Cybersecurity as a strategic asset for business growth

Keeping sensitive data private and secure has never been more important. For decades, enterprises have had to ward off malicious actors who attempt to access or disrupt sensitive data. It seems like no business is safe these days either, with Fortune 100 companies such as Coca-Cola investigating an alleged data breach and ransomware attack at the time of writing.

At best, cyberattacks damage a company’s brand and produce a need to publish official statements in the media. At worst, business-critical data can end up in the wrong hands and businesses can collapse due to the cost of recovering from the breach. As such, cybersecurity has become an existential issue for organizations, and it’s tempting to treat it like a necessary evil, but if done right, it doesn’t have to be. It can, in fact, strongly promote business growth.

Cybersecurity is a strategic asset

The average cost for a business to recover from a cyber breach today is US$3 million. Worse still, the impact on a company’s bottom line can be difficult to quantify, as it can impact its brand and reputation, customer loyalty, and potential legal and regulatory exposure. which must be managed.

But cybersecurity, when executed correctly, can very well be an enabler – and be a service center, rather than a cost center for the business. With a solid security strategy and investments, it essentially becomes a strategic asset that will lead to competitive advantage. Having a strong cybersecurity foundation ensures sound business operations, helps drive innovation, and builds customer loyalty and trust, which in turn has a positive impact on the company’s reputation and brand. the company. In other words, it will strongly enable the organization to achieve its strategic objectives. Reducing overall risk and financial exposure and being more resilient to a cyberattack means there will be virtually no downtime for the business and operations can continue unabated.

Cybersecurity drives business innovation

Rather than constantly saying no to internal business partners, who are trying to innovate quickly and bring competitive products to market, it is crucial to understand what they are trying to achieve, then support them in achieving these goals in a secure way. The goal is to provide transparent security as a service to the people developing the actual products and services so as not to slow down the development cycle. Instead, it should encourage them to experiment with innovative approaches to product development. These people can now be sure that the data they work with remains truly protected. They know they are not introducing new risks to the network or the product, due to their desire to try new tools and processes.

Many cybersecurity solutions today involve advanced technologies, such as innovative cloud solutions, identity and access management, zero-trust architecture, and more. Operating your business in a modern cloud environment, using advanced technologies that provide strong security features, allows your business to innovate and grow. They can operate at a more efficient scale and, at the same time, ensure that the organization achieves its strategic goals, realizes long-term cost savings, and protects its critical assets and data.

Treat customer data like digital gold

As companies today collect, process and store large volumes of consumer data, it is essential for the company to have a “data-centric view” of security and privacy, in this regarding how it builds its security program. There needs to be a paradigm shift to treat the data they store and process as pure digital gold, and the data as the new “network perimeter” to be protected. They need to focus on that data, especially who has access to it, what they are allowed to access, where to store it, and how to protect it securely. Protecting its critical assets and data in this way positions the company as a market leader in security and builds its reputation as a company that cares viscerally about the security and privacy of its customers’ data.

Simply put, companies that can demonstrate leadership in protecting customer data (ideally through a security and privacy-by-design approach) will gain a clear advantage over their competitors. Data should be considered an invaluable asset and must be protected at all costs. Today, customers are increasingly making it clear that the security and privacy of their data is paramount to the people they do business with and to whom they entrust their most valuable data assets. As such, cybersecurity becomes a key factor for businesses to gain the trust and loyalty of their customers, which means the business can grow and become more successful.

The bottom line: Putting your customers first and making sure they know you value the privacy and security of their data above all else will ensure customer loyalty year after year.

Cybersecurity educates employees about business risks

A final important factor for companies to consider is maintaining close relationships with all remote employees when it comes to security awareness. It is imperative to discuss and debate security topics to create as much awareness as possible of the various methods that hackers can devise socially at home and on their corporate network. Companies need to create a culture where all of their employees feel free to raise a question or topic regarding a security issue or current event. The more it is discussed internally, the stronger the company’s security posture and the more resilient the company becomes to cyberattacks.

Security awareness needs to be embedded into the corporate culture, so much so that it’s interesting and engaging for all employees, because all it takes is one click on the wrong link, and it could be the end of a business . By embedding security into the culture of the company, it empowers and assures employees that they can work safely, think freely and innovate, which ultimately promotes products and services that integrate security and privacy. from the design.

Article contributed by Reza Zaheridirector of information security Quantum Metrics

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