“Cybersecurity continues to make headline news, most recently with Garmin being attacked by WastedLocker (ransomware) via Evil Corp, a nation-state affiliated hacking group of Russian’s Federal Security Service – Federal’naya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti (FSB). With this, I have to ask – do you believe cybersecurity can be a competitive advantage?”
U.S. firms must take into account their role in combating these cyber threats and protecting their shareholders’ value.
People. Process. Tools. If leveraged correctly, cybersecurity can absolutely be a competitive advantage and defend against these types of attacks. In 2020, cybersecurity is a necessity. It’s not about if an attack happens, but when an attack will happen. It is said again and again, but it is very true. There is no room to be stubborn or naive to the situation anymore. Operationalizing a strong cybersecurity platform is as important as a strategic acquisition, marketing strategy, or a 10-year financial plan.
Cybersecurity can be a tremendous competitive advantage when you think of it in this way:
Productivity. Think of cybersecurity as a business continuity. You want your organization to secure its operations and main business functions in the event of an unplanned incident that will cause business disruption. Plan for these events in detail. Engage both a cybersecurity team and information technology firm in order to cover all the topics.
Public Relations. Show your clients how seriously you take your role as a steward of their private information or investments into your company. If your organization is responsible for another organization’s information, be as transparent as possible. Take matters seriously. Partner with a public relations firm to establish a communications plan for a crisis.
Gaining and Retaining Employees. Secure your most important information from insider threats and competitors. Create policies and procedures for internal processes, and procedures should be instilled immediately upon hire. If an employee is a threat, there will already be protocols to respond to these matters. The appropriate action will be taken, and your organization’s data will be left unharmed. It is also vital to have employees feel safe and important while employed. Take the time to instruct cybersecurity hygiene and reward for good behavior, thereby embedding it within your culture. As a result, you will produce an accountable and collaborative environment.
But you must go deeper than having people and a reliable tool. A process for how you and your organization will plan, prepare, prevent and overcome a cyberattack is a requirement. It is not an easy task or project, but rather one that needs attention to detail and the appropriate parties involved. Outlining and understanding a cybersecurity plan will place you and your organization at an advantage. When a cyberattack occurs, those responsible for the attack will know who to get involved and what procedures to take.
By having a solid plan in place, you and your organization can set yourself apart from those who are not leveraging a cybersecurity plan. A vibrant cybersecurity program should include robust processes to audit and validate the purity of the services promised to your employees. Establishing a homogenous cybersecurity platform within your organization can be daunting, if relying solely upon your internal staff and security tools. These nation-state sponsored cybercriminals will outsmart and outmaneuver the vast majority of internally developed initiatives.
It must be a partnership between your internal staff and a trusted third party. Working together to stop cyberattacks is greater than not having a plan at all or trying to fight this battle on your own. By working together, we can solve and address security challenges by establishing a common defense and the development of a long-term investment strategy to beat these adversaries.
The repercussions of not taking these steps, alignment from the Board to the Security Engineer, will likely result in your firm suffering from the latest ransomware attack. In all, you want to turn these protective measures into profit. It is the goal, and it is how cybersecurity becomes a competitive advantage. Cybersecurity is an asset to any organization. It is in the hands of the executive team to be champions and lead these cybersecurity initiatives. Instill these cybersecurity initiatives so it permeates throughout the company for all employees to have visibility. In doing so, your organization will leverage cybersecurity to drive profits and stay on track. Continue to strive for operational excellence, enabling your cybersecurity plan to become a competitive advantage.