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Launch Your Startup to Success With These Security Steps

Posted by on Jul 12, 2013

In a wave of hacking and widespread pirating, governments around the world are urging consumers and citizens to proactively protect their data. Developing enterprises, startups, and small businesses have all fallen victim to hacking, security breaches, and leaks. One way to combat this threat is by enacting better security practices in house while cloud-sourcing sensitive data storage and sync to a private cloud service. Third party cloud services allow startups to leverage the latest technology in their favor, reducing the need for expensive servers, large IT teams, and upgrades. But unless the third party cloud service provider can offer data privacy and user anonymity, sensitive company data could be left vulnerable to a breach.

The Global Rush to Cyber Security

Image courtesy of businesscomputingworld.co.uk

All around the world, governments are encouraging their businesses and startups to better protect their data. The ongoing cyber wars between China and the U.S. have put cyber security front and center for exhibiting defense companies at the recent Paris Airshow. According to Chief Executive of Alliant Techsystems, Mark DeYoung, “We, like others, are constantly being bombarded by people who are trying to get into our systems.” Companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin have been targets of a constant bombardment of hacking attempts. And as Dave Hess, President of Pratt & Whitney, said, “The threat is not exaggerated. It’s a significant issue that we’re all struggling with.”

Mark DeYoung

Photo courtesy of deseretnews.com

The UK government has also jumped on the cyber security train, with a £4 million campaign to raise cyber security awareness among businesses and consumers throughout the UK. This Home Office campaign is part of the UK’s National Cyber Security Programme, which seeks to educate citizens about the threat of cyber crime. According to Minister for Security James Brokenshire, “The digitization of the UK economy has made our lives easier and has created huge opportunities, but it has also created individual security risks as well. If we are to meet these new challenges it’s essential we step up our efforts to stay safe online. The threat of cyber crime is real and the criminals involved are organized and driven by profit. By making small changes British businesses can remain competitive in the global economy and consumers can have greater confidence using the Internet.”

Security Costs

Image courtesy of wsj.net

Africa is currently a hotbed of development and startups. But with this rapid growth comes the increased threat of hacking and security breaches. From notorious Nigerian 411 scams to malware and phishing attacks, many African countries have become primary sites and targets of cyber crime. Steve Santorelli, Director of Global Outreach at Team Cymru, said, “Connectivity has significantly improved in many African countries and the rate of online criminal activity has gone up, leading to better awareness among top managers and people allocating budgets.” One way the continent is combating cyber crime is through promoting and adopting CERT, a multinational organization that monitors, reports, and responds to instances of cyber crime. So far, 11 African countries have signed on to CERT including Egypt, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, and Sudan. Africa’s cyber security problem is highlighted by Palesa Legoze, a Director of South Africa’s Department of Communication,  “For the longest time, South Africa was number three in phishing activity, behind U.S.A. and the U.K.; this is not a government problem, it’s everyone’s problem and there is need for coronation to protect critical internet infrastructure.” As Legoze asserts, securing company and consumer data won’t come from the top down. Rather, consumers and companies must take their security in their own hands, filtering through the market to find truly private cloud solutions for their sensitive data.

A recent report from the U.S. Secret Service and PricewaterhouseCoopers, shows that only 40% of polled executives could identify how effective their security programs were. Enterprises and startups should have clear security standards, procedures, and measures to guard against security breaches that could halt productivity and even damage brands. Startups are especially at risk, as shown by a recent study conducted by Symantec. Symantec Vice President Brian Burch says, “Your business is at its most vulnerable when it’s just starting out – finances are often on a knife-edge, you worry about who to trust with your business plan and who to hire. But risks go beyond poor cash flow and personnel – in today’s digital economy, information is money, and cybercriminals are stealing whatever information they can from businesses large and small, young and old. Startups are not escaping their attention.”

Security for Startups and Enterprises

Startups and enterprises of all sizes can protect sensitive consumer and corporate data from any snooping eyes through storing and syncing with a private cloud service. For enterprises looking for a truly private cloud, SpiderOak Blue offers fully private “public” and onsite server deployment options for full flexibility. Choosing the right third party cloud service can be a challenge as many services on the market have security gaps that leave private data vulnerable to third party attacks, malware, and legal snooping. But SpiderOak sets itself apart from the rest of the market by providing a fully private cloud service featuring all of the benefits of cloud storage along with 100% data anonymity.

SpiderOak protects startup data through 256-bit AES encryption so that sensitive files and passwords stay private. Authorized accounts can store and sync sensitive data with complete privacy, because this cloud service has absolutely “zero-knowledge” of user passwords or data. And all plaintext encryption keys are exclusively stored on approved devices, as SpiderOak never hosts plaintext data. SpiderOak Blue’s private cloud services are available for enterprises on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, along with Android and iOS mobile devices, making this one of the only cross-platform solutions on the market.

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