2014? The hackers stole data,including multiple yet-to-be-released films and personal employee information like social security numbers and salaries. To give the hackers their due, they did warn the big honchos at Sony Pictures of an imminent attack. Well, the people at Sony Pictures chose to ignore the message, but being a startup, you cannot afford to do that.
As a tech startup, you need to beware of the latest hacking threats prevalent in the industry. Even having basic knowledge of these threats will allow you take measures to protect your website or data. There are several reliable and reputable online sources that offer updates on security threats, and getting this information will allow you put in new precautions to protect your business.
Make access tougher
While you may come up with admin level usernames and passwords that are easy to remember, hackers will have a field day getting easy access to your website. Not only should you enforce hard-to-guess usernames and passwords, you also should restrict the access to a few selected employees.
Other options to make access tougher is to limit the number of login attempts within a specific time duration, install automatic password change every few days, do not send your employees and clients login via email, scan all network devices for malware each time they log onto the network, and make sure you change the default database prefix to something more random and unpredictable.
Install a web application firewall
A web application firewall can be installed between the website service and different data connections so that any information that flows back and forth has to pass through the firewall, which can be a hardware or software. Today, cloud-based web application firewalls are available and come with an affordable monthly fee. Once the cloud service is installed, it will block all attempts to hack into your system and restrict malicious bots and spammers.
Update security applications
You need multiple levels of security. So besides a web application firewall, also install a security application that can hide the identity of your CMS so that you are protected against automatic hacking tools. You can opt for free security applications like Panda Free Antivirus, Sophos Home, Comodo and 360 Total Security, but make sure you do your due diligence before opting for one. You can also opt for all-in-one security plugins like BulletProof Security and iThemes Security.
Dispose data correctly
As your tech startup grows and expands, you will need to upgrade your systems and equipment. Before you dispose your old computer systems, laptops, tablets, external hard drives and USB drives, make sure the data present in them are destroyed in a proper manner, to avoid security breaches. This will also reduce your liability as customers will not be able to sue you for loss due to negligence or customer data theft.
Get a security audit
If you are struggling to find loopholes in your tech startup’s security, call in a security expert to perform a security audit. This will help you identify the gaps that you may have overlooked or do not realize they exist. Once you get the security expert’s recommendation, you can incorporate them to deter hackers.
While you cannot completely eliminate the risk of being hacked, taking these measures will definitely reduce the chances.
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