Protecting your data when you are still in your startup phase is really difficult. In the first place, you might not even have the faintest idea about data protection, whether you actually need it or not, or whether you need to protect your entire data or just some sets of it. Usually, the topic of data protection is broached when something has already happened and now you need to deal with it. Another reason why this topic is thrown to the back of the discussion list is because startups typically have limited amount of resources in their hands and spending it on data protection might not seem justifiable to the partners. And this is the reason why cyber criminals tend to go after businesses that have just started their life. They too assume that data protection will not be on the business’s immediate to-do list. According to a 2013 study by Ponemon Institute, the average cost of data breach per record is $188, and an average breach means 23,647 compromised records. And these are just your average sized breaches that cost $4.4 million, many breaches are much larger than these.
You need to decide who in your company needs to have access to what data, and come up with policies to overlook this access. Nobody should have more access than he actually needs. If people are bringing their own devices to work, make sure that those devices are using the latest protection. This can include strong, lengthy passwords and regular changing of the passwords, or fingerprint, face, or iris validation and authentication. Keep a check on your plan and keep updating it as time goes on and more people join the company and maybe new departments emerge. Never let your security plan go stagnant.
Make sure that you train your employees right from the start. As soon as you begin data protection, start training your people as well. As new employees come in, conduct a security workshop with them to let them know how things are done. Let them come to you for help when they need it. Make sure that you go over the policy with your employees on a regular basis so they can remember it. Don’t let it be a onetime thing.
It’s a hassle, we know, but it has become almost ubiquitous now. Mobile devices have now become extensions of our hands. There was a time when employees were told to leave their phones at home or submit them to someone when they come in and collect them back when you leave, but those days are long gone. These devices are the best way to open little secret portals into the company network and wreak all kinds of havoc. Make sure that you include these devices in your security plan.
One of the primary security principles is that the lesser number of copies made of your confidential data, the more secure your data will be. But this can prove to be a real problem as you have many factors to consider and keep in your mind. First of all, many employees in various departments need access to the same information. Second, they access the information with not only office workstations but also their personal devices. And if they want to send documents to each other or to an outside party, they may use third-party apps that are not secure and don’t use encryptions. Instead of coming up with multiple plans for every contingency, try using a Virtual Data Room.