Get Your Startup Ahead Of The IT Security Curve

By Rajat Bhargava Posted August 15, 2016

With a new high profile breach in the news seemingly every month, IT security is constantly on the minds of all organizations. For everyone, the fine line between failure and success rests upon the topic of security, whether you are a provider seeking to secure infrastructure or a consumer of services worried about your data.

People often believe that the larger the institution, the better the security. However, as we saw with the Zuckerberg breach, this is not one bit true.

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When it comes to a startup the slate is blank in regards to a security strategy. With little baggage holding your startup back you are given the opportunity to set a solid precedent in regards to security.

To understand this advantage take a look at how you can get a leg up on your startups security infrastructure starting from day one:

Try to Keep It Simple

Complexity is the bane of IT security’s existence. The more infrastructure present, the more “attack surface” available. A vast collection of network connections presents more inroads and escape routes within your overall network. In addition, the larger the network the more IT has to monitor, track, and control.

Furthermore, the growth of staff and their varying degrees of access to privileged infrastructure and data adds another facet of complexity to the snowballing issue. Your organization and infrastructure walk hand in hand in terms of growth and complexity. This is why it is very important to set in stone a strong process and access controls from day one.

To get the ball rolling in the right direction you need to hammer down the details before the number of things you have to manage grows.

Use Modern Infrastructure

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With legacy infrastructure the chances of there being security flaws is tenfold. Take Microsoft XP as an example, the large established organizations that use this for their network know they have a big surface for attack. With XP running a critical application, an update to a modern system could lead to an outage for the app, so organizations are sometimes reticent to upgrade.

For your startup it seems ridiculous to even think of going with the path above and leveraging an outdated system. This is why we see most modern businesses choosing to go with options such as AWS or Google Compute Engine, and also leveraging services rather than hand-rolled apps.

Doing the above gives your startup a leg up in the world of security, and you shouldn’t stop there. Joining your business with modern methodologies such as DevOps and CICD (continuous integration/continuous deployment) allows your infrastructure and software to update and patch security holes almost immediately after they are discovered.

Leverage Third-Party Solutions

Right from the get go your startup needs to be agile and efficient in order to compete with larger companies that may already be in your space. Third-party components can help you succeed at getting a solid jump out of the blocks.

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The time to build systems internally or play with open source solutions is just not there for your startup. Third-party solutions ranging from billing system API’s to customer-facing engagement products can help you move quickly in the beginning.

In regards to IT security, SaaS-based solutions can be used to help free up your IT organization so they can perform important development tasks that your product or business requires. Overall, these SaaS-based security solutions allow your organization to be more efficient and focused while you build.

Your Startup Can Be Stronger Than the Big Players

The idea that working with a startup is risky due to the belief they will have minimal security is in most cases dead wrong.

It is understandable that not every startup will have a stronger security solution than some of the massive enterprises out there. However, thanks to mostly the small size, startups have advantages when it comes to leveraging a strong solution.

To dive deeper into the subject of IT security for startups take a look at how your applications, cloud infrastructure, employees, and endpoints play into the big picture.

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If you would like to learn more about how we here at JumpCloud can help, drop us a note and open up a conversation.

Rajat Bhargava

Rajat Bhargava is co-founder and CEO of JumpCloud, the first Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS). JumpCloud securely connects and manages employees, their devices and IT applications. An MIT graduate with two decades of experience in industries including cloud, security, networking and IT, Rajat is an eight-time entrepreneur with five exits including two IPOs, three trade sales and three companies still private.

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