Cyber security is a necessary precaution for companies today. Here’s how to start a cyber security business and how to be successful with it.
Venturing into the cyber security business is a very profitable move, but only if you do it right. Contrary to what most people think, cyber security is a very diverse field and a large one at that. In fact, as of 2019, the cyber security market was a whopping $167.9 billion and is expected to grow to unprecedented heights in the coming years.
If you want to get yourself a piece of the pie, then the ideal time to do so is now. That’s because you can capitalize on the booming interest in cloud services by specializing in cloud security. You can also make a killing from the proliferation of online businesses as a cyber security consultancy for the said businesses.
Before you start pouring your cash into cyber security, it’s essential to have a solid business plan. Because, just like any other business, starting a cyber security business isn’t easy. However, if you have the resources, customer base, and a solid strategy, starting one will be a breeze.
Read on and find out how you can start your cyber security business from scratch and how to make it prosper.
Starting a Cyber Security Business: The Essentials
To get your cyber security business off the ground properly, you need to have the essentials down pat. The first decision you have to make is whether you’ll establish your business physically or online. The latter is way less expensive than the former but also has its downsides.
The startup costs of a physical establishment are high, but it gives your client more confidence and assurance of your business. An online cyber security business is much cheaper to set up, but you have greater competition and less trust and confidence from prospective clients.
Once you get what setup is best for you, you can move to the pilot study and financing.
Just like any business, a cyber security business needs financing to get off the ground. So your first step to establishing your startup cyber security business is to fund your business.
There are plenty of financing options for you to consider, so funding shouldn’t be much of an issue. Apart from personal or bank financing, you can keep your eyes out for angel investors. Some cyber security companies have gotten funding from accelerator programs, competitions, and crowdfunding.
For most financing options save from personal financing, you need a solid business plan that can convince potential investors. If you fail to impress any potential investors, then you might want to go back to the drawing board.
A pilot study or pilot test is a study you conduct to establish whether the business is feasible and practical. Pilot studies are only possible once you get funding from well-wishers or investors. That’s because pilot tests aren’t very cheap.
You can also take a leaf from other companies through benchmarks or normal visits. Companies like Simpatico Systems have grown from startups to leaders in the tech and cyber security industry.
By the end of the pilot test, you should have a clear picture of whether your cyber security business will succeed or flop. After the pilot study, you can either proceed with the venture or abandon it altogether.
For your business to start off with the right momentum, resources are needed. Two of the most important resources for a cyber security business are equipment and staff.
- i) Equipment
Your equipment will play a critical part in determining the success of your cyber security business.
Resources will lead back to the business plan again, just like your financing. You need to know exactly the cyber security services that your target clients will need. You need to be realistic with your resources because you most likely have limited funds.
On the flip side, don’t skimp on your equipment because your equipment is essentially your company. If you buy obsolete or defective equipment, then you can’t have a robust cyber security system. These means breaches won’t be uncommon among your clients.
So if you don’t invest in equipment, be prepared for bad reviews, fewer referrals which translate to lower conversions.
- ii) The Staff
When it comes to your staff, focus on skills more than qualifications. Before hiring, ensure that the job candidates know their stuff. The certificates are pretty much worthless if your candidate can’t code a functioning program.
Ask for proof of previous work or their referees. Also, don’t focus too much on the work aspect of your job applicants. Also, ensure they conduct themselves professionally, have proper communication skills, and can work well with others.
Cyber security startups that enter the business blindly, unsurprisingly, end up heading in the wrong direction. You thus need to clamp down on your target market and know exactly what problems you will be solving for your clients.
Also, clearly define what you won’t help solve, so they know what to expect from you. You can then align your resources to this particular customer base and see how best you can serve them. You need to understand that you can’t do everything, especially since you’re just starting out.
Cyber Security Fields to Venture Into
Cyber security is a multifaceted discipline, and as such, there are lots of fields you can opt for. During your market study, here are a couple of cyber security fields you can settle for:-
Firewall management services
Firewalls protect computers or entire networks from unauthorized access, typically from malicious parties. Firewall management involves offering protection from outside attackers while allowing required data and access through the firewall.
Cloud security services
Most companies have moved their internal resources for more flexibility and easier expansion. However, the cloud makes companies’ digital resources more vulnerable to breaches. Cloud security ensures the protection of these resources while in the cloud.
Compliance security services
This means your job is to ensure that a company’s set up meets the minimum requirements to be secure from external threats. That means you have to put in place measures to protect the company’s information systems
Custom security software
You need a lot of skilled labor for this one. It involves creating software tailor-made for a company’s network and information systems.
Remember, you can always be an IT security consultancy, if everything else isn’t your cup of tea. Starting as a consultancy is a great way to build your clientele before you expand into other cyber security fields. Also, select a field that you can handle, don’t go for anything too overwhelming.
Explore Possible Threats and Challenges to Opening Your Cyber Security Business
Your main challenge when opening a cyber security company will be the competition. Remember, you have to make a name for your company in an already crowded field. That’s why you really have to emphasize on branding and marketing when establishing your cyber security business.
Also, some government policies may not be exactly favorable to your type of business.
When you list down all the possible challenges, find ways you can avoid them or mitigate them. Challenges are common with any business; how you manage them will determine how your cyber security business pans out.
The Competition Issue
Competition discourages many people from the cyber security business. However, considering the cyber security industry is worth over $160 billion, it’s more than enough for any startup to get a share of the market.
How much competition you’ll face largely depends on what field of cyber security you’ll specialize in. However, less crowded fields typically require heavy investment in resources and skilled labor.
Whatever area you decide to venture into, you can always topple the competition if you provide exemplary services. Also, be keen on your branding and marketing to stand out from the pack. Sometimes an active social media profile is all you need to amass a large clientele.
Legal Matters and Insurance
Finally, you have to ensure that you have all legal affairs in check. A lawyer will take you through all the insurance policies, permits, and licenses you need to operate a cyber security business.
Have in your budget, the funds to purchase the following insurance policies:-
- General insurance
- Liability insurance
- Workers’ compensation
- Risk insurance
These are just a few of the insurance policies you should consider for your cyber security. You can always have more for your company’s benefit. Other insurance policies you should consider include health insurance and payment protection insurance.
The government requires any company dealing with cyber security consulting to file for intellectual property protection. It’s not uncommon for other companies to use your intellectual property illegally. Filing for intellectual property protection gives you the upper hand should any legal issues arise.
Your lawyer will guide you through the entire process, including things like trademarking, if you think it’s necessary.
Start Your Cyber Security Business on the Right Foot
There’s not much to start a cyber security business, but it needs lots of hard work and commitment. With the right mindset, you can conquer the cyber security market and become an industry leader. Just remember to put everything to practice, including insurance and legal issues, and you’ll be good.
For more informative reads, be sure to check out other articles on the website.