Five Cybersecurity Mistakes Startups and Small Businesses Make

There are tons of articles out there that focus on cybersecurity for small businesses, but it’s important to remember that the cybersecurity landscape is always shifting. Best practices from just two years ago may simply be outdated now.

However, what continues to hold true is the fact that data breaches can hit practically any organisation, no matter how small. The Wall Street Journal reports that consumer groups around Europe are now starting to file class-action lawsuits because of data breaches, particularly against British Airways and Marriott.

To keep your company from falling victim to a data breach, double-check to make sure you aren’t committing these five cybersecurity mistakes.


1. Not knowing how much data you have

You can’t begin to protect your data without knowing just how much of it you have. The fact of the matter is that working with big data is cited by Verizon Connect as part and parcel of business operations nowadays. Data visualisation tools have risen in popularity precisely because they help businesses make sense of all the data that they possess. Customer e-mails, service requests, social media engagement — these are all data points that your company produces.

2. Skipping on employee training

Your employees are your biggest cybersecurity threat. A recent study from researchers in Croatia shows that the “people risk” behind data breaches remains high, especially with the rise of remote work policies. Although employee negligence can never be fully accounted for, businesses can do their part to ensure that the necessary training is at least made available for employees. This training could cover the importance of using strong passwords, securing private internet connections when working at home etc.


3. Forgetting to update your antivirus software

Antivirus software is a necessary investment for any business, but this investment will be for nothing if your software isn’t updated. As mentioned previously, cyberattacks are evolving practically by the hour. Tech companies have dedicated teams that work to make sure these data breaches are nipped in the bud, which is why your antivirus software might ask for frequent updates. It may be a mundane task, but the payoffs when it comes to security and peace of mind are huge.


4. Neglecting frequent back-ups

Back-ups and updates are two key factors when it comes to great digital hygiene. If you’re working with a trusted cloud provider, the good news is that they should be backing your files up on their end as well. Of course, it still pays to cover your bases — externally backing up your files on a hard drive is also a very good practice.


5. Keeping your information open to all team members

You’ll want to make sure your data is secured on a need-to-know basis. Our post on the 7 Technology Trends of the Next Decade highlights that automated processes are going to be a key component for businesses, which means that there will be lots of sensitive information floating around your business apps and tools. Restricting access to this information (yes, even from your IT team) minimises risk across the board.

With consumers now more data-savvy than ever, it’s up to companies to look after their own cybersecurity. Steering clear of these five mistakes is a good start when it comes to making your business as secure as it can be.


Article written by Rebecca Julian

Exclusively for

12 November 2020

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