4 Reasons Why IT Security Must Be a Top Concern for Start-ups
They are vulnerable
When start-ups are first coming into being, they are especially vulnerable to attack – the systems are still in the process of being set up, and so might still not have security fully enabled. The staff will be focused on a number of different tasks, because they will be trying to get the business up and running as soon as possible, so they may not realise what is happening until it is too late, or necessarily have the skills to deal with an attack when they do find one.
Cybercrime deliberately targets those it see as vulnerable, and start-ups are vulnerable, for the above reasons. Most also do not have the money to hire any IT security services, so cannot benefit from their help.
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Threats are rampant.
IT security should be uch higher profile than it is in most companies. 2016 saw many, many companies being the victim of attacks which they should easily have been able to shrug off, had they been aware of the protocols behind IT security and cybercrime. For as much as cybercrime is a problem now, as society becomes more and more digitalised, the problem will only grow, until it is truly inescapable without a lot of work.
While there are many different types of malware currently in existence, the most commonly used type is known as ransomware – this is also identified by many different anti-virus software programmes as the most dangerous form of malware in existence. Ransomware works by infiltrating a system, and then encrypt any files or information they find. When the encryption is discovered, the attackers then ask for a ransom in return for the key.
These attacks are growing more and more frequent as the internet becomes more important to businesses – ransomware itself is the direct result of a pure data breach, and data breaches are another form of attack which is highly common through the web.
Getting attacked is costly.
While being held to ransom itself may not be overly expensive, consider that while negotiations are ongoing, the company in question does not have access to key files and information which it needs to fulfil the business requirements. This could include anything from the financial information of customers (needed to fill orders) to the files which they are actually working on for those customers, if the company provides services rather than goods.
It is important to remember that even if a business pays the ransom, there is nothing to guarantee that the files will be unencrypted. Beyond the immediate aftermath of a ransomware attack, there can be other repercussions for any business which falls prey to a cyberattack – loss of customer trust and their reputation being among them.
Modern start-ups should have higher standards.
No business is entirely safe from cybercrime – the minute any new security protocols come on the market, there are people working at ways to circumvent them – but this doesn’t mean that nobody should try to stay safe. Modern start-ups in particular, since they are quite often people by those who have grown up to some extent with technology, don’t have any excuse about neglecting the technology which exists to stop cybercrime as much as possible.