When starting a company, there is an exhaustive checklist of action items to ensure seamless operations and overall efficiency. Administrative building blocks, branding, inventory – when applicable, the list goes on. But there is one thing that should be a top priority pre-launch, that is oftentimes overlooked: cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity can be an arduous process, but its impacts are quite literally lifesavers. Many startups make the grave error of putting off implementing sound cyber protocols only until absolutely necessary, a move that can potentially cost a company immeasurable expenses in both monetary cost and opportunity cost. By delaying these implementations, companies can be vulnerable to data breaches, phishing schemes, etc.
If this applies to you, fear not! As the old adage goes, “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is today.” It is far easier to scale sound cyber practices than to adopt them as your business is rapidly scaling, and any upfront investment will be more than worth it in the long run.
So, as not to miss out on opportunities for growth, here are a few tips for ensuring best practices when it comes to cyber measures in the startup phase of a new company.
This sounds too simple to be highlighted, but it is surprising how often strong passwords are overlooked, how easily a company can be breached because of weak passwords, but most importantly, how easily these problems can be avoided. When it comes to passwords, your business needs to approach in a three-prong attack.
First, as mentioned, use strong passwords. By utilizing a simple and effective combination of numbers, symbols, and both capital and lowercase letters, you may have just set yourself up to be an impenetrable force to outside hackers. Additionally, slang is optimal for password choice, as hackers won’t be able to guess slang terms based on continental hacking campaigns focused on everyday words.
Second, set up two-factor authentication requiring two steps in order to gain access to any account. Ever had a company send a code to your phone or email after entering your username and password? That’s two-factor authentication. When it comes to sensitive data, you can never be too cautious, so two-factor authentication is always a good idea.
Lastly, use an encrypted password manager to keep all of your passwords safe and secure. You never want to use the same password across different sites and accounts, so setting up a password manager (like LastPass) is a great way to have your passwords securely stored and used, without having to remember them all.
Once your passwords are set up, it is time to take care of the devices on which you are working. Right off the bat, install basic antivirus software.
Antivirus software inspects every file you open, every link you select, and are the gatekeepers for dangerous files. Antivirus software is an affordable expense, so make sure you have it and that every device in the company is covered. If even just one device is left unprotected, it could mean dire consequences.
Next, adopt the use of a firewall, and make sure you set up two; one for external cyberattackers, and one for internal protection. Now that so many companies and workers are remote as a result of the pandemic, it will also be essential to mandate that employees install firewalls on their home networks as well.
As explained, instilling shrewd cyber measures into a new company may not sound like the most important thing to do, but with the amount of threats lurking about, the juice is most definitely worth the squeeze.
In addition to the above measures, clearly document all cybersecurity policies, provide regular workplace education and hire a cybersecurity officer or outside company to make sure your security policies are up to date with the latest technology. Once each step has been followed, your company can consider itself ready for any challenge that comes its way.
With support from the proactive team at Nexus IT Consultants, you can be confident that you’re ready to repel potential cyberattacks. Contact us at (801) 839-7006 to schedule a confidential initial consultation and see how we’re helping organizations of all sizes stay safe, protect their data privacy and maintain compliance with applicable regulations.