The online world is here to stay and if anything the importance of having an online presence, both personally and businesswise is increasing. While the online world offers a lot of benefits, it also comes with an inherent risk factor. That is why more and more businesses have started placing a lot of emphasis on information security, or infosec as it is commonly called.
Infosec includes the practice, policies, and procedures that businesses implement to ensure that all information is protected. This includes information that is transmitted, used in transactions, stored, or transported. As an up-and-coming business, startups often feel that they need to get their house in order before moving on to the matter of infosec. However, this is a wrong approach as infosec for any coming business, especially a startup is essential to keep the business running.
Role of information in successful running of a business
Information is the new currency
In today’s world, there’s no denying that data or information is the new currency. Whether it is the launch of a new product or entry into a new market or even adding a new customer to your portfolio, you cannot do it without information. While information is required for all these instances we have mentioned above, security is also vital. For example, if the information about your new product is not protected, you are likely to lose your competitive edge. Or if your competitors get information on the terms on which your customer is being onboarded, then it is likely that they may try to usurp the customer.
Poor security is expensive
Many small businesses that decided that security was the last priority will vouch for the fact that taking a reactive approach to information security has cost them a lot. Not only did the poor security measures affect their operations, but poor infosec or lack of infosec had them facing the expense of costly clean-ups. This is not counting the opportunity cost lost due to their inability to onboard new customers due to the lack of proper infosec measures.
Lack of data security affects reputation
If you are a startup vying to compete with similar companies, you will realize that having robust information security measures in place will help you gain a competitive advantage. Customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders will spread the word that your business is trustworthy and this will help you build a positive reputation in the market. On the other hand, the lack of information security will affect your reputation adversely.
Threats to security are rising
Since the past couple of years, most businesses have realized that having an online presence and enabling interactions online is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Unfortunately, with the rise in online presence, the threats to security are rising. Unsavory elements leverage technology to breach data, hold businesses ransom and threaten their very existence. That is why it is critical to ensure that as a startup, you have robust security measures in place.
It is part of the compliance requirements
With the whole world moving online, governments and statutory authorities have stepped in to ensure that all entities that transact with businesses online are assured of security. As a result, infosec has become part of compliance. As a startup with sparse resources and a reputation to build in a competitive market, it is imperative that you meet compliance requirements.
Infosec is basic hygiene
The all-pervasive nature of the online world is such that in today’s world, robust information security is not a luxury but part of basic hygiene. If you are competing in today’s market, the minimum expectation from a business is that it has taken measures to secure information. This relates to all kinds of information including internal, external, and other sources.
Data breaches lead to losses
Many a business has lost everything overnight due to data breaches, including information about their customers, product secrets, and their reputation. As a startup, you are obligated to protect your business from losses as you are likely to have drawn on sources like angel investors, venture capitalists, and various other sources to run your business.
Infosec in today’s world is not a good-to-have but a must-have for a startup to ensure that it can survive and thrive in the current dynamics.