Nothing can really prepare you for life at a software start-up.
The list of things to be done seems endless, and all of them seem vital. Obviously you need to build your product. Then you need to attract users. Then you need to start to generate revenue. Obviously those things need to be done, right?
But you also need to do all the other things that every business needs to do: marketing, accounting, payroll… And on and on the list goes. Oh, and don’t forget that you need to do it all with a small team and limited resources. You quickly become an expert at spinning plates and your team’s versatility becomes its greatest attribute.
It’s not surprising therefore that some things get neglected. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything. So how do you decide what needs to get done today, and what can be put off until tomorrow? I can’t really answer that question, but I do believe strongly that there is one thing that you cannot afford to put on the back burner: your cloud security.
Even some of the most established businesses have been guilty of overlooking the importance of implementing best practice for their cloud security: there are plenty of examples of high-profile breaches out there which demonstrate that fact.
It can be tempting to assume that such breaches only happen to bigger companies, to think that your start-up only needs to start to worry about security when it has more to secure. Don’t fall into this trap. Never forget that your startup’s data is important, even if there isn’t that much of it yet. If it gets compromised, you could lose valuable information that could take months to recover - or even lose everything forever.
Working at a start-up is always going to introduce competing demands that need to be balanced, and you will always find reasons not to do something if you look for them. Just remember that fixing security bugs retrospectively is ALWAYS more expensive than securing your infrastructure at the design stage, and often exponentially so.
The same principle can be applied across almost every aspect of your product development. Good planning and employment of best practices from the start will save you money in the long-run, and if you don't have a clear and deep understanding from the outset of how your application works and is expected to evolve, it will be extremely difficult to maintain that code over time.
Your cloud security is critical to your startup's success. It’s worth caring about. So add it to the list of plates that you’re spinning!