Mobile apps, websites, and games are now almost a dime a dozen as an increasing number of ventures all rush in to come up with the next hot app, idea, or piece of software. AppBrain has looked into it, and says that at the time of writing, the Android market alone has almost 3 million apps available. Whatever specific functionality or interest you might have, you can just run a quick search and find a dozen Internet or mobile apps for that use. The pace and sheer volume of app creation has wound up creating a high percentage of substandard apps whose development is so poor that nearly 1 in 4 users abandon them before they ever fully use them the first time.
What’s even worse than users abandoning apps is that bad apps can wind up leaving users exposed. Codified Security did a study that showed nearly half of all published apps were leaving vulnerable backdoors open to attackers that might exploit them. Such vulnerabilities could either leave user data exposed or let malicious actors get access to servers and computers that were used for the development and testing.
The industry is certainly a competitive one, and that means many ventures feel pressured to deliver or ship their software as quickly as they can. On the other hand, careless testing and shoddy coding can wind up leaving both a firm and its users exposed to a number of cyber attack risks that risk some possibly disastrous results. The issue gets even more prevalent when there are new technology trends like the new wave of services, apps, software, and devices coming thanks to the Internet of things, or IoT, and financial technology.
Keep reading into the following paragraphs to learn 4 specific and good reasons why IT security needs to be a top concern for all kinds of tech startups.
1) So Many Threats
Every year, numerous tech firms, banks, government institutions, and Internet infrastructure providers all fall prey to high-profile cyber attacks. However, for each big name that makes the news, there are dozens of smaller firms that also suffered attacks, and to be perfectly honest, there were quite a few big names that suffered attacks and made sure they didn’t make the news. The threats are numerous, but they include things like data breaches, ransomware, and distributed denial-of-service attacks, also known as a DDoS. Security firms like Kaspersky constantly identify ransomware as a top threat, wherein an establishment sees malware encrypt the files on a network or crucial server or computer; they only get the files back after a ransom is paid. In the case of DDoS attacks, a server is overloaded with traffic so that users can’t access the website, which has happened to The New York Times, Spotify, and even Netflix. Data breaches might be the worst for customers and users since confidential information that includes financial, personal, or proprietary information might be sold for a nice profit on the black market.
2) Attacks Cost Money:
Getting attacked can cost an IT firm a lot of money. Any business that suffers disruption or downtime is going to suffer unnecessary costs and expenses. Incapsula is a network security firm that often estimates how expensive downtime is for e-commerce sites who get hit by DDoS attacks, as they typically lose $40,000 per hour. Big businesses don’t want that, and startups certainly can’t afford those kind of losses or even paying out ransomware. The average ransomware is only $722, but if a firm doesn’t have a backup system in place, getting locked out for any duration is potentially catastrophic. After Yahoo suffered massive data breaches, its sale price nosedived. Companies that actually pay ransoms don’t even get assurances that they’ll even get their access and files back.
3) Tech Startups Really Should Enforce Better Standards:
Truth be told, tech startups really should just have much higher standards than others in their industry or especially other industries. Many businesses wind up getting exposed for different reasons, and those that weren’t tech startups are particularly vulnerable. Non-tech companies might have a harder time handling things if they have people in charge of IT security that aren’t actually tech professionals. Also, if a tech startup is going to market itself as an expert firm with superior products, apps, or services, then network security monitoring really has to be a crucial part of their work. Getting breached or attacked can ruin the reputation of a tech firm and they might never recover. In the world of identity theft, the executive of Life-lock tried demonstrating confidence in his product by publishing his own personal Social Security number, but when his identity got stolen, the company became the laughing stock of their industry.
4) Beware The Unknown Unknowns:
For all the facts and possibilities mentioned so far, tech startups and even established firms need to be on the constant lookout for new ways to upgrade their IT security because the unethical souls, mischievous people, and outright criminal elements out there are always looking, hunting, poking, and prodding for any hole they can find and exploit to ruin a business, disrupt the world, or make some money, be it legal or not. Staying ahead of the curve is in fact the only way to keep up with the latest and greatest in protecting your own products and user data or information from falling into the wrong hands.
What Can Be Done?
Tech startups need to be constantly focused on the many threats that they might face. For starters, they should never release anything to the public that hasn’t been rigorously tested for safety and security. While some exploits won’t be discovered until a release is public, you never want to put something out that you know might have issues that could embarrass your outfit or even endanger it or your users. Also, make sure you have employees dedicated to both constantly testing your products and networks as well as updating patches and what-not. Your own products should also have patches released quickly when issues are found. Also hire external or third-party experts to test out everything you have to have things looked at with a set of fresh and objective eyes.