Dealing with Security Threats to Your Startup

July 26, 2010

Even if your startup’s security doesn’t quite rise to the level of military intelligence and classified information, you do need to pay attention to security issues. The stakes are higher than just the damage to your reputation if it turns out your CTO has friended the next “Robin Sage” on Facebook.

According to secure web hosting providers FireHost, over 17,000 websites are hacked a day, and it’s no longer just governmental agencies that are the targets. So if your business relies on its website – whether for e-commerce or just online presence, then you should take steps to secure it – to both human and technical vulnerabilities.

When choosing a hosting provider, says FireHost CEO Chris Drake, many folks look for the statistics around up-time and performance. But security provisions need to be taken into consideration as well. After all, if your business relies on website up-time and performance, a security breach can cause as much damage – if not more – than your host provider simply going down. Fines for leaked credit card information, for example, might run upwards of $200 per affected consumer and the damage to your finances, let alone your brand, could easily ruin your business.

You might want to bookmark FireHost’s list of steps to take if your website is hacked:

• Step 1 Announce and assess the breach
• Step 2 Conduct a deeper investigation
• Step 3 Notify affected individuals and organizations and begin remediation
• Step 4 Re-launch
• Step 5 Communicate the resolution publicly and to affected parties
• Step 6 Take steps to remediate vulnerabilities and prevent a future breach

But an ounce of prevention, as the saying goes, is worth a pound of cure. And Drake recommends taking steps to prevent security crises before they happen.

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