As business leaders, we all share a common goal to maintain operational efficiencies and productivity, but we also share a common threat – cybersecurity. Every single aspect of a business operation in today’s digital environment should rely on effective cybersecurity. It’s no longer a simple technology issue and should be placed at the very top of any business agenda.
Think how disruptive a cyberattack would be to your business? If your site is down, how can potential customers locate your business or buy your goods and services? How much will you lose in sales? How much is the damage value of lost data, productivity, intellectual property and loss of your reputation? Think about those consequences in terms of dollar value and you will most likely begin to rethink cybersecurity as a business mandate and not a simple IT decision.
When a business works closely with security as a top priority, it helps support innovation and growth, increases productivity, boosts brand equity and allows expansion into new markets. Brand value has often appeared as intangible assets on a balance sheet. Any cyber breach negatively affects the brand value, and in turn the markets and shareholders’ perception about the reliability of the brand. However, when cyber-security is one of the strategic considerations while creating operational processes and procedures, and policies – it helps to boost brand equity and shareholder value.
Security is meant to be a driver of innovation and closely tied to customer loyalty and trust which are invaluable assets in a digital world. As such, cybersecurity has emerged as a top board level agenda. There’s probably no other operational item with the same potential to affect a company’s growth, reputation, innovation and investor relations.
Unfortunately, a recent study has shown that even though companies plan to increase their security budget, many of them are still failing to build a proactive strategy that is embedded into an operations culture. Why? There are two main reasons:
- Companies and business leaders don’t recognize the intrinsic value cybersecurity can provide. The main issue lies in how it is managed and perceived within an organization – cyber leaders are inexperienced in how to exert influence for change and the value of cybersecurity in terms of KPIs.
- Cybersecurity is viewed as simply a back-end job. Businesses need to refocus their digital innovative efforts and they need to make security a cross-cutting concern among other major company departments.
Cybersecurity is a continuous, proactive endeavour, not a single process. Therefore, it involves an entire ecosystem of people, processes and technologies to facilitate security at every level. Cybersecurity should span all facets of an organization and taking a proactive approach to drive innovation should be an intrinsic part of any security process. When companies make large, strategic decisions about business models, product mix, mergers and acquisitions, cybersecurity should be front-and-centre in the mix.
This approach is ever important in today’s ever-changing digital landscape where threats are greater and more complex. Cyber leaders must be able to have security entrenched throughout a company’s operations, allowing them to respond rapidly to threats and influence and lead senior leaders along the way. Companies need to either hire or outsource a security team, such as a fully managed IT service provider who has the skills and experience to enable change.
Below are three elements to take into consideration to make cybersecurity a business priority:
- Cybersecurity should be a fundamental business function – Security practices need to be intertwined with other business operations and this needs to be an ongoing business conversation for every company invested in digital security. Either the security programme is ad hoc and using strategic measures on a reactive basis; or its opportunistic with a focus on compliance that is entirely reactive. In most cases, IT security is seen exclusively as the domain of the IT department with a technical role and little or no management responsibility, but when security works closely with business, it helps support all goals and initiatives.
- Have cybersecurity influence corporate culture – A culture of cybersecurity needs to be created from the top-down. All employees from C-suite, top-tiered management, HR to accounting, all need to realize how damaging a cyberattack can be to an organization. Employee training must inform and bolster a company’s cybersecurity platform. Integrated training sessions are needed and protocols in place to be help staff become cyber-resilient company wide. C-level management and other staff don’t need to become technology experts, but they do need to understand that cybersecurity is their responsibility. No organization can defend itself against every attack, but having an effective intelligence plan can help companies identify possible attacks and have response and recovery mechanisms against potential cyber breaches.
- Work with a managed security service provider (MSSP) – Technology as a business operation is omnipresent – from simple email to advanced analytics. And changes like remote working to adjust to the recent COVID outbreak will further entwine technology with everyday operations. However, technology and cyber security often change rapidly, making it near impossible for organizations, whose core capabilities lie elsewhere, to keep up. This makes it more imperative for these organizations, such as mining, or professional services, to work with stakeholders like IT MSP who are heavily invested in technology and can keep up with the rapidly changing world of technology and cyber risks.
Interface Technologies is a leading Managed IT Services Company located in Toronto, Ontario.
For over 30 years, Interface Technologies has been providing managed IT services to hundreds of successful businesses in the Toronto and surrounding areas. We have your IT service needs covered from top-to-bottom with services including fibre internet, IT support and consulting, cybersecurity, business VoIP and private cloud servers. We make it so that you only have one number to call for all your technology needs.
Best of all…we know your business. With our extensive client list across multiple industries including finance, law, mining, accounting, restaurants and healthcare. We offer a one-hour rescue guarantee, no hidden fees and 100% satisfaction. Ready to get started? Call us at 416-363-9880 or visit us at interface.ca.