10 Tips for Startups to Protect themselves from Cyber Threats

In the ever-changing cyber-security threat landscape, in which entrepreneurs and startups are the most lucrative victims of hackers, they need to be alert.

There’s no doubt that cyberattacks are increasing and are at least more of a threat to startups than too big corporations.

India currently holds the third-highest number of unicorns, behind China, the US, and China, and by the year 2021, Indian startups had raised more than $42 billion in funding.

Alongside the growing number of unicorns and startups, attacks on the startup industry have also been increasing.

Recently, news of numerous attacks involving millions of stolen data records has been released to the public. There is also a high chance that some attacks will remain unreported.

Alongside the fact that startups tend to acquire customers quickly, primarily through online methods, there are a variety of reasons hackers choose startups.

Startups tend to focus more on developing their clients and growing their business than protecting it, which means they are armed with excellent customer information on the internet.

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As a result, smaller businesses aren’t as well equipped to safeguard themselves against cyberattacks, particularly because attackers are becoming more sophisticated.

They are also unable to allocate the resources needed to combat cyberattacks. Since these companies are built in the cloud, they depend on cloud service providers for their security requirements. The most important question to think about is: Is this enough?

Based on the IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2022, India is among Asia’s three top countries that are most targeted. Ransomware was the most prevalent attack method against companies in India.

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Tips for Startups to stay safe from cyber-attacks

In today’s constantly evolving cyber-security landscape, where entrepreneurs and startups are attractive victims of cybercriminals, entrepreneurs must be on guard even after implementing best security practices.

#1. Be sure to educate your users

The first step in ensuring endpoint security is training endpoint users on your network and your data. Give security and compliance education to your users, and ensure that they complete it regularly.

This is an essential, but not complete, solution. Security or IT personnel should notify users whenever an untrustworthy email is distributed with guidelines on eliminating or properly quarantining it.

#2. Asset discovery

Track and locate the devices that are connected to your network. IT departments should begin with an inventory review of all devices associated with their network resources.

BYOD (bring your instrument) is becoming increasingly popular because more workers work at home or on the go. Before doing anything else, it’s vital to be aware of all devices connected to corporate applications and information. In the end, you can’t protect what you don’t realise exists.

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#3. End-user device security

IT departments must know how security software can be utilised to safeguard endpoints after identifying and assessing them.

Antivirus software that uses signature comparison to identify known threats and machine learning and artificial intelligence to identify new threats is widely used.

The technology has advanced to an endpoint response that provides console alert reports, security incident response, excellent coverage, and third-party integration. The management of devices used by end users requires this security method.

#4. Maintain and install the most up-to-date OS, software for security, and patches

You should install the latest security software on all of your devices to remove malware from them.

In addition to operating systems, security software, and the apps you use for your business, you regularly spend a few dollars patching their programs’ security holes.

But these patches and updates are only effective if your systems are regularly updated.

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#5. Make sure that identity is the new perimeter

Identity has been relegated to the status of a security perimeter.

Therefore, the zero-trust principle “never bet on, always check is vital to limit the risk level and ensure that the correct users have easy access to accurate information in the right conditions.

By managing policies from one place, this part is always checked against how devices are usually set up. For example, access requests, temporary increases in privileges, and the removal of access rights and privileges are all checked against these configurations.

With a well-constructed authentication and management system implemented, the majority of the tasks can be performed using a computerised method with the assistance of a human, which is reserved for rare cases that require it.

#6. Implement strong multi-factor authentication controls

Multi-factor authentication is a reliable solution to stop non-authorised users from accessing corporate information. Placing the system in silos makes it possible to lock your front door but let your back door unlock.

Implementing multi-factor authentication on end users and users with privileges in cloud and on-premise applications, VPN, endpoints, server logins, and privilege elevation can prevent unauthorised entry, data breaches, and cyber-attacks based on passwords.

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#7. Utilize a combination of applications that allow blocking and listing controls

Blocklisting for applications is essential to protect against the bad guys, which are increasing daily. It will only shield against known dangers.

In contrast, the application permits the listing to safeguard against unknown and known threats; however, it is restricted when deployed and challenging to keep up.

#8. Encrypt the data in use when you use it, as well as in movement:

Data rests on an external hard drive. Information is in a state of rest. Security programs such as firewalls and antivirus are the most effective defences in this security state.

If the network’s security is compromised, organisations will require additional layers of protection to shield vulnerable data from intrusion.

The encryption of hard drives is one of the best ways to protect the data in storage. Storing data elements in distinct places can help reduce the possibility of criminals gathering sufficient information to commit fraud or other offences.

Data used for use Because it must be accessible to people who require it, data that is in use is more susceptible than data that is at rest.

The more devices and people have access to information, the more chance it can end up in the wrong hands. To ensure data security, it is necessary to control access as tightly as possible and incorporate authentication to ensure that users cannot cover up their identities with fraudulent ones.

The motion of data: If data is moving, it’s most susceptible and requires special abilities to secure it. An encryption solution that integrates seamlessly with your existing workflows and systems is the best method to ensure that your messages and attachments are kept private.

#9. Create a next-generation SOC that will provide continuous monitoring, precise detection, and quick orchestrated response

Continuous monitoring is essential to identifying and preventing threats that bypass proactive security.

With an “assume breach” mentality, it is necessary to monitor and look for hazards constantly and also use intelligent analytics that detect suspicious activity, issue alerts, conduct an analysis of the root causes, and organise response processes so that you can stop the problem, correct the damage, and recover from incidents before harm occurs.

#10. Protect hybrid cloud

Secure the hybrid cloud by monitoring your data and applications, regardless of where they are located.

Multi-cloud and hybrid clouds are a great way to aid your business in growing to compete more effectively and improve operations. However, all the benefits of hybrid cloud computing require a modernised and reimagined approach to security for enterprises, with a zero-trust method of operation.

Zero trust controls and technologies provide context as well as collaboration and visibility. They are exactly what you need to ensure your organisation’s development and growth.

Zero trust will give startups constant and adaptive protection of assets, users, and data and the capability to handle risks proactively.

The result-based approach to zero trust allows startups to have the freedom and the ability to accept risks that drive the growth of their businesses and strengthen their resilience without compromising security.

While it’s impossible to change the security system immediately, companies can begin by investing in low-cost fruits and then gradually bolstering their security against cyberattacks by using data encryption security, multi-factor authentication, and security for devices used by the end-user, such as endpoint detection and response solutions.

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