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The 5 simple questions every founder should ask to keep their startup cyber safe

As a victim of data breaches from well-known Australian companies, I have come to understand the importance of cybersecurity.

It is alarming to see that even after such data breaches, banks and utilities are still asking for personal information that is publicly available and has already been compromised.

One wonders if these companies are doing enough to protect their customers’ data. iIt’s about time startup founders understand the importance of cybersecurity and take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their clients.

I attended a conference last year where a company executive asked five simple questions that even non-technical people can ask about data.

These questions are:

  1. What information do we collect?
  2. Why do we collect this information?
  3. How is this information stored?
  4. Is this information encrypted and who can access it?
  5. When can we erase or remove sensitive information?

The first question is crucial because startups often collect more information than they need, which can lead to unnecessary risk. It is essential to collect only the information that is necessary and relevant to the business.

The second question is about understanding the purpose of collecting information. It is vital to collect data aligned with the business objectives and ensure that it is not used for anything other than the agreed purposes.

The third question focuses on how data is stored. It is important to ensure that data is stored securely and access is restricted to authorized personnel only.

The fourth question addresses encryption, an important aspect of data security. Encryption helps protect data in transit and at rest. It is also essential to know who has access to encrypted data and how that access is controlled and controlled.

The last question is about data retention. It is important to have clear policies about when sensitive data should be cleared or removed. Keeping data longer than necessary can increase the risk of a data breach.

Just the beginning

These five questions are just the beginning of what startup founders should consider when it comes to cybersecurity.

They should start with a risk assessment to identify vulnerabilities and potential threats. Based on the risk assessment, a cybersecurity strategy should be developed to address these risks. This strategy should include measures to prevent, detect and respond to cyber threats.

Startup founders should also educate their employees on cybersecurity best practices. Employees can be the weakest link in any organization’s cyber security and they need to be trained to recognize and respond to cyber threats.

Implementing security controls is another critical aspect of cybersecurity. Founders must implement several security controls to protect their data and systems. These controls can include firewalls, antivirus software, encryption, and access controls.

Monitoring for suspicious activity is also important. Founders should monitor their systems and networks for unusual activity that may indicate a cyberattack is underway. This may include checking for unusual logins, changes to system settings, or data exfiltration.

Regular security audits can help identify potential weaknesses in a startup’s cybersecurity. These audits should be performed by an independent third party to ensure they are thorough and objective.

Finally, startup founders must have a plan for responding to a cyber attack. Despite the best efforts to prevent cyber-attacks, they can still happen.

Founders must have a plan to contain the attack, notify stakeholders, and restore operations.

The world has changed in recent years and with the rise of remote working and digitization, cybersecurity has become even more important.

Cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to infiltrate systems, steal sensitive data and disrupt business operations. Therefore, it is imperative that startup founders take a proactive approach to cybersecurity and take robust measures to protect themselves and their clients.

Cybersecurity is a critical issue for startup founders. It is essential to take proactive measures to protect their data and systems from cyber threats.

By taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity, startup founders can protect themselves and their clients, build trust and loyalty, and ensure the long-term viability of their business.

With the increasing threat of cybercrime, there is no time to lose. TThe time to act is now.


Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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