Start-up business becomes a crucial target for hackers, recent updates show the numbers of a data breach in the startup business is growing. The most important asset of a startup is its goodwill or reputation once it gets damaged it’s irreversible to the business and will wipe out the startup business itself among the competitors.
The data breach will cost a huge amount to the business. Human error plays a vital role in the data breach, business costs have been doubling due to employee negligence. On the go and off, personal laptops and devices are using in the startup environment can put the startup to a major threat of data loss.
Data breaches can destroy the startup business in terms of reputation, customer loyalty, money, resources, and area of expertise. It is very hard for startups to recover from huge data breaches when compared to big business ventures. How to control data breaches? Some remedial measures are:
- Use most advanced and secured messaging apps
- Online and offline cyber security courses to employees
- Protect and upgrade password security and security keys
Consumers are not showing any interest to return to startups which suffered from data breaches, so startup businesses should take steps to protect themselves from huge data manipulations and cyber threats:
- Develop industry security standard
- Online and offline training to employees
- Securing financial transactions
- Advanced and sophisticated system to manage and regulate business
How data breach can diminish the reputation and destroy startup business?
Do you know? Cyber threats are emerging within the organization and outside as well, Hacktivist want to break the data security system mainly for financial gain or to destroy the business. There may be some bad actors within the organization has ready to sell the confidential credentials to outsiders.
Weak data security system always let the hackers in. Stolen key, compromised credentials are also raising the weakness of data security system and cause financial loss. Organizations should think forward to upgrade and improve their system to surpass threats and win the race over their competitors.
‘Zero trust privilege or least trust privilege’ is the new and smart trend in the digital world, which replaces the old ‘trust but verify’ model.
Recent history shows that firewalls are no longer act as a protector shield and incidental to various cyber threats and malicious attacks. Zero trust privilege models never trust any outside request for privileged credentials and also do check the authenticity of the request to increase protection to weak credentials and data security. On the contrary, some organizations are still following the old ‘manual methods’ to manage and control privileged credentials and financial data.
Organizations are still in dilemma and do not have much clarity idea on security threats and the essential areas where more protection and security measures are needed for future growth. Big data, cloud system; network devices are the most important areas where additional security needed. A special access control system should be enabled to protect hubs, switches and routers.
Now virtual workspaces are proliferating based on a different pandemic scenario, the private and public cloud areas and data are not secured with a privileged access system or zero trust privilege.
- Companies have relied on continual cyber-attacks and threats but the fact is that they came to know things after months of their security system has been breached.
- Organizations should be aware of data breaches and risks in the security system; information about data breaches are normally comes to knowledge after a long time of actual data breach incident. The only remedial measure is to implement protective factors and systems at the earliest to reduce threats from cyber security.
- Zero trust privilege method can help the startups to protect their data from unauthorized outside requesters.When it comes to the authorities and government agencies or law enforcement officers; it’s a different scenario for whichthe organization should develop a response plan and policy.
Prepare well for the worst, to protect data
- Not only your fault! Startups should give extra care and cautiousness in business to business dealings; other organizations you are dealing with may incidental to cyber threats or possessing a low-security system. Even if the systems of the other organization are breached it will directly affect all of the companies that are doing business together and cost your startup financially and for sure it will spoil the reputation.
- For more security, companies should create an exclusive data map, especially for the internal data and security managements. This map should be well written and able to guide the data protection team to identify where is the most sensitive data, personal data, privileged credentials, security keys, valuable metadata across the system? Different national and state laws can be applied to different kinds of data and it should be listed and closely monitored whether your company is doing all the responsibilities under the right to privacy.
What can you do after a data breach?
After getting informed about a big data breach and that raise threats to the reputation and financial costs to the startup, it is crucial to overcome this stage but to stop the breach startup should analyze the depth of the breach, affected to whom and what kind of data, weak points in the security system and connect with legal authorities and officials out of the organization, data insurance agencies. It is the responsibility of the organization to inform affected personas whether they are staff, customers, vendors, or others.
Some companies have tried to hide the data breach from the public but soon or later it will come to light and makes more damages to the company’s existence and name. Whenever the company noticed a big breach or mild attack should report to the authorities and take immediate actions stop breach. Once a breach occurred a legal or official notice should be published from the side of the company including the type of data breach, affected individuals, brief narrative of the incident, date of the incident, what are the legal actions and prevention methods are adopted by the company to stop breaches as of now and future as well. These kinds of notices are prepared and published on the basis of the company policy and existing laws on ‘right to privacy’ and data security.
Cyber security and cyber threat-related decisions are strictly a company decision and not at all a legal or lawyers’ decision but whatever the decision is, the company and the decision making wing are responsible to the investors and stakeholders. The company must take adequate steps to prevent future cyber incidents. There are mainly four things that the company should give priority while taking decisions that are plan, respond, rehabilitate, and mitigate. Most of the Hacktivist is doing malware practices for financial gain and they might have directly approached the company for the same, keep in mind that there is no guarantee that the hacker will give back the stolen key or decrypted data to the company after transferring the bargaining amount to the hackers’ account, chances are there the data gets damaged or become unusable and with the stolen key blackmailing may have continued to happen, experts are suggesting to get legal advice and actions instead of doing big faults.
General Data Protection and GDPR give more priority to the consumer’s data protection than data collection and processing by the company.
Data breaches made a huge financial loss to many big companies all over the world but the major loss is brand value, goodwill or reputation, and priceless consumer trust.
Remote working is proliferating due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that in turn raises the cyber threat, while dealing with sensitive company data multiple security measures should be taken by the company and employees. A small malicious attack can destroy the startup and it is challenging for the company to deal with cyber security threats in remote working.
Bad actors inside and outside of the company may become a reason for malicious or misdirected emails, weaken the security system, stolen keys such activities can put the company at risk. The ‘new office work’ becomes to a virtual office so companies should implement and maintain high-end security standards for data protection and smooth work from home environment.
Misdirected email steered data loss
There is no way to track where that data is going or what is done with it. Misdirected emails raise risks for startups because most of the official emails containing highly sensitive data like financial documents, spreadsheets of Metadata, presentations for upcoming business plans, or other documents. Once the emails are misdirected company will lose all control over the data and other security measures will become an utter flop.
Remote work mitigates this issue harder so that startups must be more cautious about emails, when prevention methods are broken it’s irreversible and hard to get in track for small businesses.
How do data lose via email?
- Misdirected emails
Misdirected emails make a huge cost to the startup, when emails to a wrong person that will become the reason for majority of a security breach and data loss, misdirected emails are the main threat. Proper training to the employees regarding data security and implementing mandatory tools is essential to prevent such wrong deeds.
- Vulnerability in personal email accounts
Employees are not much aware of the vulnerability of personal email accounts; knowingly or unknowingly they send official data to the personal email accounts. Personal email platforms are vulnerable and more exposed than the official company networks; therefore the data moved to personal platforms puts the startups at risk.
- Using emails for malicious purpose
Emails also can be used for malicious purposes like sending a very confidential official data to the third party for financial gains or to destroy a business itself. Startups must adopt extra security methods to prevent such kind of data breaches.
To overcome these barriers startups should train employees about how to secure and safeguard data management and email handling inside the organization. Most of the employees are unaware of data risks and email security.
The modern virtual working platform is complicated and it is hard to keep secure. Organizations should implement some rules and policies to restrict employees from accessing emails from some domains that will effectively secure emails and restrict external access.
Advanced machine learning technology can help employees by giving special alerts on every human error without effecting their productivity and time. Email security tools can detect misdirected or unauthorized emails based on employee’s regular emailing patterns. Startups must give importance to invest in advanced email security technology to secure emails from internal and external threats.
Following are some of the best and simple ways to protect startup business against costly data breaches:
- Hire professional cyber security experts or outsource the security tasks to reliable agencies, only experts know the techniques, methods, and technologies to safeguard startup business from major threats.
- Startup employs remote working, it’s better to choose VPN- virtual private network to avoid data breaches, pure VPN always authentic and prevent the company from data breaches and malicious incidents.
- Select fully encrypted applications or web portals to connect employees from anywhere in the world.
- Employees’ mistakes and lack of knowledge about data security is another big reason for a data breach, training to employees is crucial and teaches them how data breaches commonly occur, vulnerabilities, weakness in technology and malicious links, and the importance of data backups.
- Backup all important data on daily basis can help the company from data loss. Backup the data by using hard disks in an encrypted format that will save startups from serious negative offshoots.
- Limit data access from within the organization and implement role-based data access to protect data even if one employee is on a threat that won’t affect the entire business and data network system.