How to integrate security in IT Startups

IT Startup companies often aim at building a minimal viable product as fast as possible to reduce costs. They just forget one thing: a strategy like that can be costly later on. Especially if the security part was dismissed in the development phase. If a Startup invests some money into security right from the scratch, the costs will be much lower in the end. Why? And what is our strategy to build security in IT Startup companies? Find out more in the following lines.

IT security: a brief history

Over the last 20+ years IT security changed a lot. In the 1990s, it was only a topic for operation system vendors and virus scanning software. But in the early 00 years malware and malicious software started to attack specific applications. From that point on security needed to be an integral part of software development. The goal was clear: avoid misuses from malicious software and malware. They can easily lead to data breaches and data losses, as well as reputational damage, which is fatal for a Startup.

Examples for a lack of security in IT products

There are a lot of examples for such security breaches in software:

Implementation of the security

Security is everywhere. So it is not just a switch that needs to be turned on, or a final security test. As the examples show, security needs to be in every part of the software product, such as

  • the software itself
  • data layer
  • cloud layer
  • network layer
  • deployment layer

As a result, security needs to be integrated in the whole software development process - which means that every phase of the software development is affected, from requirements to maintenance. Furthermore, the team needs to be trained to have the security aspects in mind during the whole process.

The importance of security implementation in the beginning

In many cases - as the examples above have shown - security is not in the focus of software projects at all. High costs are the consequence. For big companies that would be tremendous. For Startups it can be more grave: in the worst case it means to go bankrupt because of such an issue.

Our recommendation: Mind security right from the beginning.

Fixing security issues: costs

The earlier an issue is discovered the cheaper it can be fixed. If an issue is found in the design phase it is relatively convenient to fix it. If the lack of security is not fixed, the costs to overhaul it in production can be up to 100 times more. That makes clear that the later an issue is found the more problems can arise.

Costs of a security issue compared to point in time found - refs https://snyk.io/learn/secure-sdlc/

Security in IT Startups: the sigma star approach

Our special offer for Startups is to implement security right from the beginning. How that works? We bring an experienced sigma star security engineer into your team. He will train the developers and ensures that security is governed at every phase of the development life cycle of the new product. The alternative would be to employ many experienced developers and engineers for all necessary tasks which is very costly over all. To have a security specialist joining the team allows the other team members to focus on their main tasks: the development and evolution of the product itself.

Advantages in a nutshell

  • reduced costs
  • team members can focus on their core job
  • security built into the product
  • as we share our knowledge your team gets better at security topics over time and can finally go on their own

You have a Startup and need support with security issues? Feel free to contact us. The earlier, the better.