When building a high-growth tech startup, cybersecurity can sometimes take a backseat. However, as the digital landscape evolves and cyber threats become more sophisticated, it’s critical for executives to prioritize cybersecurity as a cornerstone of their overall security strategy.
We talked with leaders across the Powderkeg tech community about how they approach cybersecurity as it relates to their overall security strategy. These CEOs and executives shared why cybersecurity is vital to their organization’s health and explained some of the common goals and objectives they’ve used to guide cybersecurity efforts.
Advocating for Better Security: Why Cybersecurity is Key to Your Overall Security Strategy
In the digital age, data is the lifeblood of any tech company. Whether you’re handling sensitive customer information, proprietary code, or financial transactions, the security of your data is paramount.
Here are some compelling reasons why cybersecurity should be a component of your company’s strategy:
Cybersecurity protects both business and personal digital lives
These days, it’s hard to find something unrelated to the boundless scope of cybersecurity. In a nutshell, cybersecurity involves securing any cyber-based product or process. It’s not just a concern for businesses; individuals are equally vulnerable. As technology advances, cybercriminals keep pace, constantly changing their tactics to cause havoc in our lives. Grasping the importance of cybersecurity is crucial as it enables us to protect our digital lives, both personally and professionally.
Jim Goldman, CEO & Co-Founder at Trava
Safeguard sensitive information, assets, and public safety
Cybersecurity refers to the practice of protecting computer systems, networks, and sensitive information from unauthorized access, theft, damage, and other cyberthreats. Cybersecurity is important for a variety of reasons. It not only helps to protect sensitive information and assets, but can also safeguard public safety. For businesses, cybersecurity can mitigate risks associated with data breaches and other cyber threats, ensuring the continuity and stability of operations.
Emily Finkelstein, CEO at VentureXpert Advisors
Keep your digital assets and services safe from attack
Cybersecurity is ensuring your digital assets and services are safe from attack (physical or virtual). We’re a data platform housing personal identifying information (PII), so cybersecurity is critical for us and our customers. We’ve always had security in our DNA. This year we are tracking toward our first ISO27001 audit. Shameless plug for Trava, who I met through Powderkeg. They’re awesome, especially with SaaS companies. And very affordable compared to hiring your own infosec team.
Rick McGlinchey, Co-Founder at PureInsights
Prevent financial losses and maintain customer trust
Cybersecurity protects computer systems, networks, and data from unauthorized access, damage, or theft. It is crucial for companies as it safeguards sensitive information, prevents financial losses, preserves business continuity, and maintains customer trust in an increasingly interconnected and digitized world.
Jake Miller, Founder & CEO at The Engineered Innovation Group
Getting Started: Common Goals and Objectives of a Cybersecurity Strategy
Now that we’ve established why cybersecurity is crucial, let’s dive into the specific goals and objectives that should guide your cybersecurity strategy.
Safeguard Clients’ Digital Assets
As the CEO of TechAhead, a major participant in the information technology sector, I place a high priority on cybersecurity. Our dedication to safeguarding the digital assets and private data of our clients is consistent with our overall security policy. In today’s changing digital environment, data protection is vital for the business and reputation of our clients, and we at TechAhead recognize this.
We use state-of-the-art tools and procedures, like multi-factor authentication, encryption, and penetration testing, to meet our cybersecurity goals. Our solutions surpass industry norms and customer expectations because we build strong security measures into our development process. TechAhead has over 24 years of experience fostering business expansion and a customer-centric mindset, and has established a solid reputation as a reliable partner for digital transformation while ensuring the highest cybersecurity requirements.
Vikas Kaushik, CEO at TechAhead
Reduce Material Risk
The primary goal of cybersecurity strategy is to reduce material risk to the business. This material risk can impact finances, reputation, and operations. For SMBs, a single cyber attack could put them out of business. Even larger enterprises could be pushed into bankruptcy protection from a cyber incident, or lose millions from shutting down production because of a cyber attack on their supply chain, as we saw with Toyota in 2022.
With the recent (July 2023) SEC ruling that requires organizations to report the material impact of a cyber incident within four days, it’s even more crucial for senior business leaders to work with their board and security team to build an effective cybersecurity strategy. This ensures they can deploy limited capital efficiently to reduce business risk.
Ken Underhill, Co-Founder at Cyber Life
Adopt Proactive Cybersecurity Measures
Rather than waiting for a bad actor to come in and steal your data, cybersecurity allows you to be proactive. Pen-testing and other methods test your security infrastructure, identify gaps, and help guide you toward improvements. This creates a culture of continuous improvement that’s not only essential for greater cybersecurity, but for improvements across your organization as a whole.
Mark Varnas, Principal SQL Server DBA and Consultant, Red9
Emphasize Regular Cybersecurity Training
One of the biggest goals in cybersecurity is to train the team to protect themselves, each other, the business, and the clients. That’s why regular team training is so key to any cybersecurity strategy—not just during onboarding, but as an ongoing effort to keep employees updated.
With AI and other advanced technology providing new opportunities and avenues for scammers to exploit, we need to be training employees on how and what to watch for during their workdays.
Max Wesman, Chief Operating Officer at GoodHire
Cybersecurity is not a luxury but a necessity in today’s tech landscape. It’s a strategic imperative that protects your reputation, finances, and intellectual property. By setting clear goals and objectives for your cybersecurity strategy, you can build a robust defense against the ever-present cyber threats that could derail your startup’s success. Remember, in the digital age, cybersecurity isn’t just an IT issue; it’s everyone’s responsibility.
We hope these insights and examples from the community will help you develop your cybersecurity strategy.
If you’re curious about the leading cybersecurity startups and tech companies, you can explore the latest award winners at Top 100 Cybersecurity Companies, follow them for insights, or request an introduction to plug into your next big opportunity.