While the board members are beginning to prioritize cybersecurity, many of them still struggle, seeing it as a cost center. Hence, it is up to CISOs to help their peers understand that the investment in cybersecurity is fractional when compared to the value it provides to the organization.
Cyber-attacks are continuing to evolve, advance and are becoming even more sophisticated than ever. This is leading to organizations increasing their cybersecurity budgets for the coming year. According to the PwC “2022 Global Digital Trust Insights Survey”, over 69% of organizations expect to boost their investment in cybersecurity in 2022, while 26% expect their security budget to increase by 10% or more.
But, even in the age of constantly increasing high-profile cyber-attacks, many executives still perceive cybersecurity as a cost center. This leaves CISOs at odds with their peers because their counterparts are frustrated and confused and struggle to understand the actual value they are getting from cybersecurity investments.
They struggle to understand the security jargon and vain metrics and are confused about the threats targeting their businesses. Hence, it is critical that CISOs help them understand these metrics. They should be able to translate the value of cybersecurity initiatives into the monetary benefits that the organization is receiving. Not only that, CISOs should also show them how a secured infrastructure gives the organization a competitive advantage just as much as it protects digital infrastructure and data assets.
Here are three strategies that CISOs can adopt to help their peers see cybersecurity as a value center instead of a cost one:
Know the other executives perceive the message
Before taking steps to present their views to their peers, CISOs should be clear about what their peers think of them. They should reflect on how their executives view them, whether they are working to shape policy and strategy or being considered to keep the infrastructure intact.
Most CISOs get stuck and just show what steps they are taking to keep the organization secure in the landscape. They only show the metrics but do not show how it significantly influences business success. CISOs should learn to speak the language of their counterparts and place security as a hub of innovation as much as other technologies.
Focus on stakeholder engagement
For any major transformation initiative to succeed, it needs the support of the executive and cybersecurity is no different. Therefore, CISOs should engage key stakeholders from various departments early on and infuse their perspectives into their strategy. When the executives feel they are active participants and their opinion is valued, they are more likely to back and support the cyber transformation programs.
Emphasize the positive aspects
The recent high-profile and impactful cyber events have made cyber-security a top priority for board members. More than ever, they are paying attention to security as related regulations and customer expectations in the cybersecurity industry have risen. However, this is also associated cybersecurity with negative connotations due to ramifications such as financial, regulatory, and reputation harm.
CISOs should paint an optimistic and uplifting message about cybersecurity. They should help their peers understand its positive impact and how it can help businesses function securely while maximizing the values to the stakeholders.
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