Why Your New Start-Up Needs Cyber Security
By Lewis Robinson, Owner/CEO, Lewis Robinson Consulting
However, attracting angel investors and getting the business up off the ground aren’t the only significant challenges start-ups face. There are also unseen risks from digital threats such as hackers, corporate spies, malware and viruses. These can absolutely devastate a start-up before it ever comes close to producing a profit. With that in mind, here are just a few of the reasons why your new start-up should invest in cyber security.
It Could Put Your Company at Risk of Being Sued
Lawsuits are a major problem that plagues companies in pretty much every industry. While the larger corporations may be able to take the hit and survive to the next quarter to regain profitability, small businesses and startups certainly do not have this luxury. Being hacked certainly puts your company at risk of being sued. A report by Fortune showcased one recent example in which Yahoo was hit with a massive class action lawsuit for negligence relating to a 2014 breach of user accounts.
Even if you didn’t act negligently, you may still end up being forced to go to court. The legal fees required to defend a business against such a lawsuit are probably far more than most startups can handle. In that case, it’s best to have the cyber security in place to stop a breach before one ever occurs.
There are many very good reasons why a startup needs proper cyber-security from the earliest days of its existence
Another thing you should be aware of is the fact that startups are often targeted specifically by hackers. It’s easy to understand why. Start-ups in the early days will see large cash infusions from investors, making them a tempting target for hackers wishing to profit off of them. Due to the fact that start-ups are new companies, they are also far more likely to be vulnerable in regards to cyber security versus larger corporations that have been around for many decades and have entire departments devoted to cyber security.
If you think being hacked is an unlikely scenario, you are mistaken. According to a survey, 90 percent of US companies report being the victims of a hack. It’s not a question of if you’ll be hacked. It’s a question of when. With that in mind, it’s best to prepare for the inevitable.
Security Threats Can Come from Within
While we typically think of hacking and cyber security in regards to threats that come from outside the company, sometimes from countries on entirely different continents, the harsh truth is that a lot of threats can originate from within the organization. According to a study, 43 percent of data loss from companies is the fault of employees.
Sometimes this is the result of negligence. Start-ups may not have the training programs in place to show new employees how to safeguard the company’s data. This lack of knowledge could result in an intrusion. For example, an employee could open a suspicious e-mail attachment on a company computer without first scanning it for viruses.
In other cases, the actions are malicious. Criminals in general know that startups are good targets because of the lack of organization in the early days of a company. Whether those companies will be profitable or not is also a question. Missing money may not be questioned by the CEO without the use of cyber security software and a business intelligence or BI dashboard that can easily help the CEO keep track of the company’s transactions. This confusion in the early days of a startup can open a door for criminals to take advantage of the situation by using the company’s computer systems to make a quick buck. Since a start-up is new, it may also not have the proper screening procedures in place to prevent the hiring of employees with questionable backgrounds.
Overall, there are many very good reasons why a startup needs proper cyber-security from the earliest days of its existence. If it doesn’t make that investment, the entire company could be wiped out by a serious hack.