IT Security Tips for Startups: 5 Steps to Get Started - Stephensons IT Support Solutions Ltd

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IT Security Tips for Startups: 5 Steps to Get Started

Information security protects a company in many ways. It safeguards the organization’s ability to function, including its technology, applications, and data. These assets are constantly under threat from cyberattacks, which means that most organizations, especially those that are heavily dependent on technology, must invest in strong IT security.

If you have a limited budget for IT security or don’t know which aspects you should prioritize, here’s how you can start:

Step 1: Go through your data

The first thing you need to do is to review all the information you keep. That means looking through every file you have and deciding whether you need to hold onto each. No one can steal data you don’t have—let that be your new motto.

Determine what data is critical to your business, delete unnecessary information, and keep an eye on what you keep. This way, you know what exactly you are trying to secure. 

Next, you have to understand where everything is stored, how long it has been in the storage, and who has access to it. Speak to all employees, the data holders, and the management. Ask them where all the data, both physical and digital, are stored.

This information is vital in securing your files. Try to limit access to all critical data so that only key people have permission to access highly confidential information. 

Step 2: Review other assets

In this step, you will try to understand your setup better. Do you have servers in your network? How many? Does the company own a website? How many do you have? Are you keeping client or customer information in the office or the cloud? All these details are essential in assessing the organization’s valuable assets. 

Step 3: Categorize observations according to risks level

Given all the files you have and the setup you currently have, you need to categorize potential perils into three classifications: the threats, the vulnerabilities, and the risks. They may sound the same, but they are different. Here’s how they vary.

  • Threats – Think of all things that can harm your business. It can range from cyber hacking to physical threats such as flood or fire damage.
  • Vulnerabilities – From your list of threats, what about your current security could allow these threats to damage your business. One good example is your lack of a firewall. 
  • Risks – Risks are the likelihood of that threat to exploit a vulnerability. For example, if you don’t have a firewall, how high are the chances that a virus will infect your network?

This step will help you assess how well your company is currently doing when it comes to data and system protection. 

Step 4: List down all potential problems

This step is a more specific approach to comprehend the possible problems and consequences better. 

  • If someone else steals your data, what could be the consequences? For example, failing to protect your data will expose you to fines, as indicated under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Losing your data could put the system and the business to a halt. If this happens, how much money will your company lose in a day? A week? Or longer?   

Finding the answers to these questions will help you gauge whether getting a full security service is worth it. 

Step 5: Take action

Now that you have a better understanding of the organization’s current status and the potential scenarios, it is time to take action. Here are the basic things you can do:

  • Install antivirus software and always keep it updated
  • Implement multi-factor authentication for all your programs
  • Enact security policies that each employee should follow and update them regularly
  • Educate employees on how to recognize threats to security
  • Create a documented plan for disasters and security incidents

Conclusion

This guide serves as a starting point for any business that wants to improve its IT security. Begin by understanding what you currently have, including the possible threats to your data. Going through each step will help you gauge what type of actions and programs you need to have in your organization.

If you need IT support in Barnsley, Rotherham, or Doncaster, call us on 01226 971373. We can help your company deal with problems such as data loss, security breaches, or system downtime. Learn more about our support services by sending us a message. 

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