4 Simple Data Strategies for High Tech Startups

data

As a startup, one of the most important business functions that you should understand is how to handle and manage your data strategies. Being data-driven can tremendously improve your decision-making and allow you to stay ahead of the curve as you make smart choices.

While you don’t need to be an IT expert in order to adopt efficient data management strategies, it is worth educating yourself regarding the basics so that you can be confident using that data for your everyday business needs.

To help you get started, we highlight some fundamental and simple data strategies that can take your business high tech startup to the next level. 

Store and Share Data Strategies Easily

As a first step, you need to invest in a system that allows your startup to store and share data with ease. The goal should be to eliminate any data silos and make the information accessible to all employees.

Begin by carrying out a preliminary assessment of your startup, such as the size of the company, existing IT structure, computer applications in use, and if applicable, cloud services being utilized. This will give you the information you need to identify the kind of data storage your startup requires and guide you towards the optimal storage solution and digital services for your business.

For example, you can consider investing in a network-attached storage device such as Western Digital NAS that comes with pre-integrated storage services to preserve your data. This will not only add storage space but also make it easier for employees to collaborate with each other as they will be able to access data remotely in one central location.

Train Employees in Data Use and Management

Gathering, storing, and accessing data are just the first step in your startup’s overall data strategy. Equally important is knowing how to analyze and use that data to make strategic decisions. In this regard, it is important to train your employees on how to use and manage business data.

While many companies may opt for standardized data training courses, we suggest exploring solutions that offer tailored training so that your organization’s individual needs are addressed. The training and development your startup offers should have three main objectives:

  • Enable employees to understand the data.
  • Instruct employees on how to analyze the data.
  • Teach employees on how to apply the data to make informed business decisions. 

Make Use of Data for Business Functions

data

Knowing how to use data to improve business performance and operations is integral for any data strategy. This means sifting through vast amounts of data gathered by your company to identify which type of data matters and is most useful for business functions.

For example, as with any business, your startup will need to accurately analyze customer data to understand customer touchpoints. Having an understanding of customer journeys can help to improve their overall experience and increase conversion opportunities. Similarly, as a startup, you can make use of forecasting data to present information about predicated revenue and costs to your investors in order to secure additional funding.

Generally, using data for your business needs is critical for achieving both short- and long-term business goals. It can help you to not only improve your overall business strategy but enable you to explore opportunities to grow your business, improve your product or service, and streamline internal operations. 

Protect Your Data Strategies

Considering how data breaches are becoming common, it is important that your startup takes every step possible to protect and secure your data infrastructure against both hardware failure and malware or hacking.

A data protection strategy can solve your problems by clearly articulating the measures you need to take to protect your data. For example, start by creating a reliable backup system for your data and invest in a trustworthy antivirus software. You should also consider additional cybersecurity measures such as two-factor authentication, encryption software, and a VPN.

Additionally, hire in-house cyber security experts or outsource the job to a reliable company to ensure round-the-clock data security for your business. 

The Bottom Line

As a high tech startup, knowing how to effectively and efficiently manage and use data should be at the top of your to-do list. By setting up a data strategy, you can begin to define your data needs and identify the management tools or software you will need in order to handle and make sense of the data.

Lastly, remember to invest in a data analytics team so that you have a dedicated set of employees with a specialist skill set who can make good use of relevant data to suit your business growth needs.

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Affordable Cybersecurity Solutions for Small Businesses

cybersecurity

All businesses, whether large or small, typically generate a lot of delicate and vital data. That’s why they must have solutions that protect and secure all generated and shared data inside the business realm and out of the reach of cybercriminals. Cybersecurity is essential to the wellbeing and success of your company.

Larger companies and businesses typically have IT sectors and use their beneficial skills to secure sensitive data. However, most small companies often deal with insufficient security and protection sectors, and they usually don’t have proper solutions to protect them from phishing and other common cyberattacks.  

Businesses might not properly treat cybersecurity as a top priority. However, the current landscape does indicate that attitudes are changing. More and more companies choose to invest in the security and reliability of their services. After all, cybercriminals continuously introduce new threats, many of them targeted against small companies as well.  

All unprotected data is valuable to cybercriminals, so safeguarding your small business against cyberattacks must be the top priority. Luckily, there are affordable cybersecurity tools for small businesses that can effectively secure valuable and sensitive data and protect you from any threat. 

1. VPN (Virtual Private Network) 

The first solution on our list is the most affordable but still an effective tool that can protect even the data of your employees. VPNs are not only suitable for small businesses. Large companies also turn to quality Virtual Private Networks for their cybersecurity defense systems.  

What can VPN do to improve your company’s safety? 

As the name suggests, a Virtual Private Network can create a virtual bridge between your private network and a public server. That means a VPN allows you to secure your company’s valuable data when surfing the internet or doing anything else online.  

For instance, you might perform all necessary network security measures in the office. However, many people work from home or might even use personal computers for their tasks. Sadly, the conditions on unknown networks are difficult to predict. Therefore, a VPN for PC devices at home is crucial to ensure a secure exchange of information. This protection should extend to smartphones if employees communicate via various apps or access corporate details.  

2. Two-factor password authentication 

cybersecurity

You probably know that most people who shop online use two-factor password authentication to protect their data from fraudsters. However, that is not the only perk of using this tool. Two-factor authentication solution is helpful for small businesses.  

Since passwords are typically the first thing cybercriminals hack and steal to access sensitive data, it’s not safe to use single-factor password authentication as a protection tool. It’s not enough to use only a username and password as protection.  

If you add two-factor authentication to your defense system, you can significantly lower the chances of being a cyberattack victim and putting your business in danger. Two-factor password authentication can make phishing and malware attacks almost impossible.  

You can add many types of two-factor authentication solutions to protect your business. Whichever you use, it will provide you with an effective security layer. 

This affordable solution protects valuable data and ensures no one can breach your defense system without passing through a strict two-factor authentication process.  

3. Next-generation firewall solution (NGFW) 

A firewall is another valuable solution for upgrading your company’s cybersecurity defense system. It’s a powerful tool that protects all incoming and outgoing traffic and your valuable data. 

The firewall solution works like a selective tool with the power to prevent any breach or suspicious network from compromising your company’s data.  

It detects malicious websites and networks using advanced analysis or deep packet inspection (DPI). A next-generation firewall is one of the most affordable solutions on this list, but that doesn’t mean it’s ineffective in protecting your business data from cybercriminals and malware.  

This tool is helpful if you need to restrict access to some websites or have a list of safe and malware-free apps and networks. Simply put, a firewall blocks any threat that comes from suspicious websites and apps by checking all the data you send and receive on your computer.  

If an NGFW detects malicious behavior that could lead to a data breach, it sends you an instant warning.   

4. Domain Name System (DNS)

Domain Name System protection is a powerful solution that most businesses should use to improve cybersecurity levels. This affordable tool gives an additional level of security and can protect your company’s valuable data on different levels.  

It typically prevents data breaches and prevents your employees from visiting malicious websites and endangering sensitive business data. The Domain Name System prevents access to harmful websites and helps filter unwanted content. 

It helps you control and monitor which websites your employees visit during work hours. It blocks all suspicious activities that can infiltrate and endanger your network – if all your employees use the company’s private network. Of course, there are options for changing DNS settings on computers if the need arises.  

Bottom line of Cybersecurity

All the solutions we’ve listed above are valuable cybersecurity defense systems that all businesses should implement, regardless of their size. 

Every company has sensitive data that must stay private and away from prying eyes. Just like you care about your personal belongings, it’s crucial to improve cybersecurity and protect business data, employees, and all your clients.

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6 Ways To Protect Company Data For Small Businesses

strong password

Leveraging the power of information technology (IT) is a must if you want to run a successful business. It enables you to simplify business processes to enhance efficiency. As a result, you’ll likely reduce costs, improve productivity and save time in your business. 

While that’s true, IT can also expose your business to risks. For instance, it increases the chances of your data getting accessed by unauthorized people and online attackers. And when that happens, you can lose vital information and money for your small business. Therefore, it’s necessary to protect your company data. 

There are various ways to protect data for small businesses. These include: 

    1. Working With Online Security Professionals

Cybersecurity is one of the most sensitive functions of any business. Therefore, it should be handled with much due care and diligence. 

You can develop and manage your business cybersecurity strategy if you’ve got the knowledge and believe that you can. However, sometimes you may lack adequate time to monitor business networks continuously. This exposes your company’s data to cybersecurity threats.  For that, you can consider hiring online security professionals to resolve IT issues like online attacks in your firm.  

The security company hired will take care of your business systems 24/7. And because they’re professionals in cybersecurity, they can help implement the most suitable strategies to secure your data. Ensure you hire one of the best partners in the market.  

     2. Developing Strong Passwords

Passwords are essential in running a successful business. They ensure only the right people can access specific business systems and data. This is true since no one should access your company’s networks without passwords. Therefore, you’re exposing your business data if you haven’t developed passwords to gain access to systems. 

Shaving passwords is the most basic step to protecting business data. However, these passwords must be solid. This ensures no unauthorized person can correctly guess them, thus securing your business data.  

You might think that developing strong passwords is an overwhelming task. But that isn’t true. You only need to build passwords of a reasonable length. The most recommended being between 8 and 12 characters.  

Besides the length, you must include alphabets and numeral digits in your passwords. And to make them even more robust, include a few non-standard characters such as #? ! @ % &, among others. As a result, no one will likely correctly guess your passwords to access business information.

After building strong passwords, it’d be a good idea to change them regularly. 

In addition to that, you can consider purchasing specific software to help manage your passwords. This enables you to know who is using them and for what purpose.  

Also, such software can consistently remind you about the right time to change passwords. All these helps enhance your business’s cybersecurity strategy.

    3. Adapting A Two-Factor Authentication Strategy

Today, technology is moving at a higher speed than in the past. Some cybersecurity strategies and tactics that may have worked in the past might not be good enough to protect your data.  

For instance, you can build very strong passwords. However, more often than not, still, such passwords can be compromised by online attackers. That’s to say, passwords alone aren’t effective enough to secure your business data. For that reason, it’s advisable to take advantage of two-factor authentication.  

Also known as two-step verification, two-factor authentication is a practice where system users provide two different authentication factors to prove or verify themselves. In simple terms, it involves adding an extra layer of security to online accounts. Therefore, no user will access your business data with passwords only. They must take the extra step of verifying themselves through two-factor authentication.  

You can consider adopting various ways to help create an effective two-factor authentication strategy. These include adding security questions and biometric login details like using face or fingerprints to unlock systems. This helps protect your data from unauthorized access. 

    4. Encrypting Files

Running an online business involves sharing documents or files with workers, customers, and other stakeholders. However, in some cases, unintended people may receive these files. And it becomes worse if they fall into the hands of individuals with bad intentions. That’s why you need to encrypt files before sending them to users.  

The encryption strategy enables you to encode data. As a result, no one will get their true meaning. Therefore, even if hackers or other unauthorized people receive your documents by mistake, they can’t use them to their advantage. This also boosts your business’s cybersecurity to protect your data. 

But, how will the intended users read and understand your files? They can achieve that by using binary digits provided to decode the data. As a result, they’ll read them in their original language. Make sure you select encryption software from a reputable vendor.  

protect data

    5. Setting Up Automatic Software Updates

Various types of software are essential in your business. They enable you to streamline specific operations. As a result, you’ll likely grow your firm faster.  

Despite the crucial role software plays, sometimes it can expose your business to online attacks. This is true, especially if you are using outdated systems.  

Hackers like to scan older versions of software to determine their vulnerability. Therefore, outdated tools increase the chances of your business getting accessed by online attackers. That’s why you need to set up automatic software updates.  

You can decide to update your business software manually. But sometimes, you might be too busy or forget to update them. This exposes your business to online threats. 

On the other hand, installing automatic software updates helps simplify the process. It ensures your systems always remain updated to the latest version.  

    6. Educating Employees On Cybersecurity Best Practices 

Lastly, consider educating your workers on cybersecurity best practices to help protect your business data. This is important since some online business attacks occur due to workers’ negligence or ignorance.   

For instance, some workers might not know the danger of sharing the company’s information with third parties. Besides, others may not know that sharing passwords at the workplace is a crime. Therefore, educating employees on such matters helps protect or secure your data from unauthorized people.  

Takeaway

Protecting business data isn’t always easy as you think. This is true, especially for new business owners. But with the tips in this article, you can be guaranteed to enhance your business cybersecurity strategy to protect your data from unauthorized access.

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