For organizations today, cyber risk is everywhere. Nevertheless, for every investment they have done to secure the systems and protect customers, entrepreneurs are still struggling to make cybersecurity a hands-on part of operations and strategy. There are basically two reasons behind this, first that cybersecurity is still treated as some back-end job and second that your IT department is ill-equipped to exert strategic influence.
In most businesses, cyber leaders are expected to secure the business, but when the company board makes big, strategic decisions about the business model, product, and digital strategy, cybersecurity is just an afterthought. This clearly states that companies are losing out on the value that the function can provide. Now, this approach was acceptable in the past, when threats were slower and less complex, but today it is not sufficient.
Today cyber leaders should be proficient enough to embed security throughout the business operations, rapidly respond to threats, and influence fellow senior leaders. And therefore, companies need to hire and develop security executives for their IT department who have the skills to do so. It’s time for the company boards to retune their expectations about how cybersecurity is positioned and what would be the role of their cyber leader in this risky scenario.
Here are some pointers that are sure to facilitate businesses to set a framework as to what business leaders should do to spur cybersecurity success.
First thing that you need to ask yourself is what outcomes are you seeking. Every business has a unique risk portfolio and there is absolutely no one-size-fits-all strategy. However, there are some primary options that all companies should consider while building their strategy. For instance, the strategy should be built around business continuity, compliance, brand protection, and bottom-line growth. You may want to think about factors like risk exposure, regulatory pressure, and customer value. Entrepreneurs must thoroughly analyze as to why they would need cybersecurity for their business, and they should be clear with their choices.
It may be easy to default to position cybersecurity within the IT function, but putting security and IT operations under the same roof, with the same budget can cause problems. Even before you decide where cybersecurity would be positioned, determine the types of influence you want it to have. Businesses operate in extensive ecosystems, where data and digital infrastructure are not neatly contained. Therefore, cybersecurity needs to be customized to specific elements. For instance, if your cyber needs are high in R&D, customer support, and manufacturing, you will have to position cybersecurity for lateral impact. Cyber leaders and programs also require proper authority, some political sway, and a top-level mandate so as to orchestrate change across the business. And most importantly, business leaders should incentivize the right stakeholders to work closely with the function.
It is quite crucial for boards and C-suite executives to prioritize mindset over technical skills while considering and evaluating cyber leaders. Skills like an expansive worldview, eagerness to help others grow, understanding how neuroscience can improve leadership, and having a voracious hunger for learning; should be taken into consideration. Businesses do require skills like threat intelligence, network security, and incident response, but these should not be the benchmark to measure cyber leaders. Cyber leaders should appreciate the technical capabilities, but they themselves need to be someone with an influential voice in business strategy, enterprise risk management, and technology decisions.
Cyber leaders should focus on building right relationships across the business ecosystem alongside structuring, empowering, and growing teams. They should be able to translate abstract technical concepts into messages that can illuminate senior leaders both logically and emotionally and elicit their contribution.
Neumetric, a cybersecurity services, consulting & products Organization, can help you reduce your security cost without compromising your security posture. Our years of in-depth experience in handling security for Organizations of all sizes & in multiple industries make it easier for us to quickly execute cost-cutting activities that do not bring value to you, while you continue focusing on the Business objectives of the Organization.
The Cybersecurity Experts at Neumetric believe that this framework can help mitigate business risk, lay guardrails for technology and security, reduce friction with regulators, and also increase competitive advantage.