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Cybersecurity at the heart of successful business

It has never been more important to keep sensitive data private and secure. For decades, businesses have been trying to stop hackers and other bad actors from accessing sensitive data. 

In fact, four in ten businesses (39%) reported having cyber security breaches or attacks in 2021 and like in previous years, this is higher among medium businesses (65%), and large businesses (64%).

In the best-case scenario, cyber attacks damage a company’s brand and force it to issue formal public statements. In a worst-case scenario, serious business-critical data can end up in the wrong hands, and a business can collapse due to the cost of recovery from the breach. Therefore, cyber security has become an existential issue for organisations, and while it is tempting to treat it as a necessary evil, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, cyber security can serve as a catalyst for business growth.

Cyber security is a strategic asset

The average cost to a company in the UK, to recover from a cyber breach, is £3 million,  according to a Ponemon Institute study. Worst yet, the impact on a company’s sales revenue can be hard to quantify, as it can impact their brand and reputation, the loyalty of their customers, as well as potential legal and regulatory exposure that must be managed.

Cybersecurity, when executed correctly, can prove to be more of a source of value and a service centre than a cost centre for a business. Through a solid security strategy and investment, it becomes a strategic asset that will drive competitive advantage. In addition to ensuring a company’s business operations remain healthy while spurring innovation, a strong cyber security foundation builds customer loyalty and trust, positively affecting the company’s reputation and brand. Reduced financial and risk exposure, and more resilience to a cyber attack, means the business has a much better chance of withstanding an attack and allows operations to continue.

Customer data is digital gold

Because companies are collecting, processing and storing large volumes of consumer data, it’s vital for the business to have a ‘data-centric view’ of security and privacy, with respect to how it builds its security program. There must be a paradigm shift to treat the data its stores and processes as pure digital gold, that must be protected. The company must focus on who has access to it, what they are allowed to access, where to store it, and how to protect it securely. Protecting one’s critical assets and data in such a manner positions the company as a market leader in security, and builds its reputation as one that viscerally cares for the security and privacy of its customer data.

Companies that can demonstrate leadership in protecting customers’ data (via a security and privacy-by-design approach) will gain a distinct advantage over their competitors. Data should be seen as an invaluable asset. Today, customers are making it increasingly clear that the security and privacy of their data are paramount to who they conduct business with, and to whom they entrust their most prized data assets. As such, cybersecurity becomes a key factor in companies gaining the trust and loyalty of their customers.

Creating an environment to innovate

It is crucial to understand what internal business partners are trying to accomplish, so they can provide security-as-a-service, and enable Product and Development teams to rapidly and securely move competitive products to market rapidly. Employees now feel assured knowing that the data they’re working with is fully protected. They also know that, by experimenting with innovative approaches to product development, they are not introducing new risks to their network or their product.

The cyber security solutions of today involve cutting edge technologies, such as innovative cloud solutions, Identity and Access Management, and Zero Trust architectures. Operating a business in a modern cloud environment, utilising state-of-the-art technologies that offer solid security features, allows the business to innovate and grow. They can operate at a more efficient scale, and at the same time ensure the organisation achieves its strategic goals, enjoys cost savings in the long run, and protects its critical assets and data. 

Helping humans prevent human error

It is important for businesses to have close relationships with all remote employees regarding security awareness. In order to bring as much awareness to the various methods that hackers can use to socially engineer at home and on corporate networks, security topics must be consistently discussed and debated. It is imperative that businesses create a climate in which all employees feel free to ask a question, or discuss a security issue or a current event. The more it is discussed internally, the stronger the corporate security posture, and the more resilient the business becomes to cyber attacks.

Security awareness should be an integral part of company culture, so much so that it becomes interesting and engaging for all employees because one wrong click could spell disaster for a business. Integrating security into the culture of the company ultimately empowers and assures employees that they can work safely, and freely innovate.

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