Time is in short supply at every startup. Everyone wears at least four different hats, and you need every second you can get to make sure things get done.
You have to be as productive as possible—which is why it’s tempting for your business to neglect security concerns, or make them an afterthought. But at the same time, all your hard work can go away in an instant if you let yourself be vulnerable to a cyber threat.
This is the phenomenon known as the security paradox: you need time to create work worth protecting, but you also need time to protect that work. But in the growing software-as-a-service (SaaS) economy, security and productivity don’t have to be a tradeoff. You don’t need to hire an IT team or develop complicated code to keep your data safe—external services can do it for you.
Why You Need to Spend Time on Security
Seriously, don’t postpone security another second if you don’t have it taken care of already—this is a gamble you can lose on. Cyber crime rates have risen over 14-fold since 2006.
It’s not just big banks or government agencies that experience cybercrime. Nearly half of all cyberattacks happen to businesses with fewer than 250 employees. And once you are attacked, it costs on average $1 million and 32 days to get everything squared away.
Here are just a few of the threats you need to protect yourself from:
- Malicious code—A file containing malicious code could delete your entire server, as it did for one manufacturing firm that lost millions of dollars and had to lay off 80 workers.
- Phishing—A fraudulent company posing as a credible one could steal an unsuspecting employee’s password, leading to an average of $1.6 million dollars in damage.
- Ransomware—A hacker using ransomware holds your data for a large ransom—and even if you pay that large sum, less than half of ransomware victims get their data back.
Those costs can actually put an end to your startup: Almost 60% of small and medium-sized businesses that experience a data breach go out of business within six months. A small investment of your time now is worth it to save millions of dollars—and potentially your entire business.
But the costs of being vulnerable to cyber crimes don’t just hurt you if you happen to fall victim. Not having the right security precautions prevents large enterprises signing up for your product or service.
They don’t want to take the risk that their large company might be breached. Without two-factor authentication or encryption, you’re losing money from companies who want your product but can’t risk converting.
Create a security process to make sure you don’t lose data, customers, and revenue down the line.
Secure External-Facing Processes
You don’t need to be a digital Fort Knox to protect yourself from most cyber crime. The most important steps are the basic ones—to gain both the trust of your customers and generally deter hackers.
You can build public security measures into your app to build your users’ confidence in you and deter hackers.
A good foundation to start is to use two-factor authentication. It deters and detects fraudulent users, making sure that “one bad apple doesn’t spoil the bunch.”
Outsource Security for Maximum Productivity
The security paradox exists because security and productivity used to be at odds, and yet you needed both for a company to succeed. By outsourcing and automating, security can become a part of your daily processes without becoming a time sinkhole. It can take its place as a recognized necessity and not an afterthought.
P.S. If you liked this article, pleaese click here to learn more about how to secure your small business.
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