Most Common Startup Cybersecurity Myths

What to look out for

In order to maximize investor funds within a short timeframe, it's not uncommon for startups to sacrifice security in the name of growth and agility.
While this has enabled startups to rapidly innovate across countless industries, it also comes at a price. Here are the five most common cybersecurity myths we hear from startups:

1) "We're too small to be a target"

No one would want to hack a barely known startup, right? Wrong. Most cyber-attacks are now run by automated scripts which seek out vulnerable systems and software regardless of size or fame. Due to their lack of investment in cybersecurity, as well as their limited resources, small companies often make the perfect targets. It is usually not the size of your company that matters to hackers, but the information you handle. Poorly protected passwords, financial accounts or contact info are valuable no matter where they come from.

2) Far too trusting

Does your startup allow employees to use their personal computers and smartphones to handle company work? Do you often hand out login credentials to freelancers, interns and advisors? How long after an employee has left can they still access their company email? Nearly every startup is to some extent guilty of being far too trusting. The key is to develop and enforce relevant security policies that protect against key risks. Keeping a centralized Permissions Log, performing monthly password changes and creating a comprehensive off-boarding procedure for exiting employees are good places to start.

3) Outdated software

Update. Update. Update. Some of the easiest vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit are recently discovered flaws (known as 0-days) that have only recently been patched. It is therefore critical to reduce the time between the patch release and your update as much as possible. We know that these updates always seem to be released just as an important deadline is looming, but each time you hit "remind me later", you help a hacker meet their deadline as well. So, keep your finger off "ignore", perform regular reviews, and think about investing in a Continuous Monitoring solution.

4) Self-Auditing

We get it. Third party auditors are like the dentists of the tech world. They're expensive, frustrating, and rarely deliver positive news. But if a cyber-checkup is as annoying as a good dental exam, they're even more important for your firm's overall health. So, instead of waiting for that inevitable toothache to get too bad to ignore, go out and get yourself an annual vulnerability assessment subscription with a trusted cybersecurity partner. You can thank us later.

5) "Our MVP doesn't prioritize security"

It's tempting to focus on the M in MVP and release the very leanest product possible. But companies that pay less attention to the V in MVP often realize down the road that their security and privacy never quite caught up. From to DoorDash, hardly a week goes by without a major data breach affecting even the largest and well-funded startups. The lesson: utilize the principles of security-by-design to incorporate security into your MVP so that it can grow organically and scale alongside the product.

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About Silent Breach: Silent Breach is an award-winning provider of cyber security services for Fortune 500 companies. Our global team provides cutting-edge insights and expertise across the Data Center, Enterprise, SME, Retail, Government, Finance, Education, Automotive, Hospitality, Healthcare and Internet of Things (IoT) industries.