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Many smaller businesses, especially startups with limited budgets, tend to treat information security as an afterthought, a bell-and-whistle to be added later when funds allow. This attitude may have been justified 20 or 30 years ago, but the modern landscape of cybercrime, data security, and privacy is making that impossible now.
Protecting corporate information, intellectual property, customer data, and physical IT systems is an essential business function for modern companies, small and large. Data breaches are common, expensive, and can harm the reputation of a business for years.
As an entrepreneur in the cybersecurity industry, I know how important it is for young startups to assess their information security situation in the early stages of formation to determine the appropriate proportion of focus and budget to achieve.
Why entrepreneurs put off cybersecurity
The startup world is like the Wild West. It’s chaotic, competitive, and often you’re doing well just to survive. According to the Kauffman Foundation, about 22 percent of startup companies in the United States fail within their first year. In some states, the first-year failure rate is as high as 37 percent. Whether self-funded or running off venture capital, every penny spent in that first year can be critical to the company’s short-term survival.