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Security is only as strong as the weakest link: 5 Tips for Startups on Cybersecurity

Written by Maria 01 Read time 3 min

Together with our community members Aatos.app, Inventure and Accenture we hosted a webinar session about: Why should you care about startups’ cybersecurity?

Security is only as strong as the weakest link: 5 Tips for Startups on Cybersecurity

Together with our community members Aatos.app, Inventure and Accenture we hosted a webinar session about: Why should you care about startups’ cybersecurity? We wanted to focus on providing the latest and best insights on cybersecurity by having various stakeholders from our community give their take on the topic.

To honor the event and the insights we wanted to share a piece with you that will give any growth company the best tricks and hacks to ensure they have a checklist in place when taking security matters forward in the company.

You are also welcome to relive the session by watching it here.

1. Educate your employees

Educating your personnel on the simplest security hacks and agreeing on common practices is the key to keep both company and employee information safe and secured. As Niko Marjomaa, Security Consulting Manager from Accenture suggested this is crucial for startups facing rapid growth with new people joining the team. Fast growth creates pressure to have suitable security practices adequately mapped out from early on. 

Building a security-conscious company culture is additionally a theme that Severi Haverila, Co-Founder & Technology from Aatos.app highlighted. Security should become a natural part of your everyday work despite how long have you been working for the company. And if it’s not, you should make it as such.

2. Build your product or service with security in mind 

Having a security-driven software development approach is optimal, suggested Haverila. In order to take that approach one needs to consider the technical aspect of cybersecurity: how your products or services are coded. Therefore, the security-driven approach is about asking questions that enable you to take the place of the possible hacker, understanding what are the weak links in your systems, and how to prepare to mitigate those risks. 

Additionally, it is important to make security a seamless part of the user experience. If security processes are only implemented with security, and not user, experience in mind, it can lead to a bad user experience and eventually even prevent your company growth when customers refrain from using your product or service.

3. Take accountability and delegate ownership

Haverila pointed out that security policies and processes may not remain necessarily obvious when your team grows. Therefore, the only way to make them obvious is to document the security policies and processes. This should be done to ensure everybody understands why and how for example two factor authentication, strong passwords, and VPN connection are used. Additionally, communicating these policies with new employees joining the company is crucial as well, without forgetting to have regular security check-ins among the whole team.

4. Use your resources wisely

Startups usually have limited resources and you have to be really careful where you direct your focus. Instead of leaning towards doing it yourself methodology, it might be more beneficial to get external help for security matters. For example, using existing security modules and tools can make your company and its processes more secure without wasting your own resources. This can mean anything from using cloud and 3rd party offerings or just as simple to have 4 eyes on double-checking invoices to be paid as Timo Tirkkonen, Co-Founder & Partner from Inventure emphasized. Tirkkola’s example highlights an example of the simplest ways to oversee security within your company and how to be inclusive in security matters as well.

5. Make security visible to your customers

In order to do business with big companies, you have to prove that you’re secure. And this applies to any type of customer as well. Secure processes create trust towards existing and future customers. So don’t just be secure, but also show it.