8 Online Security Tips for Startups

April 17, 2016

4:00 pm

A report, published by Moya K. Mason highlights the fact that there are approximately 150 million startups being launched every day by 300 million people the world over. Out of these, only one-third make it to the first three months after the initiation process.; 90 percent of the startups fail, and there are various reasons behind a startup’s failure. Poor security shouldn’t have to be one of those reasons.

It is a fact that today, no one can deny the importance of security over the web. Neither you, nor can I. This notion of ‘security is important’ holds true for everyone. Businesses are no exception. And for startups, online security is something that should matter greatly. There is no doubt about it. Budding startups should never compromise on their online security even in situations that are deemed unfavorable for their survival.

These security tips will help startups remain operational and survive the tidal waves of change within the information technology industry for a long time to come.

Here we go!

1. Address the Threats

The first and foremost factor you need to look after is to address all internet security threats that your startup is facing. Implementing a strong, military-grade encryption and firewall mechanism is a good option to use.

Encryption helps safeguard a startup’s online data traffic from the unwanted clutches of cyber criminals and online hackers. It also protects sensitive personal information of the employees working at the startup. The firewall on the other hand, helps protect a system against threatening viruses, which may otherwise cripple down the speed and performance of the computer systems installed within the startup, and smart devices being used by the employees.

2. Write a Security Policy

A written word is more powerful than a word of mouth. For budding startup organizations, it is mandatory to have their Online Security Policy in black and white. This particular policy should be in place well before the actual operations start.

The online security policy should provide clear guidelines in relation to which applications should be installed, whom should be given full access or limited access to the startup’s critical information, what kind of emails should be going out and coming in, and other important factors that constitute a workable online security policy for the whole startup.

3. Keep a Close Eye on Social Media

Social media has taken the internet by storm. Everyone of us loves to share personal information, recent happenings, and whole lot of things on popular social media websites, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Organizations in general, and startups in particular must keep a close eye on what’s being shared on their behalf on various social media websites.

Most of the organizations tend to attract online visitors through different click-baits. In order to avoid any conflict of interests, the startup companies should have a concretely written social media policy governing all the activities that should be carried out on various social media platforms.

4. Use Strong Passwords

Passwords just work like a trustworthy security guards for websites. Let it be any kind of website, passwords tend to safeguard them from illegal access from third party intruders. Weak passwords are no good. Therefore, online businesses including startups should encourage their employees to use strong passwords on all the fora and media. Using alpha-numeric and complex passwords help users to remain safe against any potential hack attack or security breach.

One of the better strategy is for startups to ask their employees to frequently change their passwords after a period of 15 days or 30 days. This small step can go a long way in protecting an employee’s personal identity, information, and unauthorized access to critical organizational information.

5. Train Employees About Internet Security

When it comes to online security of a organization’s website, the organization needs to have a workable plan to train employees about what the company expects from them while using the company’s systems and resources. The case for startups is no different. Startups need to vigorously look into possibilities to take employees in confidence with regards to providing them training in connection with internet security. One of the better ways to engage employees in training is to ask them different questions about how to improve security of the organization’s website. A survey will do a good job in this regard. Employees should be made to understand that they need to keep confidential information to themselves.

6. Implement Best Practices

Sharing knowledge is important when it comes to implementing best practices within a startup. If there is any security hazard facing the startup, the employees should be the first to point out the seriousness of the matter, thereby contributing towards implementing the best practices.

Communication and collaboration are two of the most important factors that startups need to consider. In a budding startup environment, everyone needs to be taken along and be entrusted with knowledge about the best practices that the startup needs to implement. A conducive working environment is an absolute necessity for a startup in this regard.

7. Remain Updated and Keep your Systems Updated

Automation is the name of the game. In order to survive potential hack attacks and security threats, startups need to automate their processes for optimum performance and best results. Shun out using any outdated tool or process that hinders startup’s progress.

The systems installed within a startup company should be updated frequently. If a system upgrade is required due to any looming internet security threat, the startups should go for it, while making the best use of the available resources.

All the issues related to online security of a startup business should be addressed in an adequate and timely manner. If there is a patch available, all the systems should be patched immediately in order to run the web operations within a startup smoothly.

8. Join Hands with IT Security Firms

Two and two make four. No one can carry out the tasks all alone. And for startups, it’s nearly impossible to rely on a single individual. Startups work better in a partnership. Partnership with other IT security firms increases the chances of a startup’s survival.

Therefore, if there is an opportunity for a partnership, the startups should take it and seek out the benefits they can take out of that partnership. Startups should look out to partner with security firms with good track  record and having a sound reputation within the IT industry.

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Brad Haddin is a geek and he knows it. He loves exploring the latest trends in information technology and advocates on matters relating to online privacy, security and legalities of P2P file sharing. He is currently working as a consultant for several new start-ups and loves to write and teach people through his extensive experience working in different job roles. When he is not writing, he travels to picturesque destinations and exotic locations.

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