As a cybersecurity consultant and advisor, I often forget that my clients and those of you who are out there running your businesses don’t think about cybersecurity the way I do and that’s fair I don’t think about your industry the way you probably do. We all have our “thing” that we do really well and we forget that others don’t see our “thing” the same way.
Often cybersecurity professionals use FUD….Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt to explain why cybersecurity is important and tactics such as listing lots of statistics on all the breaches, after which they will conclude, “It’s not ifyou’re breached, but when”, and make you wonder whether you’ve done enough.
What we have forgotten to tell you is that cybersecurity is actually a strategy you can use as a competitive advantage within your industry. It is part of running a successful and influential business. By implementing cybersecurity in a strategic way, you can reduce risks that can cost you more later, become more competitive, and improve your bottom line.
Brand loyalty is not what it used to be (unless your Apple or Android where there’s a fight to watch between loyalists). Consumers want to do business with those who want what is best for them and they will leave very quickly if they feel you don’t care about them. They want you to protect them and be willing and able to protect their information. In the case of many new products consumers need you to protect their physical well-being and in some cases their lives. Whether your product can track their location, their information, their privacy, or physically harm them if not developed correctly, your customers need your help. The more you can show you are doing the right things the more loyal your customers will be.
Maybe you don’t sell to consumers and are not concerned about brand loyalty from that perspective. If instead you sell a service to other businesses or to the government, cybersecurity may be the competitive advantage you are looking for. Many industries and any government contract will require their business partners, vendors, and service providers have a cybersecurity program to protect connections and data. If a potential business customer comes to you with a contract that would be great for your bottom line and says “we can do business with you if you can provide information and attestation regarding these 200 security questions”, I guarantee it will be much more fun if you can easily say yes and get that business. I constantly recommend to my clients when they are on the search for new business partners and vendors to have a due diligence process and only contract with those who can show they have implemented compliance and/or security programs. It is much easier to put the program in place before the contract shows up.
Other benefits include teaching your employees good security practices at work, which not only protects your organization, but also helps them stay safe at home too. When you care about your employees and teach them how to protect themselves you can add a level of employee loyalty. Not to mention it’s also being a great corporate citizen for your community.
If customer loyalty, new contracts, and being a great corporate citizen doesn’t resonate with you, then maybe improved stakeholder confidence is what you’re looking for. I’m not a stock market wiz, but last time I checked stock price valuation has a lot to do with confidence and when your customers and employees are confident in your organization and product, your stock price should reflect this.
That was the short discussion I wanted to have when I realized that we have forgotten to share all the good reasons to implement cybersecurity.
If you want to continue the conversation or have specific cybersecurity questions reach out via email to email@example.com. I’m happy to discuss stagey and options for improving your cybersecurity posture.