Shifting Left Security: A Primer For Startups
The ‘Shift Left’ mentality has made massive strides in the startup tech marketplace as the latest trend in software development mentality. With cybersecurity becoming an increasingly vital aspect of any business, many startups are adopting the Shift Left mindset to protect their startups from potential catastrophes down the line.
If you’re looking to ensure the safety of your tech startup, no matter how big or small it may be, Shifting Left is the development strategy you may want to implement.
What Is Shifting Left?
Shifting Left is an IT security term that means establishing security protocols in your coding in the early stages of software development rather than patching up your cybersecurity’s weak spots when the coding is much more complex.
When applying the Shift Left mentality to your overall startup, the approach also means focusing more on prioritizing preventative measures to protect you from problems before they arise. There are many additional benefits to having your startup Shift Left as well.
Shifting Left Prevents Major Software Errors Before They Happen
The majority of software errors occur during the early coding phases of development. While these errors may be minor at the time, they can begin to compound if they are undetected and additional software is built on top of the faulty code. If you only test for these errors in the later stage of your startup, you could find a massive problem that has spiraled out of control.
Issues late in your development can become highly detrimental, as unforeseen roadblocks have the potential to derail your schedule completely. Any delay in release dates is a massive disadvantage to any startup looking to quickly take advantage of launching in the flow of market trends.
By adopting a Shift Left mentality, your startups can detect problems in the earlier stages of development by using consistent software testing and establishing ample cybersecurity protection. By utilizing these Shift Left protocols early on, you can catch software vulnerabilities when they are much more manageable and accessible.
A Shift Left mentality can also lead to increased innovation in your software development. By constantly evaluating your product, you can develop a more critical perspective and identify weak spots in your software’s security and performance that can be altered early on to create a better final result rather than waiting til the end of development to evaluate the quality of your product.
Shifting Left in Early Stages Can Save Your Startup A Fortune
While detecting software mistakes late can be brutal on your development schedule, the cost of fixing late mistakes can be even more catastrophic on your budget.
When fixing issues with your software or cybersecurity, there is a massive difference in cost between adjusting simple code in the earlier stages of development versus more complex coding in later stages. The price tags of squashing software bugs found in the final testing phase can cost 40x more than an issue discovered early.
The risk of waiting to test until the end also increases the risk that flaws in your cybersecurity software might slip through the cracks and be exposed once your product is on the market. Suppose your software is ill-prepared for a cyber attack or suffers a software failure. In that case, it cannot only be more costly in the expenses it takes to fix your cybersecurity but also can halt your business operations and lower the confidence that potential customers & investors will have in your product.
Instead of just hoping your start-up isn’t hit with a massive IT bill after your final round of testing, use the Shift Left mentality to pay for testing & smaller IT repairs early on to ensure that your spending stays on track for your startup in the long-term. Also, having excellent cybersecurity professionals for your startup is much more affordable than you might think.
Greater Transparency to Your Stakeholders
Consistent testing provides consistent results. By constantly testing your product, you can distinctly show how your software has improved during the development schedule through valuable and easily explainable data.
By having more trackable test results, you can share this information with stakeholders, engineers, or other vital development team members to ensure confidence that your software is progressing and that potential roadblocks are being addressed early on. By providing solid data, your startup may also be able to use the test results to attract additional investors who can be better assured about your software’s low failure odds.
While Shifting Left typically helps your startup stay on schedule, having a higher level of transparency can also be practical if your software development needs additional time for your development schedule. By detecting delays early on, your team can communicate effectively and make realistic timeline adjustments rather than manage stressful last-second delays that can make your team appear unorganized or less effective.
How to Shift Left Your Startup
By having basic static testing occurring regularly (two tests a month is a great place to start), you’ll be able to see the actual process of your results along your testing timeframe. Static testing will also provide a clear schedule for your team to hit their deadlines, keeping your development team on the same page.
Establishing Coding Protocols
With consistent evaluations, your coders will also desire to raise their standards knowing that their work will be frequently evaluated for mistakes. This pattern will also ensure that none of your coders get too far behind schedule.
In addition to static testing, you should also evaluate your software’s risk analytics, which can determine the long-term likelihood of your cybersecurity or software failure. Lowering your risk percentage through consistent testing can be an excellent goal for a development team to work towards during each stage of development.
POINT Can Help Your Startup Shift Left
If you’re ready to have your startup adopt the Shift Left mentality and be better prepared for your software development process, you should partner with us at POINT.
At POINT, we specialize in helping tech startups reach their maximum potential through our consulting services, POINT platform, and developmental support. With our expertise, we can help your company achieve its goals and create a workflow that caters to your needs.
For more information, check out our programs or contact us. We are looking forward to assisting your startup in achieving its potential.