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For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

Three smart cybersecurity tips for start ups

As a start up, investing in cybersecurity should be one of your highest priorities. Good online hygiene is essential to prevent your private data in the form of emails, transaction records and bank details from falling into the wrong hands.

Today’s world is dotted with criminals attempting to steal from you through your computer systems and networks. Hacking is no longer a problem exclusive to large entities such as banks and government institutions. In 2017, 61% of data breach victims were small businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees.

Unfortunately, it could take you up to 196 days to identify a data breach - by which time the criminals will be long gone. What's more, understandably, your start up may have limited resources.

The question then becomes, who should be responsible for your cybersecurity? What are the right measures to protect your tiny venture in this big world?

Protect your start up from cybercrimes with the following tips from SXSW Interactive.

1. Make cybersecurity everyone’s job

Cybersecurity should be part of everyone’s job description. Entrusting all security measures to a single individual is a risky affair.

Take the example of Equifax’s 2017 security breach. After a massive data breach, the company exposed dates of birth, names, contact details and driving licence numbers to criminals. The Chief of Security probably missed the warning among thousands of other emails.

The key takeaway from the incident was that security should be a business-wide venture. Even if your team does not understand all the technicalities, they should be proactive in protecting business information from threats.

2. Streamline your security and business operations

Set up your infrastructure in collaboration with your in-house engineers and your security team. When hacks occur, you need a reliable team to investigate and find solutions. In this way, your systems will work to boost your efficiency and manage your security.

Remember always to have an in-house team that manages your security. Oculus learnt the hard way after an expired security certificate stopped their software from working.

Additionally, always, always back up. In 2014, Code Spaces went out of business after a hacker wiped out all their data. Since they did not have a back-up in place, their operations collapsed.

Lastly, ensure that only your people have access to your infrastructure. Only recently, a team of researchers discovered that hackers were taking advantage of Tesla’s cloud environment, and using the computer resources to mine cryptocurrencies.

3. Look for SOC 2-compliant service providers

If you outsource any of your data handling to a third party (such as a cloud platform or SaaS provider), it's important to check their practices are as secure as possible.

Instead of taking potential partners through a 683-question security survey, ask whether they're SOC 2-compliant. This is a quick way to ensure they have the right processes in place to protect your data, and stop criminals getting their hands on sensitive information.

Conclusion

Securing yourself from online threats should begin from the day you start up. With the tips above, you can protect your new venture from costly cybercrimes and keep your operations running smoothly.

To learn more about staying safe online, visit Reciprocity Lab's FAQs on the importance of cybersecurity.

Copyright 2019. Sponsored post by Reciprocity Labs

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