Online businesses are growing at an incredible speed and cybersecurity is not.

It is not that we did not realize the potential digital world had to offer, but things have grown beyond the wildest expectations.

In 1996, nine years after the launch of the World Wide Web Project, number of websites had grown to two hundred thousand with a growth of almost 1000% from the last year. People started thinking of getting their business online.

Today that number stands at 1 billion websites with several billions of applications powering these websites.

For startups and new-age growth companies, these are their windows to the world. Think about it, ‘Uber’, a humble cab company back in 2008 is valued at $62.5 billion.

All of it due to the digital world.

It’s smart. It’s simple. Your customers are online. You should be there too.

However, the billion dollar business opportunities face huge modern-day security adversities. For business-oriented people, growth and delivery are probably the only priorities. Nothing seems more important than this.

So, we spend most of our time and money perfecting the business model and making things easier for the end-user. After all, that’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s what is required to succeed, right? Everything else can wait. Even cybersecurity.

However, increased cost of ‘lost business’ and ‘good will’ damage after data breach has made most of business owners open eyes to what lies ahead. In fact, here are three facts from the Ponemon Institute’s Application Security Risk Management Report.

  • Companies dealing with 10, 000 or less customer records are most likely to hit by data breach.
  • Customers refrain from dealing with a company hit by a cybersecurity lapse.
  • ‘Loss of business’ causes most damage to companies post security breaches.

Juggling with competition, investment, and market conditions cannot afford a security breach. At the same time, cybersecurity labor market is suffering severe workforce shortage. It has been estimated that there will be a shortage of more than a million skilled cybersecurity experts in the coming three years with the requirement crossing 6 million. This shortage will not only shoot up the security budgets for most companies but will also increase the global security breach occurrences.

So, how do startups and new age growth companies afford to hire cybersecurity experts without losing focus on business?

Get off the hiring-training-managing cycle

The prime reasons for human resource scarcity was unveiled by the ‘Securing our Future: Closing the Cyber Talent Gap’ study conducted by the National Cybersecurity Alliance. Survey results showed that 67% of the respondents, aged 18-26, were never counselled about the possibility of a cybersecurity career.

Clearly, the current shortage of learned cybersecurity experts will only grow in the coming years with no specialized courses to deal with practical issues like application security.

Take these facts for instance, Gartner says that 70% of the cyberattacks happen at the application layer. Barclays study claims that 97% of the data breaches happed due to SQL Injection flaw.

And how many courses train students or professionals specifically to deal with the issues?

Amidst all of this, most big companies struggle to keep their appsec experts. And for startups, it’s a huge cost and effort that goes in vain.

You might invest a lot in training, certification and compliance for these employees, but with incredible salary offers and other benefits in the market due the demand, startups companies have to start from zero repeatedly. And with web application scanning, web application firewalls, vulnerabilities, zero day threats, patching, and DDoS, there are too many vectors to be controlled.

Enterprises might be able to match offers but startups and new-age digital businesses have to invest carefully. That’s why Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) can make a huge difference. By outsourcing application security, companies get the competitive advantage of high security without actually managing the professionals.

“We work on one thing. Application security. We thrive on improving it for our clients. Of course as managed security provider for over 700 global companies, we come with unique advantages. Last week only, we came across a serious vulnerability on one of the apps and my team was ready with a patch in hours. What’s better is that we rolled it out for all of our clients with similar apps without them asking for it. That’s the power of shared knowledge,” says Ashish Tandon, CEO, Indusface.

Think Cloud

According to the survey in ‘The State of Cloud Report’ published last year, 93% of the organizations were either running applications or experimenting with infrastructure-as-a-service. Additionally, 82% companies had a hybrid cloud strategy.

The numbers can be even higher when cloud adoption is measured just for for startups and new-age growth companies. Cost efficiency, global availability, greater space, faster delivery and resource multiplication are the cloud benefits that only a few companies can overlook.

But, are we managing the application security risks over the cloud efficiently?

Let’s take an example of elastic bandwidth. It’s an amazing feature. You only pay for the bandwidth used to accommodate variable traffic on the application. Right?

Have you ever considered the costs of spam traffic surges? Do you even know if the traffic is genuine or not? While enterprises do not really dig into these matters, inbound traffic floods can cause severe damages.

And in the end, cloud is also a set of servers in some part of the world, which can be breached. Does your cloud strategy consider those? Are you detecting protecting, and monitoring application assets?

Indusface AppTrana is the world’s leading cloud and SaaS appsec solution. Offered as managed security service, it includes web application scanning for continuous vulnerability testing and penetration testing from certified security experts, web application firewall to protect apps from hacking attempts without code changes and to log attack data to be analyzed by the experts, and to monitor attack patterns and application-layer DDoS attacks to mitigate them.

Think of Indusface AppTrana as an extended security arm. It is a dedicated team that works on your domain and applications and help you take informed decisions on application security. Find out how it actually works and what it offers in detail.

Founder & Chief Marketing Officer, Indusface

Venky has played multiple roles within Indusface for the past 6 years. Prior to this, as the CTO @indusface, Venky built the product/service offering and technology team from scratch, and grew it from ideation to getting initial customers with a proven/validated business model poised for scale. Before joining Indusface, Venky had 10+ years of experience in security industry and had held various mgmt/leadership roles in Product Development, Professional Services and Sales @Entrust.