You have a lot to consider when starting a new business. You may find it challenging at times to keep up with everything as you try to get it all settled. But in all the busyness, you should be sure you don’t overlook cybersecurity.
You may be tempted to view cybersecurity as an optional add-on. Maybe you think you won’t be a target until your company grows or that built-in protections are good enough. But cybersecurity is essential to any company’s success, so you should take it seriously.
The Dangers of Forgoing Cybersecurity
Cyberattacks are no laughing matter, especially for startups. Studies have found that 60% of small businesses hit by a cyberattack go out of business within six months. Considering that almost half of these attacks target small and medium-sized companies, that’s a troubling statistic.
Cybercrime is a growing threat for companies of any size. A cyberattack or data breach could mean you lose money or sensitive information about clients or employees. Overlooking cybersecurity, even in the early stages, puts you at considerable risk.
Things to Look For
So now you know that you need thorough cybersecurity. But what does that entail? How can you be sure you’re getting the security you need? Cybersecurity is a varied and fluid field, but there are a few “must-haves” to look for in a security solution.
Here are five things to search for in a cybersecurity service.
Firewalls are the most basic level of cybersecurity and one of the most crucial. If you’re not familiar, a firewall is a set of programs that acts as a barrier to private networks. Your operating system probably comes with a built-in firewall that you can, and should, activate.
On top of these built-in protections, you should consider getting additional firewalls from a cybersecurity company. You can even install internal firewalls that protect against insider threats.
2. Mobile Protection
Cybersecurity applies to mobile devices as much as it does to desktop computers. Between 2016 and 2017, mobile malware grew by a whopping 54%, going from 17,000 variants to 27,000. It’s easy to forget about the tiny computer in your pocket, but it’s critical not to.
Look for a cybersecurity solution that includes mobile protection. Make sure you cover not just phones but also other connected devices like smartwatches and fitness trackers.
You’re probably aware that you need anti-virus software. But you shouldn’t forget about different forms of malware, either. You may think you and your employees can avoid installing any malware, but it’s not worth the risk.
The last thing you want is to forgo this software and then fall into a ransomware trap. Without anti-malware services, you won’t notice many of these attacks until it’s too late.
4. Robust Support
You can’t expect to be a cybersecurity expert on top of all your other duties. That’s why you turned to security professionals in the first place. In that spirit, it’s helpful if your cybersecurity provider offers thorough, around-the-clock support.
You’ll probably come across an issue you don’t fully understand eventually. When that happens, you want to be able to get help as fast as you can. To improve your response times and give you some peace of mind, look for providers with robust support and swift communication.
Ideally, your business will be successful — and if it is, it will grow over time. As your company expands, you’ll likewise need to expand your cybersecurity. Look for a cybersecurity solution that you can easily upgrade as you need to.
You want your solution to be versatile, so you can keep using it with more or different devices. Having to switch security providers while upscaling can be a headache, and it could leave you vulnerable. To avoid that, you should add scalability to your list of considerations.
Picking the Right Security for You
You’ll find that a lot of different cybersecurity vendors offer the must-haves listed above. There are many top-notch security providers out there. But you can still narrow it down further to find the best fit for you.
Cybersecurity is a $116 billion industry, so you have a lot of choices. But not every service will be the right fit for your business. Here are five things to keep in mind when picking a cybersecurity solution.
1. Understand Your Situation
The first thing you need to do before choosing a vendor is account for all your security needs. You don’t want to pay for more than you need, but you also want to cover all your bases.
Take an inventory of all your possible security needs. If you use a lot of cloud-based programs, you probably want a cloud-native security solution. If your business uses a lot of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, you’ll want to prioritize IoT security.
2. Don’t Be Cheap
A frugal mind is a helpful thing to have in business. But with some situations, it’s better to pay more for a higher-shelf solution. Given the severity of cybersecurity threats, it’s a good idea not to look for the cheapest option above all else.
Comprehensive security and robust support are worth the cost. That’s not to say you should only look for the most expensive services, but don’t sacrifice safety for savings.
3. Look at Security Certifications
Depending on your work, you may have to meet specific cybersecurity certifications. See if you need to comply with any regulations like the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification before you take further steps.
If you do need to meet these standards, not all security options will be sufficient for you. Look for vendors with the required certifications to narrow down your choice.
4. Consider Cyber Insurance
On top of different security features, you may also want to consider insurance. Even with top-of-the-line cybersecurity, data breaches do happen from time to time. Cyber insurance will protect your digital assets and recovery costs if that happens.
If you think you’re particularly at risk of a data breach, you could benefit from insurance. If the data you work with is valuable enough, a breach, even if it’s unlikely, could be devastating. Benefits like cyber insurance help mitigate these damages.
5. Look at Independent Reviews
Finally, when you compare different security solutions, don’t rely on the reviews they post. Look at independent reviews to get the most comprehensive look at their performance. If a service has consistently impressive ratings from a variety of sources, it’s a safe bet.
All cybersecurity companies will tell you that they’re your best option. But user reviews will tell you which one is actually the best.
Cybersecurity Is a Must
According to the Small Business Association, 88% of small business owners feel they’re vulnerable to cybercrime. When you’re just starting out, your options may be limited, but you should still give it considerable thought. Set aside a portion of your budget for cybersecurity and prioritize it when you scale up.
Cybersecurity isn’t an option in today’s business world. Thankfully, there are excellent countermeasures available to you.