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4 strategies to protect your tech startup from hackers

Sonal Mishra
11th Sep 2016
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We have all been introduced to the anonymous group of hackers who threatened to put up cyberattacks on the terror group - ISIS. While these hackers had a righteous purpose to end terrorism from its very root, not all hackers have such ethics and morals.

In fact, almost 70-75 percent of hacking news that comes in light is targeted towards tech startups with the sole objective to make big bucks on someone else’s dime. Cybercrime costs are expected to reach $2 trillion by 2019, and tech startups are more vulnerable than any other businesses worldwide. Being aware and investing enough time and resources in risk reduction is the only way to stay safe in such unsafe territory. Nonetheless, tech startups are advised to take a few precautionary measures to minimise their chances of cyberattacks. Here are four effective strategies to begin with:

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Get the security basics right

Firstly, make sure the basics are in place. The same goes for hacker protection. All your company systems must be protected with regularly updated anti-virus and anti-malware programmes in order to elude your precious data from latest threats. Do not rely on free versions as these aren't updated often enough.

Secondly, never underestimate the power of a strong password. Keep this simple formula in mind: the strength of your password is directly proportional to the security of your data. The stronger the password you use, the harder it will be to decode and the safer your data and information will be. Furthermore, you should never use a single password for multiple accounts as it increases the risk of linked hacking. Make sure you develop the habit of changing your password at least once every four to five months.

Add an extra layer of protection with application firewalls

Cloud-based web application firewalls (WAP) are very easy to install. They act as a filter between a web service and various data connections. This means that every piece of information has to first pass through the firewall to get to your system. In case any malignancy is detected, the firewall simply blocks the information. Given that, investing in a firewall can not only protect your data from hackers, but also from potential spammers and malicious bots.

Make the access taxing

Apart from a strong password, you should set up extra hurdles to make the access to your data extra tough. For instance, limit the number of attempts allowed to enter the correct password, and set up additional code that is sent either to your phone or email for verification whenever someone tried to log into your account from an unknown source. Such notifications will keep you the power to take charge of the situation in time and take appropriate action.

Dispose of your data properly

Scaling up or downsizing will require you to make significant changes in your technical systems.

However, as you make the transition, make sure that the data stored in old systems, such as laptops, desktops, hard drives, and USBs sticks is destroyed properly to avoid any kind of data theft or breaching in future. John S. Shegerian, CEO of Electronic Recyclers International, said "It's unbelievable just how easy it is for cyber attackers to look through the trash or go to third world countries and recover data from discarded electronic devices. Just because your files are no longer showing up doesn't mean hackers can't easily recover them." Take expert help to check for any possible loopholes in your company security.

Make sure you practice vigilance to protect your tech startup. Performing annual security audit, keeping software updated and giving limiting the access of employees are just a few strategies you need to work upon to make sure your startup says protected.

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