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How to Strengthen Tech Startup Security Against Cyberattacks

Malicious attackers perceive tech startups as vulnerable, valuable targets: startups often have fewer infrastructure protections and smaller IT teams than their more established counterparts, and multiple connections to larger companies with lucrative data. 

In the past year, 42% of small businesses experienced a cyberattack. Those incidents took several forms: 

  • 23.7% were phishing attacks
  • 18.6% were data breaches
  • 15.6% were malware attacks
  • 14.8% were denial of service (DOS) attacks
  • 11.3% were ransomware attacks

Learn about strategies and secure network solutions that can protect tech startups against the most common types of cyberattacks. 

Malware Attacks

Malware is software created to damage or weaken computer systems. Once installed, the malicious program can steal sensitive information, credentials, slow down your internet, and can even hijack your device to harm other technology. Common types of malware include adware, spyware, trojan horses, and worms. 

Best practices to mitigate the risk of malware attacks include: 

  • Recognize the signs of malware: pop-ups and disabled programs
  • Install antivirus and antimalware software on business and personal devices
  • Implement company-wide emergency response plans with how to detect and react to potential malware attacks
  • Secure your network with firewalls and consider switching to a private network for more control

Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are attempts by a malicious attacker to get the end-user of a message or email to provide sensitive information. These threats are unique from other types because they don’t involve downloading anything or a virus — instead, they rely on tricking employees to surrender information out of their own free will. 

One common type of phishing attack is an email claiming a user’s account is stolen and then asking them to enter their login credentials into a website owned by someone looking to steal their information. These threats are becoming more sophisticated to the point where even a tech-savvy employee could fall for them.

To prevent and limit the possible damage of these types of attacks,: 

  • Educate team members about how to recognize and respond to phishing attempts
  • Require password changes every quarter, or require different passwords for different platforms to limit what a phisher could access
  • Always install the latest software patches and updates to increase security

Data Breaches

The average cost of a data breach for individual businesses across any sector was $4.24 million in 2021, which includes both immediate and long-term effects. To help mitigate the risk of a data-focused attack, tech startups can:

  • Develop a cybersecurity plan possibly with the help of a cybersecurity expert, detailing what security programs will be installed, how to securely backup data, and how to minimize patch-related threats . 
  • Install proper antivirus software
  • Require multifactor authentication for employees

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks

DDoS attempts happen when a cyberattacker floods a web server or network with traffic to overwhelm bandwidth to slow operations and disrupt regular communications.

Strategies to reduce the risk of DDoS attacks include:  

  • Setting network traffic limits to prevent overloading
  • Having a DDoS response plan in place detailing whom to notify, how to escalate, and what team members are expected to do after an attack
  • Using content delivery networks (CDNs) to share the traffic load across multiple servers 

Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks involve software that blocks access to a victim’s computer or device data and asks the user to pay money to gain access again. The software can take several forms, including screen lockers, encryption ransomware, and doxware. 

Tech startups looking to reduce the risk of a ransomware attack should consider:

  • Implementing software that scans incoming and outgoing emails to detect threatening executable files
  • Ensuring no employee has administrative access unless necessary
  • Enabling strong spam filters to prevent threatening emails from reaching their workers

What Network Setups Are Best For Startup Security?

One of the most effective ways for a tech startup to reduce the risk of cyberattacks is to leverage a network designed for privacy and security. Switched ethernet promotes more secure information transfer compared to centralized alternatives. A second option is managed wavelength services, which allow startups to keep their data private because the connection isn’t shared with any other customers.

If you are a tech startup in Southern California looking for a more secure network setup, SCE Carrier Solutions can help. Reach out to our team, and we can discuss your security needs and solutions designed to address any vulnerabilities.

Download the “Tech Startup Trends into 2022 and Beyond” Guide

Tech startups looking to stay competitive should stay informed on the latest consumer experience and industry trends. Learn strategies to plan for long-term success.

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