Leveraging Cybersecurity for Business Growth

By Joseph Carson, CISSP

Modern businesses are clearly starting to recognize the importance of cybersecurity. In the past ten years, the increase in cyber risks has been significant, with certain attacks leading to extensive financial damages for businesses.

Forward-thinking businesses understand that improving their cybersecurity measures is not just a choice – it’s an important business necessity.

Traditionally, cybersecurity was seen as just a necessary expense – an area where companies allocated funds to initiatives just to keep their business safe. However, that thought process is evolving, and cybersecurity is now being viewed as a catalyst for business growth.

The Traditional View of Cybersecurity

For certain businesses, cybersecurity efforts have always been at the top of their financial priorities. However, for many others, cybersecurity was viewed as just another cost of doing business. It was no different than purchasing insurance for your business or home – investing funds regularly into it but very rarely needing to use it.

This approach made it a hurdle for many cybersecurity departments to advocate for more funding for new initiatives when speaking to executives who were more focused on bottom-line business projections.

However, this mindset is undergoing a major shift. Companies are now recognizing the broader benefits of moving funds into cybersecurity, not just for the security of their systems. Businesses can also leverage cybersecurity strategies as a competitive edge and an opportunity for expansion.

How Things are Changing

At its core, cybersecurity focuses on risk management and streamlining operating procedures. A considerable amount of network vulnerabilities and data breaches stem from human errors. This is why a lot of cybersecurity initiatives prioritize training employees about potential threats and setting up the right protocols to thwart them.

This heightened awareness is proving beneficial for businesses as they harden their security defense and create more robust systems. Tools like Privilege Access Management (PAM) and data encryption have transitioned from being seen as just additional security options to best industry best practices.

How Cybersecurity Can Be Leveraged For Business Growth

When you’re evaluating whether to include cybersecurity solutions in your budget, remember it’s not just about safeguarding your assets. Cybersecurity offers several ways to boost business growth. 

Here’s how you can leverage cybersecurity for your business:

Incorporate Cybersecurity Into Long-Term Business Goals

Cybersecurity is more than just a one-time investment – a fundamental component of ensuring business viability and growth. It shouldn’t be brushed to the side or treated as an afterthought. Instead, integrating cybersecurity strategies into all of your business goals is important.

From the moment you establish your business, cybersecurity should be at the forefront of planning activities. This begins with an in-depth analysis of the current digital landscape your business is in. Recognize and understand the various cyber threats that could potentially affect businesses similar to yours. Completing this form of analysis can offer insights into the most likely challenges and threats you might face now and moving forward.

Once you have the relevant information you need, identify potential areas of vulnerability within your operations to address. This could mean analyzing system software, arranging for more employee cybersecurity training, or evaluating the security standards of the third-party vendors you work with.

Highlight Your Company’s Dedication to Security

It’s not only businesses that value cybersecurity – consumers and clients are becoming increasingly conscious of their data security when interacting with businesses.

Rather than viewing this growing awareness as a potential sales hurdle, turn it into an opportunity by highlighting the proactive steps your organization takes towards cybersecurity as a unique selling point. 

Emphasize your commitment to safeguarding client information and maintaining data privacy. This can be showcased in various ways, such as having a specific section on cybersecurity on your website or listing your security accreditations in marketing materials.

By highlighting your commitment to online safety, you convey to potential customers that you take storing their information seriously and make consistent efforts to ensure it’s protection.

Use Regulatory Compliance Standards as a Catalyst for Growth

When it comes to data protection, businesses must adhere to specific guidelines and industry best practices. The severity and complexity of these requirements vary depending on the sector, but many times, non-compliance can result in serious fines for businesses.

While regularly meeting these critical benchmarks can seem time-consuming or expensive, they do exist to protect both consumers and the businesses themselves. Instead of viewing them as box-checking exercises, businesses should see them as opportunities to significantly improve their operational efficiency.

Businesses should try to do more than just the bare minimum to meet this criteria. This might involve better security RDP systems, mandating multi-factor authentication across all applications, or scheduling periodic security evaluations. Adopting a comprehensive security approach not only reinforces existing strategies but also ensures adaptability to potential regulatory shifts down the road.

Create a Holistic View of Company Metrics

Measuring your business’s performance using metrics is important. So, when improving your cybersecurity readiness, integrating security-related insights into your regular business analytics and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) can be beneficial.

Tracking vital security data, such as phishing activities, system intrusions, or data anomalies, in conjunction with other performance metrics, provides businesses with a comprehensive view of how everything is performing.

Having all this information on a single dashboard helps with early detection and reassures stakeholders that cybersecurity isn’t just on the sidelines, but it’s an integral part of the business’s success.

Prioritize Cybersecurity Initiatives to Help With Business Growth

Cybersecurity shouldn’t be looked at just as a burdensome financial obligation or an internal hurdle. Rather than viewing it as an afterthought, cybersecurity should be recognized as an important cornerstone of a successful business. By embedding a Defense in Depth strategy across all business areas, companies can stand out in the market and build deeper trust with their customers and partners.

Author bio:

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.


About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com

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