Before organizations became customer-obsessed, drilling down to personalization information security was simple. But, now, the entire game has changed.
Historically, the CIO, along with a small team, used to function internally, almost invisible to the non-IT eye. Back then, cybersecurity operation was in the shadows, and it worked sufficiently fine.
Fast forward to the current scenario, cybersecurity forms the front and center for all senior leadership, customers, boards, and partners. All the global stakeholders have realized that the main target is a customer data breach, which costs the company over $200 million to resolve.
And in the increasingly competitive business landscape, futuristic organizations are integrating information/data security into business processes to avoid becoming the next cautionary example of a customer data breach.
The continuously evolving cybersecurity threats faced by organizations include malicious security breaches and data attacks initiated by well-intentioned employees. Ironically, as businesses get benefits from connected infrastructure networks, (for example, supply chain management systems), their security threats and risks – as attacks can spread across connected networks quickly.
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CIOs and CISOs are not alone at the table advocating for better data security and privacy measures, and there’s still a huge room for improvement. Less than half of the corporate boards participate in their organization’s security framework and strategy.
But perhaps the biggest threat is the lingering notion that cybersecurity is an IT problem. Companies need to clearly understand that it’s a strategy level business problem that needs to be addressed across all levels and departments of the organization. Unfortunately, most business leaders fail to understand the mechanism of data security and digital threats, making it a more difficult issue to address.
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Four ways cybersecurity investment allows organizations to gain a competitive edge:
Reducing compliance fines and risks – Legislation such as the HIPAA, GDPR, and PIPEDA affects the way firms do business, and fines can be substantial as GDPR violations can cost up to $20 million or 4% annual turnover (whichever is greater). Since EU citizens are totally covered under the GDPR even when they’re out of the EU, global companies can stay on the correct side of compliance by using proactive policy-based email encryption efforts that automatically apply protection to preset groups of users (e.g., EU citizens).
Reduces useless costs – On average, the cost of a single data breach is around USD 3.6 million. The cost of data breaches hence justifies the need for a robust cyber security strategy.
Protects the brand name – Inadvertently allowing malicious hackers or entities to access the customers’ personal data is a quick way to eliminate or reduce their trust. Investing in proactive cyber security measures like data encryption, allows enterprises to preserve fragile relationships, which are the reality of digital trust.
Delivers a value proposition for customers – The customers may not be capable enough to keep up with the ever-evolving cyber security landscape, but they expect protection to be a built-in feature of their vendors. Proactive cyber security measures simplify online business, making them safer and more reliable. This, in turn, saves customers time, streamlines their experience, and successfully delivers real value to them.
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An information security strategy is likely to have multiple lines of defense, including authorization, encryption, and data integrity measures, but these processes and systems only work if people use them.
Companies need to actively invest in implementing cyber security systems and processes that are easy for customers and employees to use. Even when cyber security is on the top of people’s minds, most customers and employees won’t be inconvenienced just for the sake of security.