Skip to main content

Minimum Viable Secure Product (MVSP) Security Controls for Startups

· 3 min read
Alexander Eklöf

The concept of a Minimum Viable Secure Product (MVSP) is becoming increasingly relevant. With data breaches and cyber threats on the rise, it's paramount for startups to embed security into the very foundation of their products. In this blog post, we'll explore what MVSP entails and why it's a minimum security baseline for startups aiming to make their mark securely and successfully.

Understanding MVSP for Startups

Minimum Viable Secure Product is an adaptation of the lean startup's Minimum Viable Product (MVP) philosophy, which emphasizes the importance of launching with just enough features to satisfy early adopters. MVSP extends this model to include fundamental security controls that are critical from the outset.

Modern consumers and businesses expect that their data will be kept safe, and regulators are tightening the guidelines for data protection. For startups, this means security cannot be an afterthought; it should be a core component of the product development lifecycle.

Why Security Must Be a Priority

With numerous high-profile security breaches headlining news outlets, customers are more aware of and concerned about how their personal data is treated. Founders and business leaders must recognize that the credibility and trust they build with users depend on how securely they can promise to handle sensitive information.

Additionally, investors are increasingly scrutinizing the cybersecurity posture of startups. A secure foundation can add significant value to a company by making it more attractive to those investing in scalable, sustainable, and secure technology.

Unicis Platform Beta

With Unicis, you can manage tasks for security, privacy, and compliance team in one place.
Collaborate accross multiple teams about gap analysis, register of procedures and transfer impact assessment.

Key MVSP Controls for Startups

Deploying an MVSP involves several core security elements. Here are some foundational controls that startups should implement:

  1. Data Encryption: In transit and at rest, data should be encrypted to protect it from prying eyes. This is non-negotiable for personal and sensitive customer information.
  2. Access Controls: Strict policies must govern who has access to which data and systems within the startup. The principle of least privilege ensures that individuals only have access to the information necessary to perform their job functions.
  3. Authentication Measures: Robust authentication, often through multi-factor authentication (MFA), bolsters security by adding layers that help protect against unauthorized access.
  4. Security Awareness Training: Human error often contributes to security lapses. Regular training of staff can minimize risks by keeping everyone aware of the latest security threats and best practices.
  5. Incident Response Plan: A pre-defined process for handling security incidents enables a quick, organized, and effective response, which is essential for minimizing damage.


The checklist is created with simplicity in mind, containing only those measures that must be put in to assure a product's least feasible security posture. Along with other well-known organizations such as SalesForce, Google, Okta, Slack, Safebase, and others, Unicis is a partner and contributor.

For startups, incorporating MVSP controls is not a burden but a strategic advantage. Aligning with trustworthy partners and laying a secure foundation demonstrates to customers, investors, and peers that your startup takes security seriously. While this investment may initially seem daunting, the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term efforts, safeguarding your company's reputation, data, and bottom line.

In the fast-paced ecosystem of startups, don't underplay the value of security. Adopt an MVSP mindset and see how it not only protects but also propels you forward in a competitive, cyber-conscious marketplace.

MVSP checklist and controls are available on both Unicis Platform CE and in Unicis Cybersecurity Controls for Jira app on Atlassian marketplace.
Feel free to try it out at no cost and reach out to the Unicis team for any additional guidance or questions you might have to get started.

If you want to see how MVSP aligns with other more common standards like ISO27001 and NIST CSF, you can see a full overview on comparison page.