Although this story focuses on the challenges of startups, cybersecurity is an area that both startups and established companies must deal with on a daily basis.
Let's start by telling you a story: I often speak with startup CEOs/CIOs in open forums to learn about their unique ideas and explore ways I can help. Typically, the CEO's speech begins like this: “I am an expert in this area of knowledge and I realized ten years ago that an unresolved situation affected millions of people. Researching, I discovered that I have special coping skills and a unique value proposition, but timing and regulations imposed difficult challenges. Current events, whether industry vertical technologies, new regulations, or new IT (cloud) models, allowed me to complete the vision and build a prototype approved by an accelerator willing to fund us to move forward. We have been in the dark for at least ten years and we finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Don't get me wrong, these aren't old stories: I heard this last Monday during a startup event in Houston.
After the presentation, I approached the CEO, introduced myself, and asked for more information about the triggering event, the so-called butterfly effect. This time, the story flows like this:
- You know, Jose, we're doing remote lab work for millions of people with chronic conditions, and we need to take human samples from a remote location, process the sample, communicate with a central site, and create a portal to allow my medical team to identify events and inform the customer proactively.
Lovely I thought, this is a real contribution to society, congratulations on that. But then, I asked the explosive question. What are you doing to protect your solution platform from cyber threats? It sounds like your solution has many pieces and integrations, and being delivered from the cloud, using remote sensing, IoT, and mobile apps, your solution has a large attack surface (points of vulnerability). You can ask a Managed Service Provider (MSP) to help you mitigate or eliminate many vulnerabilities.
In this case, the CEO and his team did an excellent job, and we have time to review their approach to cover many aspects typically covered by an MSP, such as:
- Risk Assessment: The CIO of a startup may want to hire an MSP to perform a risk assessment to identify potential vulnerabilities in their IT infrastructure. This could include evaluating the security of the company's network, data backups, and disaster recovery plans.
- Secure API design: An MSP can help design secure APIs by implementing secure coding practices such as input validation, data encryption, and access controls.
- API gateway implementation: An MSP can help implement an API gateway, which acts as a secure proxy between the startup's APIs and external clients. The API gateway can enforce security policies such as rate limiting, authentication, and authorization.
- Monitoring and alerts: An MSP can monitor the startup's APIs for suspicious activity and security incidents. In real time, they can set up alerts to notify the startup's IT team of potential security breaches.
- API security testing: An MSP can perform regular security testing of the startup's APIs to identify and remediate any vulnerabilities before attackers take advantage of them.
At Honne Services, we are committed to providing cloud security solutions and services for startups. We are always available to help our clients navigate cloud security challenges and ensure the success of their businesses.
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Author: Jose Noguera – Country Manager USA