Establishing a startup isn’t easy; founders often spend a good majority of their time mapping out finances, operations, raw materials, product development, solid marketing and sales procedures, as well as hiring skilled employees during their initial years. Besides this, they also worry about keeping up with competitors and delivering quality services or products.  

With everything that goes into starting a business, many startups forget about cybersecurity. As we speak, digital transformation is taking hold of most industries, revolutionizing the IT landscape. On top of this, reports show that there is a cyberattack every 39 seconds on an average, which equals 2,244 attacks per day. Don’t let a cyberattack take your startup down. In this blog, we’ll talk about how to find an effective cybersecurity solution, and establish comprehensive cybersecurity procedures to protect your startup from cyberattacks. 

1. Identify the scope of your corporate network

Before shelling out a bunch of money for predefined cybersecurity solutions like antivirus and SIEM software, you need to analyze the scope of your corporate network by understanding the type of devices used in it. You should also determine whether employees are static or dynamic—are there any contract employees, will there be new recruits, or is there a high rate of role changes? All these aspects have to be considered before picking the right security controls for your business.

2. Handpick the right security controls

The Center for Internet Security (CIS) has handpicked twenty critical security controls for establishing effective cybersecurity in an organization. However, establishing all twenty controls could be expensive and, in some cases, excessive. Different companies have different requirements, and usually only need to implement between five and ten security controls to achieve effective cybersecurity. You can choose five to ten solid and primary security controls that work best for your organization, which you can incorporate one at a time.  

3. Identify the available security solutions

After choosing the basic security controls that best fit your organization, the next step is finding a product that both meets your needs and fits your budget. There are a number of security solutions in the market, which can make identifying the right one for your environment a challenge—you’ll only know what fits your business by analyzing and evaluating the available products. Once you find a product you think might work, check with the vendor about trying a demo and see if you like the solution in action.  

4. Get to know the different approaches to cybersecurity

There are number of solutions in the market that can help with cybersecurity. These solutions can be proactive, reactive, or predictive in nature. Proactive security solutions like patch managers, IT asset managers, and network vulnerability managers help IT admins predefine security policies to keep business security intact, while reactive solutions identify abnormal behaviors by analyzing logs, files, and services.  

Predictive cybersecurity is an evolving trend, which can only be adopted after implementing both reactive and proactive procedures. Predicitive cybersecurity allows security professionals to analyze the existing security trend, measure the security procedures in place, and keep malware in check. 

5. Understand the importance of security controls

Whether it’s checking the number of applications that require updates to fix vulnerabilities or monitoring user behavior to identify anomalous behavior in your network, there’s no denying the importance of implementing the appropriate security controls. Let’s take the WannaCry and Petya ransomware outbreaks in 2017 as an example. While these outbreaks were devastating to a number of businesses that neglected to implement the proper security controls, those that had their systems and applications up to date were immune to these attacks.

6. Instill cyber awareness for employees

Not all threats are virtual—some attacks are orchestrated by malicious insiders while others may be the result of a social engineering attack. Social engineering attacks are avoidable as long as your employees know where and to whom they can disclose corporate details. All employees should be educated on phishing, pretexting, and tailgating attacks and all IT teams should follow IT security best practices like password management, browser management, and more.

Including cybersecurity strategies in your startup’s business plan helps secure your business against unforeseen cyber surprises in the long run. Take a look at this infographic to kick-start the implementation of cybersecurity procedures in your organization.