Cybersecurity as a part of business strategy

Many companies tend to have proper business continuity strategies to keep everything under control in eventual situations. Most think of eventualities like fire or severe storm and plan around such disasters only. Still, 2020 demonstrated to us there are far more situations to be ready for further. This year health crisis forced organizations to adapt to the new working conditions, which gave rise to a lot of cybersecurity flaws.

Plenty of companies have been relying on digital workflows even before this COVID-19 crisis. Today it’s almost a must to implement a remote working style for most organizations globally, which potentially brings additional cybersecurity issues.

That demonstrates how quickly the situation may change and how important having a business continuity strategy is. Not to mention how important including cybersecurity aspects in company strategy is.

Let’s sort things out why cybersecurity is a must-have part of any business strategy.

Cybersecurity became a critical issue for most companies now. Still, many CIOs treat it not as such. Recent Gartner’s research states that only 30% of organizations have a business-led approach to digital risks. It’s high time to rethink cybersecurity as a part of business strategy and not yet another IT solution.

The latest PwC study revealed that cyber threats are among the top-5 CEO’s concerns: 33% in 2020 vs. 30% in 2019. This way, cybersecurity threats concern rises year-to-year:

Image 1. TOP 15 threats: 2019 vs. 2020.

Source: pwc.com

Why cybersecurity has to take part in a company’s business strategy?

Most companies deal with data today. Data is quite a crucial digital asset, which needs to be stored, transferred, and accessed safely and securely. Any data breach impacts company’s clients first, and it may take a while to clear your name and gain trust.

Cybersecurity deals both with an organization’s tangible and intangible assets. And since cyber attacks may touch both, cybersecurity should be among prioritized business considerations.

What is a successful cybersecurity strategy?

Cybersecurity is an ongoing process, not a one-time activity. You can’t just set it and forget it since it involves the company’s staff, processes, technology. Also, an organization’s cybersecurity strategy must be internally audited and revised from time to time to be effective.

Here’s the checklist of a successful cybersecurity program:

  • Appoint the CIO responsible for the development and implementation of the company’s cybersecurity strategy, or consult cybersecurity experts to handle this.
  • Develop and implement necessary policies, processes, and instructions. 
  • Perform a risk assessment. Ensure all these are up-to-date.
  • Conduct staff training, educate them continuously, not eventually.
  • Review and revise the cybersecurity strategy regularly.
  • Respond immediately to detected threats and attacks, and perform the recovery plan.

Lessons Learned

  1. Cybersecurity is an ongoing process and not a single task in the company’s to-do list for today.
  2. Cybersecurity strategy involves not only the company’s IT department but also staff and everyday workflows.
  3. To implement a successful cybersecurity program within your company, you need to develop a strategy, perform risk assessments, educate the workforce, and review all the policies and processes throughout the time.