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The five most common security tools for startups

July 29, 2022

Calling “startup security” an umbrella term is an understatement. A lot goes into securing your organization, mainly its people, processes, and technology. For a small startup, it can be overwhelming to find an entry point when it comes to building a strong security posture. But in the beginning, security doesn’t have to be overly expensive or time-consuming. 

Our 2022 State of Startup Security Report discovered that the most commonly used security tools are becoming the new go-to strategy for startups. These budget-friendly tools can set you on a reliable path toward strong security and compliance. 

Over 500 founders, CEOs, CTOs, and security leaders participated in our startup security report. Below are the five most common security tools they claim to use. 

Password managers

With so many tools and applications available to startups, it’s essential to designate a practical password policy. Any cybersecurity expert will tell you not to use the same password for every application. But memorizing different passwords for every application is unrealistic.

This is where password managers come in handy. Password managers provide an easily accessible digital vault where all your credentials are securely stored in the cloud. They’re cost-effective, reliable, and efficient. 

It’s worth mentioning that there’s a difference between password managers and single sign-on (SSO) solutions. Password managers store passwords. SSOs provide a single portal, accessed by one password, where employees can launch different applications. 

Antivirus software

Every castle needs strong walls, and every startup needs a strong digital perimeter. One possible way to secure your organization is through antivirus software. Typically used by smaller businesses, antivirus software detects and blocks malware attacks from entering individual machines or systems. 

“Malware” is a broad term that describes possible threats to your company, including viruses, spyware, bots, and more.  Antivirus software runs in the background of your machine safeguarding your business from infiltrators that may attack through an email, website, and downloadable file.    

Although antivirus tools can be useful, it’s good to remember that they don’t mitigate all threats. Internal mishaps, compromised mobile devices, and advanced malware threats are still possible. Many security professionals recommend a more robust defensive strategy such as an endpoint protection platform. 

Endpoint protection platforms

Like many of today’s SaaS products and applications, security tools for startups are evolving at a rapid pace. One outcome of this recent wave of security ingenuity is endpoint protection platforms (EPP).

EPP solutions offer a cloud-based management system that can mitigate advanced threats to your organization. EPP takes a consolidated, unified approach to protect your network as a whole, unlike antivirus which only defends individual machines. This gives IT administrators much more control and visibility into the security of your organization. 

Through automated behavior analysis, EPPs can recognize malware attacks before they do serious damage to your infrastructure. Lightweight and easy to monitor, EPPs establish a strong foundation for startups who want to combat advanced threats posed by cybercriminals. 

Log management software

Detecting unusual activity within your organization’s digital environment is a great way to bolster security. Actions and events executed by users, servers, operating systems, applications, and more, create data known as logs. In years prior, logs were read and maintained by humans, but now log management software can track the vast majority of this information.

Log management software is a vital tool for startups because it helps security and IT teams respond to abnormal anomalies that may pop up. If something fishy appears in log data, it allows for a prompt response before serious damage can occur.

Log management software is also an important tool when it comes to compliance risk management. Documenting internal events is usually necessary for audits and adhering to specific controls for some compliance standards. 

Mobile-device management software

With the advent of new technologies and a rapid increase in remote work, mobile-device management (MDM) has become a top priority. Professionals use tablets, smartphones, and laptops on a daily basis. Without proper protocols, these devices pose a significant risk to organizational security. 

MDM platforms enable security teams to safeguard and monitor all of an organization’s mobile devices. MDM platforms are great for keeping tabs on device inventory, but more importantly, they protect device data, applications, and any other digital content present.

MDM solutions can work in conjunction with other security tools. Each device can be granted role-based access to applications and other security measures such as a virtual private network (VPN) and password protection. 

Learn how to put your startup security tools to work 

The security for SaaS CTO checklist

Vanta’s 6 principles for pragmatic startup security

How engineers can tackle data privacy and security