Small businesses are often hugely underprepared for cyberattacks. Why? The biggest issue lies in the misconception that hackers only target high-calibre businesses or postpone the tasks if they don’t know where to start. The reality of the situation is that anyone can be a victim of a cyberattack.
Make no mistake about it. For start-ups growing their company, a single attack can tear down your business even before you finish building its foundation. They affect your reputation, cause major financial damage and put a temporary or permanent stop to your business.
Financial damage is the first and obvious aftermath of a cyberattack – especially if you spend a significant part of your finances towards remedying the attack. Reputations are at stake too. Following a cyberattack, others may associate your brand with leaked sensitive data and avoid using your services. If the attack targeted your infrastructure in a way that denied you access or slowed it down, you can also fall behind with your work.
Startups that are vulnerable the most are those that use apps and websites to promote or sell services and cloud technology to scale their businesses. Don’t worry. There’s a solution, and our knowledge is your power. Learn about which cyber threats are entrepreneurs likely to face and where to start when setting up bullet-proof cybersecurity systems for your business.
Common Cybersecurity Threats for Startups
As a startup, you’re most likely to be a victim of these attacks:
- DDoS attacks
- Malware attacks
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is a type of attack that is designed to overload your website. Your customers and clients have to wait for a long time for the site to load, or the access can be denied altogether. For example, DDoS can lead to the slow loading of an e-commerce website and result in your customers abandoning their shopping carts. Never to return again.
DDoS is one of the most damaging attacks because you may not even realise it’s happening. In fact, months can pass before you detect and start mitigating the attack.
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Malware is malicious software that hackers use to get into your network. Hackers exploit malware to damage companies in various ways. Malicious codes can be hidden in website links or an ad that your employees can click on and install viruses.
Hackers can use malware to steal passwords and get access to your network. Once they’re in, they can get sensitive data and demand ransom not to leak it. Even when they get their hands on your money, they sometimes still leak it anyway.
Cybersecurity Solutions for Common Threats
Solutions vary from straightforward that ones you can implement right away, such as setting up stronger passwords, to more complex ones. This includes using programs that protect your growing business on multiple levels. Cybersecurity solutions startups can execute today include:
- Implementing basic cybersecurity training
- Protecting their Web Applications with WAAP
Basic employee training includes password managing, recognising phishing emails, ensuring they don’t visit unsafe sites or download apps containing malware.
Leaked Credentials (from password lists) that are freely available on the web can pose a major security threat without you even being aware of it. Hackers can exploit one weak password to get access to your entire network. Even the basic training helps you avoid hackers who actively seek human errors to find vulnerabilities or leaked assets and use them to attack your network.
The next step for businesses often includes installing an anti-virus program and firewall. While they do protect your company to some extent, these traditional measures have their limits. Startups that are aware of the constantly changing online landscape must seek protection that can keep up. So, what can you do about it? For startups, WAAP provides nuanced and reliable protection of Web Applications and APIs.
What is WAAP, exactly?
Web Application and API Protection (AKA WAAP) is a program that analyses the incoming traffic on the website in order to detect common and new threats.
WAAP can detect and mitigate more sophisticated threats such as DDoS attacks or new versions of malware that are hidden in encrypted traffic. Compared to a firewall, your IT team doesn’t have to set it up manually or customise rules based on which it will protect your web applications. WAAP is automatic and it adapts itself to changes within your network.
Where to Start with Cybersecurity as a Startup?
Basic training on setting up strong passwords and recognising phishing emails is a good start. Following basic training, implementing cybersecurity for the most vulnerable part of your start-up – Web Application and your cloud is essential. It sounds simple. And it is. Web Application and API Protection defends your start-up from notorious cyberattacks such as DDoS and Malware. It does so continually and automatically, scanning for and mitigating threats before they do damage to your infrastructure or your business.