18 Jan 2024
10 Jan 2024
Modern businesses are acutely aware of the importance of cybersecurity. Over the last decade, we've seen cyber threats surge, with some incidents causing crippling damage to businesses and costing billions of dollars in losses.
Smart businesses understand that increasing their cybersecurity readiness isn't just an option - it's a fundamental business requirement.
However, cybersecurity has historically always been viewed as a cost center - something that businesses have to spend money on to protect themselves rather than something that can contribute to growth and development. But that scene is starting to change.
For some companies, cybersecurity initiatives have always been a high priority on their budget sheets. For numerous other businesses, however, cybersecurity was traditionally seen as just another operational expense or, in some cases, an unnecessary expenditure. It was no different to buying insurance for your business or house - you invest in protection hoping you'll never have to use it.
This mentality has made it challenging for many cybersecurity teams to justify their budgets and receive necessary resources from the powers above.
But this perception is now changing as organizations begin to see the value of investing in cybersecurity beyond just protecting systems and data. In fact, businesses that embrace strong cybersecurity practices can use it as a competitive advantage and a driver for growth.
At its core, cybersecurity revolves around managing risks and optimizing operations. Given that a significant portion of network weaknesses and data breaches come from human mistakes, many cybersecurity efforts emphasize educating staff about cybersecurity dangers and establishing proper measures to avoid them.
This increased awareness is becoming advantageous for companies as they refine their processes and develop stronger systems. Solutions like Privilege Access Management (PAM) and data encryption are now considered industry best practices instead of just optional security measures.
No different than how organizations invest in systems and software that drive their business forward, cybersecurity solutions are built on the same foundation.
With these shifts, the perception of cybersecurity as an unnecessary expense is being replaced with a view of it as another critical component of long-term business success.
Whether you've already been regularly funding cybersecurity initiatives or are wondering if it's worth investing your business's resources, it's important to know that that their active ways you can make cybersecurity a business enabler.
Below are some important steps you can follow to get more from your cybersecurity investments:
Cybersecurity shouldn't be an afterthought for your business. It's vital to blend it with your broader business goals from the start. This means recognizing how cyber threats might affect businesses in your sector and locating potential vulnerabilities within your own organization.
By addressing these concerns while laying the groundwork for your business strategies, you set the stage for a strong infrastructure customized to both your immediate and long-term objectives.
It's not just businesses that are recognizing the significance of cybersecurity - customers and clients are also more mindful of the safety of their data when dealing with companies.
Instead of seeing this heightened awareness as a challenge, you can highlight your proactive cybersecurity measures as a distinctive advantage. Promote your dedication to client data privacy and security. You can highlight this in multiple ways, like featuring a dedicated cybersecurity page on your website or emphasizing your security certifications in promotional content.
By demonstrating your dedication to digital security, you're sending a message to potential clients that you hold yourself accountable as a business and take active measures to live up to their expectations.
When considering data security, certain regulations and standards are mandatory for businesses to follow. The complexity of these rules varies based on the industry, but failing to comply with any of them can lead to incredibly high penalties.
While complying with these standards might seem to be more trouble than they're worth, they are designed to protect both consumers and the organizations themselves. Instead of looking at them as just time-consuming business requirements, organizations should view them as chances to significantly improve their operations.
Rather than just ticking the boxes, businesses should aim to go over and above these standards, finding more important ways to improve their data security measures. This could include strengthening RDP protocols, implementing two-factor authentication, or conducting regular security audits.This defense in depth approach can strengthen the strategies you already have in place, and help to remain more agile to regulatory changes in the future.
Using metrics to monitor your business's health over time is invaluable. To improve your cybersecurity readiness, it's important to weave security-specific insights into standard business reporting and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
By monitoring important security information like phishing attempts, system breaches, or data corruption alongside other performance indicators, companies can gain a more holistic perspective of their operations.
This complete transparency in one dashboard helps to identify important growth areas early on. It also assures stakeholders that cybersecurity isn't just an afterthought but a central component that supports the business's growth.
Cybersecurity shouldn't be dismissed as just another heavy financial expense or internal distraction. Rather, it should be looked at as a cornerstone of a successful business. Adopting cybersecurity initiatives and infusing them across all business operations enables companies to stand out in their industry and build trusting relationships with customers and clients.
Joseph Carson is a cybersecurity professional with more than 25 years’ experience in enterprise security and infrastructure. Currently, Carson is the Chief Security Scientist & Advisory CISO at Delinea. He is an active member of the cybersecurity community and a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). Carson is also a cybersecurity adviser to several governments, critical infrastructure organizations, and financial and transportation industries, and speaks at conferences globally.
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