Importance of Application Security and Customer Data Protection to a Startup
When you are a startup, there are umpteen things that demand your attention. You must give your hundred percent (probably even more!) to work effectively and efficiently with the limited resources.
Understandably, the application security importance may be pushed at the bottom of your things-to-do list. One other reason to ignore web application protectioncould be your belief that only large enterprises are prone to data breaches, and your startup is hardly noticeable to become a target.
Well, these eye-opening statistics prove otherwise.
- 43% of security attacks target small businesses
- New small businesses witnessed a 424% rise in security breaches in 2019
- 60% of small businesses close within six months of cyberattacks
- SMEs can lose more than $2.2 million a year to cyberattacks
How Can Cyber Breaches Impact Your Startup?
Unless you belong to the category of data security startups, which are thoroughly familiar with the importance of a secure web app, your startup can face dire consequences of a cyberattack:
- Loss of critical and sensitive data of customers, employees, third parties, and the company
- Systems downtime, resulting in loss of employee and organizational productivity
- Financial setback due to revenue loss or post cyberattack response expenditures
- Possibility of regulatory lawsuits or penalties for non-compliance with web application protectionmeasures
- Reputation damage in the eyes of customers, partners, and most importantly, investors
- Closure of business
How to Create an Effective Application Security Protection Plan?
Now that you know that your startup is as vulnerable as large companies to security breaches, here are the proactive steps you must take to mitigate the risks:
1—Familiarize Yourself with Types of Cyber Attacks
The list of types of cyber attacks keeps growing, with new security attacks surfacing every year. But you must make yourself aware of the most common ones like phishing and spear-phishing, DoS and DDoS, SQL injection, malware, compromised/stolen devices, cross-site scripting, and zero-day attacks. This will help you to understand the potential security risk areas of your startup and formulate a comprehensive plan for a secure web app.
2—Promote a Culture of Cyber Security Among Employees
You would be surprised to learn that many attacks occur due to employee negligence! Weak passwords, use of company/BYOD devices in public wi-fi spots, ignoring company cybersecurity guidelines, and opening phishing emails are among a few examples of human errors in IT security.
Hence, it is crucial to sensitize your employees about the application security importance through routine dedicated training programs. If required, take strict disciplinary action against a negligent employee – you should not encourage a careless attitude towards the cybersecurity of your startup.
Do make sure to install security software on your employee devices as an endpoint security measure.
3—Put a Cap on Data Access Permission
Even if you are working with a small team in your startup, the likelihood of data loss or theft is quite possible, especially if you work remotely across different geographical locations.
You all may be sharing a common password, or you may be storing data in a cluttered way. This is like extending an open invitation to hackers. You need to ensure that you restrict the access of sensitive or confidential information to only those people who need it to perform their job. You should also set up multiple authorization/permission levels for data access, depending on how sensitive the data is.
4—Conduct Rigorous Security Testing
Security testing is one of the best preventive measures to identify all possible vulnerabilities, weaknesses, risks, and threats in your application on four focus areas:
- Network Security
- System Software Security
- Client-Side Application Security
- Server-Side Application Security
It also checks whether your application can keep the data confidential in case of attacks. The security testing evaluates your application on multiple levels, such as vulnerability scanning, security scanning, penetration testing, and risk assessment. If any bugs are detected, developers can easily fix them through coding.
5—Create Incident and Failure Response Strategy
No matter how diligently you follow all web application protectionmeasures, there is always the possibility of loopholes. Such scenarios call for an incident and failure response plan.
It lays down the course of action your staff must take when a security breach incident occurs. This will help you to prevent, contain, and control the issue without losing any time.
If you have not taken application security importance seriously, it’s about time that you act upon it promptly. You can partner with cybersecurity experts like Indusface, which has end-to-end, customized security solutions for startups.
For example, Indusface Apptrana is designed for the comprehensive protection of your web application for all domains. Some of its key features are:
- Continuous detection of risks through automated security scans and manual Pen-Testing
- Patching of vulnerabilities through web application firewall with assured zero false positives
- Mitigation of DDoS attacks
- 24*7 and a 360-degree view of your application security
A stitch in time saves nine. Application security and customer data protection measures are no different.
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