In Part 1 of this post, we defined our top three indicators of cybersecurity ROI—Brand, Regulations & Uptime—and it doesn't end there. There are many reasons to invest in cybersecurity, but these five indicators clearly show how to measure return on those investments.
4. Protect Your Data
This is one of the most overlooked aspects of cybersecurity in companies around the world. Some believe that if you don’t collect financial information, social security numbers, medical information, or government secrets that your data means nothing. Let me tell you; it does. There are a number of reasons hackers may target your data:
· Trade secrets
· Architectural drawings
· Engineering specifications
· Medical information
· HR data
· Employee records
· Customer lists
· Marketing information
· Proprietary documents
· Business forecasts
· Manufacturing specifications
· Process information
Your data means something to you, which means that someone else wants it. Whether it is a recipe for cake batter, medical information, customer lists, or trade secrets; someone out there wants to steal it, sell it, or reproduce it. This is one of the reasons why patents mean absolutely nothing in some countries. If your business turns profits from any type of data that you collect, create, or utilize, attacker(s) will come for it—if they have not already.
What would it cost if a manufacturer in China were to recreate your exact product for 400% below the consumer cost that you charge? What would happen if your competitors were to begin contacting your confidential customers and offering them the same services or products at discounted rates?
Protecting your data means protecting your business, employees, and your profit margins. Ensuring that your confidential data remains so can ensure that your organizations future is secured. By holding onto that sensitive information, your competitors may soon be purchasing from you instead of spending millions on research and development to create a product or service that parallels yours. Investing in data protection is a no brainer.
5. Spending Now vs. Later
Some organizations treat cybersecurity as a necessary evil and only a cost. This is far from reality and the examples given in this article are not alone. There are other reasons why cybersecurity can be seen as a growth enabler and not merely a spend.
The purpose of this article is to provoke thought in IT leaders, security professionals, executives, board members, and anyone in between. The problems of data breaches and cyber-incidents are prevalent because of the mindset that surrounds cybersecurity in general.
Organizations have treated cybersecurity as a “thing” that needs to be bolted onto organizations. However, we need to perceive cybersecurity for what it is. It is the seatbelt, airbags, roll cage, and for your profits. If you do not adequately protect your organization, you are falling behind and it could mean lost revenue, fines, fees, cancellation of contracts, brand and image damage, costly downtime, exposure of sensitive information and trade secrets, or the halting of business operations.
Stand with confidence in ensuring the security of your organization. Your security due diligence should be worn as a badge of honor. Your customers, business affiliates, regulatory entities, patients, and employees all appreciate your investment in cybersecurity.
We are all under attack in some way, and to stay protected we must recognize that cybersecurity is an investment that yields great returns.