5 Overlooked Cybersecurity Best Practices for Growing Businesses
From founding to funding, rapidly-growing businesses strive to find the best route to their goals, streamlining processes along the way. Whether it’s discovering new SaaS solutions or de-risking financial sourcing, the game is underway. However, keeping a step ahead of growing cybersecurity issues can seem troublesome, especially in the post-pandemic world.
Without a doubt, cybercriminals wasted little time taking advantage of new pandemic-induced vulnerabilities. It’s no surprise that data breaches increased by 68% in 2021, totaling 1,872 and beating the previous 2017 record of 1,506. As a result, business leaders must approach data protection differently now — and we have just the ticket.
Rho, a leader in corporate cash and spend management solutions, and Founder Shield, a tech-enabled commercial insurance broker, teamed up to create a three-part Founding to Funding series highlighting key elements of de-risking the traditional VC-backed journey. In this first post, let’s review five vital cybersecurity best practices that many leaders overlook.
1. Commit to Ongoing Employee Training
If you’re like most business leaders, you count on your employees to wear several hats. What’s more, you might work with a team peppered across the globe. While remote teams have become the standard, we encourage you to adopt another healthy habit: ongoing employee training.
But first, let’s review the top reasons why data breaches happen in the first place. Lamentably, human error accounts for the majority of cyber threats, including:
Social engineering (i.e., phishing)
Forgoing regular backups
As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, executing multi-tiered attacks and such, executives must establish a protocol to protect the business. Your workforce is the first line of defense, so train them well. Begin by giving them the tools to prevent an attack, reward them for using them, and keep up the training regime.
2. Switch to Unified Platforms
Like our own wardrobes, it’s not unheard of for fast-growing companies to outgrow their technology solutions before realizing that nothing fits properly. Many leaders have a software program or third-party platform for each aspect of their business, from accounts payable to commercial banking to corporate cards.
However, each platform comes with its own credentials. Unfortunately, multiple login IDs and passwords also mean more chances of hackers striking. Plus, each separate platform carves away at your balance sheet.
A better way to handle your operating expenses is to consolidate them on an integrated platform, like Rho offers, bolstered with best-in-class security measures, including 2FA and FDIC Insurance. Rho streamlines corporate cards, banking, bill pay and more onto a single, secure platform. This eliminates silos and the need to spend hours navigating workflows across disconnected systems. Instead, we reinforce your data protection initiatives while creating a frictionless financial experience. Take that, cybercriminals!
3. Team With Managed IT Services
Cybercriminals aren’t picky about the companies they target. They merely zone in on the slightest vulnerability, whether that means threatening a massive tech corporation or a 12-person startup. However, not every company enjoys a hefty IT department, thus widening the window of exposure.
As a result, one cybersecurity best practice that many companies miss is teaming with a trusted managed IT service provider. These organizations provide an ever-broadening list of services, such as on-demand IT support, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and desktop support, to name a few.
Outsource this task to a dedicated team instead of approaching your data protection plans haphazardly because you're too busy operating a business. Find a managed IT service provider that fits your needs, and allow your team the space to do what they do best.
4. Update Your Software
In 2018, Equifax experienced a data breach that impacted roughly 143 million individuals. Strangely enough, the patch that could have prevented the massive compromise had been available for months. The problem wasn’t the remedy; it was that Equifax's software wasn’t up-to-date.
Let's learn from this massive and cringe-worthy data breach that the worst-case scenario can occur when you shrug off an update. Sure, updates seem to pop up at the most inconvenient times; however, very few things in life are more problematic than putting out 143 million fires. We encourage you to patch your vulnerabilities by keeping your software current.
5. Protect Your Assets
Lastly, maintaining momentum means protecting the ground you’ve already covered. That said, experiencing a data breach means spending loads of money and effort on recovery plans. There’s a lot of clean-up work involved, and most companies face stalled operations, or worse.
Consider re-evaluating your cyber liability coverage with a seasoned commercial insurance broker. You must know what you stand to lose in the event of a data breach, so do your due diligence. Also, know which policy covers what, such as the difference between cyber and crime insurance.
Founder Shield's bench of insurance experts has encountered coverage gaps more than once or twice, so comb through your risks thoroughly. Remember to talk about upcoming changes in company structure or growth plans as these variables tie into your premium, deductible, and limits. And adjust these aspects as you see fit.
By paying close attention to these five cybersecurity best practices, you’ll be steps ahead of the game — and doing what it takes to stay in it!
About the Author
Wil Hamory is a Vice President at Founder Shield. Wil aims to match the pace of business of Founder Shield’s innovative clientele to provide tailored insurance solutions at scale. He has been involved in various emerging industries and assisted many of Founder Shield’s On-Demand and FinTech clients to meet legal requirements while positioning them to expand rapidly.