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The five most common security tools for startups

The five most common security tools for startups

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

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PCI Compliance Selection Guide

Determine Your PCI Compliance Level

If your organization processes, stores, or transmits cardholder data, you must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), a global mandate created by major credit card companies. Compliance is mandatory for any business that accepts credit card payments.

When establishing strategies for implementing and maintaining PCI compliance, your organization needs to understand what constitutes a Merchant or Service Provider, and whether a Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) or Report on Compliance (ROC) is most applicable to your business.

Answer a few short questions and we’ll help identify your compliance level.

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Does your business offer services to customers who are interested in your level of PCI compliance?

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Identify your PCI SAQ or ROC level

The PCI Security Standards Council has established the below criteria for Merchant and Service Provider validation. Use these descriptions to help determine the SAQ or ROC that best applies to your organization.

Good news! Vanta supports all of the following compliance levels:

SAQ A

A SAQ A is required for Merchants that do not require the physical presence of a credit card (like an eCommerce, mail, or telephone purchase). This means that the Merchant’s business has fully outsourced all cardholder data processing to PCI DSS compliant third party Service Providers, with no electronic storage, processing, or transmission of any cardholder data on the Merchant’s system or premises.

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SAQ A-EP

A SAQ A-EP is similar to a SAQ A, but is a requirement for Merchants that don't receive cardholder data, but control how cardholder data is redirected to a PCI DSS validated third-party payment processor.

Learn more about eCommerce PCI

SAQ D
for service providers

A SAQ D includes over 200 requirements and covers the entirety of PCI DSS compliance. If you are a Service Provider, a SAQ D is the only SAQ you’re eligible to complete.

Use our PCI checklist

ROC
Level 1 for service providers

A Report on Compliance (ROC) is an annual assessment that determines your organization’s ability to protect cardholder data. If you’re a Merchant that processes over six million transactions annually or a Service Provider that processes more than 300,000 transactions annually, your organization is responsible for both a ROC and an Attestation of Compliance (AOC).

Automate your ROC and AOC

Download this checklist for easy reference

Questions?

Learn more about how Vanta can help. You can also find information on PCI compliance levels at the PCI Security Standards Council website or by contacting your payment processing partner.

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