How Adopting a “Culture of Security” Protects Your Data and Strengthens Your Business.
In a digital economy, data is the foundation from which a company is built, and protecting that data is critical to your success.
Of course, the importance of your company’s data also makes it a target for hackers and malicious actors.
To protect this key asset, businesses are investing in cybersecurity as the primary IT priority over the next year, according to a recent cybersecurity survey from Clutch.
“Companies are adopting a ‘culture of security’ where there is an increased investment in technology to protect them before, during and after an attack,” said Matt Patus, Lead Security Engineer at Matrix Integration, in reference to the increase in IT investment.
The “culture of security” created from investing in cybersecurity encourages companies to reduce their security exposure, prepares them in the case of an attack, and allows for them to respond effectively.
This article explores the positive impact of adopting a culture of security, both in terms of lock-and-key protection of company data and the associated business advantages it brings.
A Culture of Security Creates a Holistic Approach to Security
The culture of security that results from your business increasing the amount it invests in IT security or cybersecurity addresses concerns on all ends of the security spectrum: prevention, response, and recovery.
Your primary security concern as a company is to prevent any sort of attack or breach from occurring. The first effort to prevent a security incident is to take inventory of all of your assets and potential security vulnerabilities, particularly the access points within your company infrastructure, like administrative logins and network restrictions. Conducting an audit of all of your security assets creates an underlying comprehension of your company’s security strengths and vulnerabilities, which in turn informs you what the focus points should be in your security policy.
Unfortunately for everyone, it’s impossible to fend off every security threat to your company. The threat of an information security or cybersecurity breach of your company’s data will only increase over time, especially as devices and networks become increasingly interconnected (think: IoT).
A company well-versed in security policy and knowledge, though, is much more well-equipped to handle a security breach or attack. Incident response is a key tenet of a strong security strategy and another core element of harboring a company culture of security. Thus, your company should have a practiced procedure for responding to an attack to mitigate the amount of damage inflicted on your company.
The final endpoint on the security continuum is recovery. Given the increased possibility of experiencing some sort of cyber attack, your company needs to develop a proactive plan for how to rebound from the damage it inflicts.
“Embracing attack recovery signifies a shift in policy focus from prevention to repair,” says John Emard, VP of Sales for Matrix Integration. “Budgets for companies will move from ‘prevent and protect’ to ‘detect and repair’.”
Your company’s budget drives your culture of security. Accordingly, devoting your budget to recovery allows your company to get back to standard operation immediately and effectively.
“Compliance” Means Continuous Execution of Security Policy
Employee compliance with security policy is at the heart of maintaining a culture of security. Of course, in order to comply with policy, your employees need to fully understand how your security policy works and what sort of behavior is defined as compliant.
As Matrix Integration’s Business Development Director, Mike Childs, explains in the video below, “Compliance does not equal security.” Compliance entails continued execution of security best practices, rather than “getting in line” with company policy.
A culture of security is about emphasizing and encouraging your company to continuously execute security measures until it becomes ingrained in the company culture. If policy is well-understood and followed, a company can successfully foster a culture of security.
A Culture of Security Positively Affects Your Bottom Line
A culture of security is self-reinforcing and dynamic; it both guarantees the security of your company’s data and contributes to your business’ value proposition to customers, in that if a customer partners with your firm, you can keep their information safe.
The business advantages provided by a culture of security are not exclusive to businesses exclusively associated with cybersecurity.
Take Wal-Mart, for example. Wal-Mart, despite being the largest retailer in the world, has never suffered a major cyber breach. In fact, they were ranked as the seventh most secure retailer in the country.
The impact of business security on a business’ bottom line is explained by basic buyer logic. If an security-minded customer was to choose between making a purchase online from Wal-Mart or Target, one of its primary competitors who suffered a massive data breach in 2013, which one would they likely choose?
Another example that demonstrates the economic impact of security is the market for credit bureaus. For businesses that use credit bureaus, the chances are fairly good that they are now looking into Experian and TransUnion before Equifax, after the recent cyberattack that compromised data of over 100 million people.
Ultimately, establishing and maintaining security as a core operational component of a business provides your business with a competitive edge in the eyes of customers. The safer your company is, the more comfortable customers are completing transactions through your company.
Invest in Cybersecurity Resources to Create a Culture of Security
In the digital era, information security needs to be a primary focus for your business. In order to strengthen your business’ cybersecurity and information security, your business should work to create a culture of security. Securing your company data and following best practices for cybersecurity should be included and encouraged as part of the standard operation of your business.
A culture of security ultimately provides an advanced level of protection for your business’ most valuable asset, its data, which also works as a competitive advantage by establishing customer trust that any transaction with your company will be secure.
Through investing in cybersecurity and IT security resources, your business can create a culture of security.
Grayson KemperContent Developer focused on IT research at Clutch
Matrix Integration specializes in information technology solutions including IT consulting, security, communications, networking, implementation, wireless, data centers, staff augmentation, remote monitoring, disaster recovery and professional services