Maintaining a robust cybersecurity approach is critical for business success and continuity, as the company’s security posture has a huge impact on its external customers and partners.
A robust cybersecurity strategy not just protects the business itself; it adds another additional layer of defense to curb the potential impacts of all security breaches across the wider business networks, including customers and partners.
Sophisticated cyber criminals increasingly rely on unauthorized access to one organization, to exploit and compromise partners and customers that are connected across the wider network. This makes it essential for organizations to ensure that their own security protocols protect themselves, their customers, and partners.
They should also conduct due diligence to assure that their partners aren’t inadvertently creating vulnerabilities due to a lack of insufficient cybersecurity measures.
Cybercriminals often see weaker partners as an opportunity to infiltrate and exploit the more lucrative and larger targets. Increasing interconnectedness means that any successful breach of a smaller organization – having fewer security resources to defend against any cyber-attack –translates into access to larger organizations.
The increasing connectedness of different business networks indicates that organizations are steadily becoming more responsible for protecting partner/ customer networks and information. Any kind of breach or cyber-attack will affect an organization and also its networks, leading to reputational and financial impacts.
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The executives need to consider the prolonged impacts on customer and partner trust, brand reputation, and shareholder value that can come from breaches and the subsequent exposure of sensitive data.
The potential fallout from any cyber-attack includes share prices falling, an increase in customer turnover, and a reduced pipeline as the customers turn the businesses elsewhere.
In business partnerships, the expectation is that all information needs to be protected by relevant parties. Customers and partners alike have all the multiple options to choose from- they can even end their relationships if sensitive and financial company information is ever breached.
Maintaining a robust security posture is crucial to positively affect any organization’s recovery time in all events of a security breach.
Clearly, organizations need to consider their security posture in their broader business networks to ensure that they aren’t easily vulnerable to attacks that come through unsecured partners. There are no questions that data security is a shared responsibility. But there are steps that businesses need to take, to ensure that best defense mechanisms are maintained to protect critical data.
Companies with a strong security posture share attribute such as regular assessments of vulnerabilities and audits, as well as relevant training for employees’ awareness and best practices.
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But, a strong security posture usually comes from having adequate budgets and dedicated CISOs that are strategically invested in necessary technologies. Cybersecurity is increasingly turned to be a key topic at the board level, especially as businesses become increasingly connected.
It’s essential that organizations seek to continually enhance their security posture to ensure no erosion of customer and partner trust in business relationships. Security needs to be considered in each business conversation, and it should be treated as the top priority throughout.