Do you intend to start a new business venture in 2018? Are you developing a fantastic product with some business associates that you are keeping secret for the time being? What steps are you taking to get your start-up business off on the right foot?
If you handle your finances, share documents and store files electronically, you are in danger of getting hacked. Every business — including your start-up — is a potential target. In fact, sending emails and storing information on the Cloud has already exposed you to the dangers of cyber-attacks.
How to help protect your business from hackers
Data security can no longer be just a portion of your business plan; it needs to be your No. 1 priority. What can you do, and where do you start?
- Urgency: First, understand that hacking is not a matter of “if” your information will be compromised; it is a matter of “when.” Create a sense of urgency within your company about addressing cybersecurity concerns now, before becoming complacent and letting the hard work slide to “another day.” Someone may already be stalking your communications and product plans.
- Plan: Create a plan for protecting your intellectual property and steps to take if a breach is discovered. The Cyberplanner tool created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2012 can be a good place to start.
- Limit exposure: Carefully choose which business systems and applications you need to do your work. If your information is spread across multiple tools, it can be harder to stay up to date with the protections available for each program.
- Passwords: Change passwords on a regular basis and don’t keep list of your passwords or anyone else’s on computers.
- Education: Educate yourself and your employees about the dangers of phishing, viruses and suspicious emails as these are gateways for hackers to infiltrate your system and steal your intellectual property.
Don’t leave your business and your business ideas exposed. Find out other ways to protect your intellectual property by contacting a business attorney who handles IP matters.