Starting a business in the 21st century is easier than any other time in history. The internet, technological tools and third-party support mean everything an entrepreneur needs is just a click away.
Nevertheless, this convenience comes at a cost. Cybercrime continues to remain a serious threat. On the one hand, digital criminals continue to target individual accounts at a rapacious rate. On the other hand, events like the SolarWinds security breach revealed that even the largest entities aren’t safe.
If you have a new business, it’s important that you invest in the proper tech safety precautions to keep your 21st-century venture safe and secure.
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1. Create a Cybersecurity Plan
Before you start shopping for products or setting up passwords, you need to come up with a cybersecurity plan. This should consist of a strategy that defines what your new company’s security policies are. Define risks, outline procedures, detail controls and otherwise clarify what is necessary for your company to remain cyber-safe.
A good cybersecurity plan starts with major factors, such as figuring out how you’ll handle your company’s data and who will have access to it. Don’t be afraid to address the nitty-gritty stuff, too.
For instance, look for major weak points, such as Wi-Fi network security standards, mobile device security and protocols for suspicious emails. In addition, lay out a clear blueprint for ongoing employee training — more on that further down.
As you go through this initial stage, don’t be hasty. Take the time to think things through. Be thorough as you assess potential risks. A solid cybersecurity plan is an essential foundation that makes ongoing cybersecurity possible.
2. Invest in an Identity Management Solution
Identity management is the front line of any business’s security. Establishing who your company’s employees are and ensuring that they have access to the tools that they need are key aspects of establishing an efficient daily workflow.
In addition, protecting a system from outside intrusion is important. With many companies either cloud-based or using cloud-dependent services, it’s difficult to know when an intruder in another location is masquerading as an employee in an attempt to access your system.
An identity provider (IdP) can offer an extra level of security to your business. Using a third-party provider also means you can establish elite, up-to-date safety immediately, regardless of whether you have an internal IT presence established or not.
In addition, investing in a quality IdP can provide a safe environment while allowing for the possibility of streamlining security protocols. For instance, IdP platform Okta’s Workflow feature enabled one client to avoid 450 support tickets by simplifying unnecessary built-in approval requirements.
By investing in an IdP, you create a strong initial line of defense for your new startup. At the same time, a good identity management platform can help you avoid creating a quagmire of security solutions that slow down daily activity.
3. Teach Employees Good Digital Hygiene
All of the best cybersecurity precautions won’t get you very far if your employees aren’t aware of them. That’s why, along with a sound plan and dependable third-party security tools, you also want to teach your employees how to practice good digital hygiene.
The IT service providers at SeaGlass Technology define digital hygiene as “the practice of cleaning up your electronic/information assets and regularly updating them.” The brand goes on to outline four areas that are particularly important in maintaining digital hygiene, including:
- Using secure passwords that are at least eight characters long and include letters, numbers and special characters.
- Maintaining clean digital data, including streamlined inboxes and ordered files and folder trees.
- Implementing things like firewalls, pop-up blockers and antivirus software to keep computers and networks safe from malware.
- Keeping all of your tech tools up to date at all times.
Digital hygiene consists of basic, run-of-the-mill cybersecurity measures. However, the goal here isn’t to be visionary or cutting edge in your safety precautions, but rather comprehensive.
If you want your cybersecurity measures to be airtight, you need to make sure that everyone is on board when it comes to maintaining them over time.
If you’re launching a business in 2022, you’re going to use tech. It’s inevitable at this point.
From online marketing to cloud-based accounting to remote work tools, the list of ways that tech can streamline a startup is significant. However, it’s important to remember that those advantages can be a two-edged sword.
Tapping into the power of tech comes with the automatic condition that you need to protect your business from the risks created by that same tech. Developing a cybersecurity plan, implementing a frontline identity management solution and teaching good digital hygiene to yourself and your future employees are three foundational steps in establishing a safe work environment as a new entrepreneur.