When Should a New Business Start to Focus on Cybersecurity?

By Guest Author | cybersecurity | April 25, 2022

If you are starting a company in the online space then you are likely aware of the threats of hackers and cybercriminals. However, just knowing the issues won’t help your company if you don’t take the proper actions to keep those threats at bay. When entrepreneurs start a new business, it can be easy to get so lost in the minutiae of setting up the product, finding customers, and marketing to the masses, that they forget about cybersecurity. But that could be a big mistake.


Knowing when to start focusing on cybersecurity is key because doing so will ensure that you are protecting the best interests of your company and the privacy of your customers. Failure to do one or the other could be catastrophic. Let’s talk about when you should prioritize online security and how to get started.

When Should You Start Focusing On Cybersecurity?

The answer to the question is: right now. If you have officially launched your business and you have begun to collect, store, or share any corporate or customer data, then your next move needs to be a focus on cybersecurity. 

It is an important point to remember because even if small business owners know that they need to incorporate a security strategy now, many of them don’t because they believe that they are a little fish in a big pond and they won’t even be noticed by hackers, but the opposite is actually true. Cybercriminals know that online and small business owners are not prioritizing data security, and because of that, they tend to strike more often than they do at large corporations. New and small organizations are the victim of approximately 62% of all cyberattacks.

All companies are susceptible to cybercrime because the data they store is just too alluring to potential thieves. On top of the ability to use credit card and social security numbers to take out fraudulent loans, hackers can also steal seemingly innocent information like birth dates and email addresses and sell them on the black market or use them for future scams. If your company is found to be responsible for a breach, then there could be millions of dollars in fines

While some companies will be able to pay the financial costs, many won’t be able to get past the reputational damage that is likely to occur. Customers know that their data can be at risk, and they also understand that you have plenty of competitors, so if they find that their information was compromised with your organization, then they will likely have no issue shopping elsewhere. That is why one of the tenets of staying ahead of your online competition is focusing on your customers and ensuring that they have the smoothest and most secure experience possible.

Have a Plan of Action

Now that you have completely turned your focus to cybersecurity, you need to enact a plan of action to protect your company against a potential threat and enforce the proper protections. To prevent an issue, your entire company needs to be on board, so educating the team is your first step. Your staff needs to be informed that the chance of a virus or malware is very real if they don’t take the proper precautions.

Start by explaining the most common threats and how they can come about, including phishing scams, which your team could receive via email or text. Advise your teams that these messages can often appear to be from a figure of authority, like their boss, but they are actually invalid communications sent by hackers, and if the user clicks a link or opens an attachment within, their device could be immediately infected with malware. In addition to talking about the threats, discuss how they can avoid becoming the victim by reading the full email address of the sender and by talking to management if the message looks suspicious.

If your team works remotely and outside of their home, then they should also be advised of the dangers of man-in-the-middle scams. These often occur when the employee is working out of a coffee shop or restaurant when they decide to connect to the public Wi-Fi. A hacker can set up a fake network that looks like the real deal, but when the employee connects, they are really connecting to the criminal’s computer. Once the hacker gets in through the work device, they can then make their way into the corporate network and wreak havoc.

Enable Protections

While providing the information is essential, you need to back that up with proper protections that will mitigate the chance of a breach. Start with ensuring that everyone in your organization uses complex passwords that include a combination of numbers, letters, and special characters. Then, pair that password with a form of two-factor authentication, like a separate code that is sent to their phone or a biometric fingerprint or eye scan. Your IT team or computer expert needs to ensure that employee passwords and authentication software are both updated regularly.

As an online company, you need to be extra careful when it comes to securing your network so you can ensure that all data is stored safely. Make it a habit to backup all data to an external server so if hackers take your website hostage via ransomware or there is data leakage, you can quickly recover that data and get back to business. Of course, your website should also be protected by an updated firewall and weekly antivirus software scans.

It is also essential that you create a cybersecurity response plan in the chance that a breach does occur. You need to create this strategy today so you are ready to act at a moment’s notice. This plan should incorporate every step of your recovery efforts, including how you plan to contain a virus, which programs should be recovered first, which specific employees will handle each step, and identifying how the breach occurred and who it has impacted. If any customer data was compromised, then they should be advised as well so they can protect their assets.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you need to turn your focus to cybersecurity today. Research the risks, educate your team, and enact the proper protections and you can ensure that your online business stays secure.