Anyone who has been keeping up with cybersecurity trends knows too well that hackers no longer separate large enterprises and startups when they perpetrate their attacks. Startups also collect and store valuable data, which is why they face an ever-growing risk of breaches. So, it’s best to understand what risk mitigation entails and the tips you can leverage to mitigate security risks.
What Is Risk Mitigation?
In today’s tech-driven world, a breach is a matter of when and not if. For a startup, it’s essential to have a strategy for lessening the impacts of a breach on business continuity. In the digital sphere, security risk mitigation entails proactively reducing your organization’s exposure to potential cyber risks and lessening the likelihood of those risks leading to significant data loss and business disruption.
Why Is Risk Mitigation Important?
Implementing a robust security risk mitigation strategy goes a long way in helping you to evade risks, minimize them, or reduce their impact when a breach occurs. The mitigation strategy guides your organization on how to bear and control the ever-looming risks and even use them to attain your business objectives. By understanding the possibility and impact of various cybersecurity threats in advance, risk mitigation enables your startup to understand the risks it can assume.
Tips For Mitigating Security Risks
In light of the dynamic threat landscape, these are five ways startups can use to mitigate security risk:
1. Undertake A Cybersecurity Risk Assessment
You can’t mitigate risk if you know nothing about your cybersecurity posture. Conducting a cybersecurity risk assessment helps you to pinpoint the threats your startup faces, the possibility of their occurrence, and their potential damage. Using these assessments, you’ll gauge your organization’s readiness to face and respond to a breach.
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2. Implement Physical Security
Indeed, securing your data ecosystem from a software perspective is essential, but physical security remains KING. Remember that a physical breach can result in more issues than worm attacks. Spending thousands of dollars on intrusion prevention systems, firewalls, and antivirus while overlooking physical security means your confidential data can easily get stolen using a USB flash drive. Physical security doesn’t need to be complicated. Something as simple as controlling access to your data center can go a long way in preventing breaches.
3. Monitor Network Traffic Continuously
There’s no better way to detect and prevent hacking attempts than monitoring your network traffic proactively. It remains one of the most effective strategies for keeping attackers at bay. Up to 2,200 attacks happen daily, and most target startups and SMEs. Hackers know too well that these businesses don’t have the resources to establish robust security risk mitigation systems.
Even when working with a limited budget, the only way to beat cybercriminals at their game is by monitoring network traffic continuously. In this regard, it’s best to leverage real-time threat detection tools that provide an overview of your data ecosystem. Real-time threat monitoring enables your team to pinpoint threats and identify the most effective way to remediate them.
4. Create an Incident Response Plan
Falling victim to cybercriminals is one thing, but how you respond to the breach determines your business continuity and reputation. For this reason, it’s best to implement an incident response plan to ensure that everyone at your startup, including non-technical staff, understands their responsibilities when a breach occurs. An incident response plan ensures you have the requisite resources in preparation for an attack.
With attackers stepping up their attacks, an incident response plan helps you know when you’ve been hit by an attack, how to deal with it, and how to ensure business continuity. For instance, it recommends the people, processes, and technologies needed to resolve the threat while minimizing damage. An incident response plan is particularly helpful in protecting against malware, DoS, and ransomware attacks meant to cripple a system’s operation.
5. Minimize Your Attack Surface
Hackers often use vulnerabilities in your data ecosystem to access sensitive data. These vulnerabilities could be anything from negligent employees to unpatched web applications. Minimizing your attack surface can go a long way in preventing breaches. The attack surface implies:
- Physical attack surfaces, including assets that hackers can exploit, including unsecured access to data centers.
- Digital attack surfaces such as corporate servers and unknown assets like apps that impersonate your organization.
- The social engineering attack surface involves manipulating your employees to access sensitive data.
Reducing your attack surface can help reduce vulnerabilities throughout your data ecosystem and fortify your cybersecurity posture.
Although cybersecurity breaches are on the rise, there’s so much you can do as a startup entrepreneur to keep attackers at bay and secure your data ecosystem. You cannot afford to take chances you’re your cybersecurity, which is why you need to implement a robust security risk mitigation plan. Remember that cybersecurity risk mitigation isn’t a one-off task but a continuous project since new actors enter the threat landscape by the day.