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Cloud Security for Startups: How Vulnerability Scanning Protects Your Data

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Slik Protect
Slik Protect

Cloud Security for Startups: How Vulnerability Scanning Protects Your Data

Adopting cloud services has become a focal point in organizations' innovation and efficiency arms race. These, however, pose serious threats to data security and regulatory compliance. When you follow industry standards for cloud security, you protect your company and its infrastructure in various ways.

Startup founders often think cybercriminals won't bother them because they're small and unknown. A cyberattack can happen to any organization, no matter how small, because hackers continuously scan the internet for vulnerabilities they can exploit. All it takes is one breach for your company to make headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Why do startups need vulnerability scanning?

Since most startups don't have money set aside for cybersecurity in their early stages, they often employ free, open-source scanners to check their software for flaws and leave them there. Vulnerability scanning is essential to protect the privacy, safety, and reliability of an organization's information, resources, and infrastructure. It aids in keeping the business safe and fixing the vulnerabilities that have been found to face and thwart future attacks.

During a company's early phases, when the attack surface is small and the number of devices to monitor is manageable, it is much simpler to implement robust security policies. One major idea to keep in mind is that small businesses have the potential to grow rapidly into larger organizations and that their chances of thriving are increased if they have in place robust security measures from the beginning.

What is security testing?

The process of examining a system, network, or software component for vulnerabilities that cybercriminals and other threat actors can take advantage of is called security testing. This is a broad phrase that refers to the auditing process. Although it exists in a wide variety of ways, we will focus on two here:

Penetration test - Manual analysis by a cyber security professional (sometimes aided by automated vulnerability scanning tools) and estimating the potential damage that malicious attackers could cause.

Vulnerability assessment - It is an automated security test that uses special software to look for vulnerabilities in your network or software. Vulnerability scanners conduct automated tests to locate attack vectors in your system. The vulnerabilities could exist in the application's underlying code, in the cloud's setup, or in the form of outdated software that hasn't been updated with the latest security updates.

Why should you perform security testing for your startup?

According to Veracode's State of Software Security Report, a staggering 83% of the target respondents, which consisted of 85,000 software applications used by 2,300 organizations worldwide, had at least one security vulnerability detected during an initial security test.

These vulnerabilities would have been released into production without the test, leaving the software open to cyberattacks. This makes security testing, including vulnerability scanning, a crucial task. It also needs to be performed for the following reasons:

Regulatory compliance - Organizations must do regular security testing per many rules or compliance certifications in many industries. ISO 27001, PCI DSS, and SOC2 are all standard examples. Even the most detailed of these standards do not specify how or what to test, as it will vary depending on the specifics of the case at hand. Due to this, it is generally agreed that the tested organization is in the best position to decide what kind of security testing is required.

FinTech sector - Fintech companies in the payment processing sector face threats from consumers and staff who may have bad intentions and from organized criminal networks. If so, you should consider performing regular full manual penetration testing in these situations and conducting an ongoing vulnerability assessment.

Protect customer data - You may not have to worry as much about insiders and criminal gangs if you run a marketing data analysis platform, but you do need to worry about consumers accessing each other's data or a general data breach. Suppose you have an app, and anyone can register for an online account. In that case, you might want to consider an authenticated penetration test from the point of view of a normal user but not from an employee with limited back-end access. As an added precaution, check that your staff's laptops have installed the most recent security patches.

How to set an optimal vulnerability scanning frequency?

The ability to schedule scans at any frequency is a clear advantage of automated vulnerability scanning. In comparison, frequent penetration tests incur a greater financial burden to conduct. The National Cyber Security Centre of the UK (NCSC) recommends performing vulnerability scanning on your IT systems at least once every month. With over 10,000 new vulnerabilities published annually, this approach is crucial for organizations to stay on top of the constantly evolving threat landscape.

Regular vulnerability scans are important, but it's also smart to run scans after any time you make a modification to your system.

Vulnerability scanners come in many types, including those that scan networks, applications, websites, and even entire networks for potential vulnerabilities. While the option ultimately comes down to the nature of the company's assets, some general principles may be applied to narrow down the field and assist you in making the best choice for your organization's needs.

In another article, we have explained the different types of vulnerability scanners and the best way to choose them based on your requirement and operating domain.

Bottomline

In the realm of cyber security, security testing is an essential procedure for identifying potential weak spots in various components, including programs and operating systems, as well as networks and apps. Vulnerability assessments and penetration tests are typical manifestations, but their overarching purpose remains the same: patching security loopholes before threat actors can use them.

Given that there is no universally applicable method for conducting security tests, we acknowledge the difficulty of putting this plan into action. Investment in an intangible product can be risky for any organization, but it can be especially daunting for startups unaware of these problems. Free trials are available for many services nowadays, providing a fantastic opportunity for startups to evaluate their viability before making a significant financial commitment.

Adopting cloud services has become a focal point in organizations' innovation and efficiency arms race. These, however, pose serious threats to data security and regulatory compliance. When you follow industry standards for cloud security, you protect your company and its infrastructure in various ways.

Startup founders often think cybercriminals won't bother them because they're small and unknown. A cyberattack can happen to any organization, no matter how small, because hackers continuously scan the internet for vulnerabilities they can exploit. All it takes is one breach for your company to make headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Since most startups don't have money set aside for cybersecurity in their early stages, they often employ free, open-source scanners to check their software for flaws and leave them there. Vulnerability scanning is essential to protect the privacy, safety, and reliability of an organization's information, resources, and infrastructure. It aids in keeping the business safe and fixing the vulnerabilities that have been found to face and thwart future attacks.

Why do startups need vulnerability scanning?

During a company's early phases, when the attack surface is small and the number of devices to monitor is manageable, it is much simpler to implement robust security policies. One major idea to keep in mind is that small businesses have the potential to grow rapidly into larger organizations and that their chances of thriving are increased if they have in place robust security measures from the beginning.

What is security testing?

The process of examining a system, network, or software component for vulnerabilities that cybercriminals and other threat actors can take advantage of is called security testing. This is a broad phrase that refers to the auditing process. Although it exists in a wide variety of ways, we will focus on two here:

Penetration test - Manual analysis by a cyber security professional (sometimes aided by automated vulnerability scanning tools) and estimating the potential damage that malicious attackers could cause.

Vulnerability assessment - It is an automated security test that uses special software to look for vulnerabilities in your network or software. Vulnerability scanners conduct automated tests to locate attack vectors in your system. The vulnerabilities could exist in the application's underlying code, in the cloud's setup, or in the form of outdated software that hasn't been updated with the latest security updates.

Why should you perform security testing for your startup?

According to Veracode's State of Software Security Report, a staggering 83% of the target respondents, which consisted of 85,000 software applications used by 2,300 organizations worldwide, had at least one security vulnerability detected during an initial security test.

These vulnerabilities would have been released into production without the test, leaving the software open to cyberattacks. This makes security testing, including vulnerability scanning, a crucial task. It also needs to be performed for the following reasons:

Regulatory compliance - Organizations must do regular security testing per many rules or compliance certifications in many industries. ISO 27001, PCI DSS, and SOC2 are all standard examples. Even the most detailed of these standards do not specify how or what to test, as it will vary depending on the specifics of the case at hand. Due to this, it is generally agreed that the tested organization is in the best position to decide what kind of security testing is required.

FinTech sector - Fintech companies in the payment processing sector face threats from consumers and staff who may have bad intentions and from organized criminal networks. If so, you should consider performing regular full manual penetration testing in these situations and conducting an ongoing vulnerability assessment.

Protect customer data - You may not have to worry as much about insiders and criminal gangs if you run a marketing data analysis platform, but you do need to worry about consumers accessing each other's data or a general data breach. Suppose you have an app, and anyone can register for an online account. In that case, you might want to consider an authenticated penetration test from the point of view of a normal user but not from an employee with limited back-end access. As an added precaution, check that your staff's laptops have installed the most recent security patches.

How to set an optimal vulnerability scanning frequency?

The ability to schedule scans at any frequency is a clear advantage of automated vulnerability scanning. In comparison, frequent penetration tests incur a greater financial burden to conduct. The National Cyber Security Centre of the UK (NCSC) recommends performing vulnerability scanning on your IT systems at least once every month. With over 10,000 new vulnerabilities published annually, this approach is crucial for organizations to stay on top of the constantly evolving threat landscape.

Regular vulnerability scans are important, but it's also smart to run scans after any time you make a modification to your system.

Vulnerability scanners come in many types, including those that scan networks, applications, websites, and even entire networks for potential vulnerabilities. While the option ultimately comes down to the nature of the company's assets, some general principles may be applied to narrow down the field and assist you in making the best choice for your organization's needs.

In another article, we have explained the different types of vulnerability scanners and the best way to choose them based on your requirement and operating domain.

Bottomline

In the realm of cyber security, security testing is an essential procedure for identifying potential weak spots in various components, including programs and operating systems, as well as networks and apps. Vulnerability assessments and penetration tests are typical manifestations, but their overarching purpose remains the same: patching security loopholes before threat actors can use them.

Given that there is no universally applicable method for conducting security tests, we acknowledge the difficulty of putting this plan into action. Investment in an intangible product can be risky for any organization, but it can be especially daunting for startups unaware of these problems. Free trials are available for many services nowadays, providing a fantastic opportunity for startups to evaluate their viability before making a significant financial commitment.