• Carla Lopez

Important Tips to Help Protect Your Startup from Cyber Crime

Cybersecurity is a growing field, due in large part to the fact that cybercriminals are getting smarter all the time. And it’s not just the bad guys who can throw a wrench in your works – ransomware, employee missteps, natural disasters, and even simple network failures or power outages can wreak havoc on your business, which is why it’s critical that you partner with Global Computer Systems to protect your network. It’s not enough to be aware of the threat – pre-planning is essential to mitigating damage and facilitating recovery in the event of a cybersecurity mishap.

What Is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is a field dedicated to preventing cyber breaches, and after the fact, identifying, stopping and recovering data, and restoring network integrity after a breach. You don’t have to be a big tech company to be subject to cyber threats. Even a small operation can face issues that have the potential to disrupt operations, allow sensitive information to fall into the wrong hands, or otherwise compromise your data. Ransomware can even put you in a position of losing data or work product, as ransomware is designed to hold your system hostage until you pay.

What Are Fallouts of Cyber Breaches?

The world is full of amateur hackers, who simply hack into systems for fun, and professional-grade criminals, who will hold information hostage, threatening to shut down fuel pipelines, power grids, military installations, and even whole government banking systems. To consider the potential threat to your business, think of what would happen if someone hacked into your system. What would they have access to? Customer information? Banking, routing, and credit card data? Corporate secrets? Sensitive records? What would happen if all of your data simply disappeared? What would that do to your business? According to TechRepublic, it’s not just the financial impact — which can reach into the millions — but the reputational impact at stake as well.

What Protection Do You Need?

For most tech companies, a smart approach includes layers of infrastructure protection that are difficult to penetrate. To be most effective, as well as flexible, affordable, and easy to implement, data should be managed through a single interface that is regularly tested to ensure its effectiveness. If a breach does occur, having an effective disaster recovery plan in place is essential, and will help you get your company operational again in short order. A reputable company that specializes in cybersecurity management can be a worthwhile investment. Not only will a professional organization be able to assess your current level of security, it can also identify possible areas for concern, make recommendations for action, and assist you in restoring data if a breach still occurs. These companies can also monitor your systems and test security plans.

What Can You Do Internally?

In addition to having cybersecurity protections in place, there are other steps you can take to help guard against breaches. Consider conducting pre-employment background checks on employees, particularly those who will be handling sensitive information. Develop best practices by training and providing written guidelines for all staffers about how sensitive information will be handled. This includes everything from how, where, and when they use company devices, password creation and protection, and the ways in which information is stored and shared, both internally and externally. You’ll also want to keep all systems up to date, and regularly run anti-malware and anti-virus scans. Back up everything, and then back up your backups.

According to McKinsey & Company, as with most crisis planning, the work you do in advance of a disaster is often as important, if not more important, than the steps you take toward recovery. Being aware of your vulnerability is the first step in the right direction.

Global Computer Systems can protect your business’s network, computers, software, and data from attacks. Call (631) 476-6500 to learn more about our services.

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