Choosing a Cybersecurity Provider for Your Startup

Launching a startup is an exciting time: you’re preparing to change the world through your innovative product, working hard to provide the best possible service to your early adopting customers, and learning key lessons that will help you build success in the future.

What you may not be considering when starting a company is cybersecurity; however, it’s an essential element of any company, as it ensures that bad actors don’t destroy your hard work. 

When working on a budget, you likely can’t afford to hire your own cybersecurity team, which is why many startups rely on consultants such as, who will improve their processes, monitor their infrastructure for threats, and train their employees on best practices for internet safety. However, there are numerous different cybersecurity agencies out there, so it’s important to take these factors into mind when you choose a contractor to protect your data. These are the key considerations by which to assess potential consultants for your startup’s safety.


Like in all fields, you want to ensure that your consultants are highly qualified, with years of experience in the cybersecurity field. A seasoned cybersecurity services team has truly seen it all, and they can leverage this in order to identify potential blind spots in your security protocols. 

When you’re first looking at potential providers, examine the biographies of their senior members, as well as what kinds of projects they have worked on before. A company that has a long-standing team tells you that they are a stable organization with staying power, as well as one with plenty of knowledge about the varying facets of cybersecurity. 

These services often begin with a detailed assessment of your current setup and a list of suggestions on how to improve. Pay close attention to this assessment, as it will tell you whether they truly know what they’re talking about or if they’re unfamiliar with the current cybersecurity environment.

Familiarity With Data Privacy Laws

Data privacy has changed greatly since most legislation was introduced, such as the Data Privacy Act of 1974, and it can be difficult to stay up to date with shifting laws and best practices. More than that, many industries have their own standards, which must be adhered to to prevent fines or loss of trust amongst your clients. 

When you set up your first consultation, explain what field your startup will be working in and ask them about their familiarity with standards in this industry. They should be able to tell you exactly what standards you’re beholden to and how it will apply to your work; if they’re not sure, this may indicate that they haven’t worked with a company like yours before, which can lead to critical errors in their work. 


In cybersecurity, response time is everything. When a problem arises, you have a short period of time before the cyber attack snowballs out of control, potentially damaging months of hard work and imperiling a huge swath of data. If you’re using a cybersecurity company for managed services, they need to have 24/7 response teams who will begin work on the issue right away rather than waiting for standard business hours.

Ask the company about their ticket response time; if they average more than ten minutes, this may be a red flag, as a bad actor can do quite a lot of damage in that period of time. You’ll also want to know what kind of active threat deterrence they can provide you that will keep minor intrusions from turning into major threats. For example, do they utilize innovative Application security testing tools? Do they know their way about shielding? Do they know how to optimize these processes to minimize the risk of a breach? If the answer to these questions is no, look elsewhere. 

Scaleability and Flexibility

Your startup will eventually grow from a fledgling company still finding its feet to a strong organization with vastly different needs, and you want to be sure that your cybersecurity company can handle larger volumes of traffic. Some cybersecurity firms only work with smaller clients, and they simply won’t have the capacity to help your startup once it has grown. As it can be costly and a potential liability to switch firms, ask the cybersecurity consultants about their ability to work with growing firms that have a high number of tickets submitted per day.

The opposite is also true: some companies only do managed services on a large scale, and they may not be able to provide a good package for a small startup. A good cybersecurity services company will allow you to pick and choose what you want to pay for based on your needs, as well as the capabilities of your own team, and they should be more than willing to work with your own IT workers in order to ensure that you have adequate coverage.

No startup can afford to skimp on cybersecurity, which is why it’s critical that you find a great cybersecurity services provider right off the bat. Ask plenty of questions of your potential provider, particularly about their expertise, familiarity with the law, responsiveness, and customization options, and you can develop a mutually satisfying relationship that helps your company flourish over time.