Making the business case for cybersecurity tools

As business becomes increasingly digital, the need for a long-term, proactive cybersecurity strategy has never been greater.

Yet many small and medium businesses often struggle to get the tools in place to protect themselves, making them easy targets. This is partially due to a lack of funding and dedicated IT staff—however, security is no longer just an IT problem; it’s a business problem.

As those responsible for your business risk profile, your board of directors and C-level executives need to understand how investing in a security strategy can minimize business risk and enable growth.

A new mindset

As your executives begin to take ownership and accountability for how security impacts business, a new approach is needed—one that looks at security strategically rather than reactively.

The traditional approach of implementing technology as new issues arise just doesn’t cut it anymore in today’s digital age. Costs and complexity can quickly get out of control.

“It’s like putting patches on a road after a tough winter—we are filling the holes, but we are not necessarily putting the infrastructure into place to deal with the demands of the coming years ahead,” attorney and information governance expert Jeffrey Ritter said a recent SearchCompliance webcast.

So how do you get your executives and investors to buy in to the right security tools you need to protect your business for the long term?

Understanding your audience

First take a step back and think about what C-level executives and board members need to know. It’s best to state your case in clear, simple business terms, backed up with data.

A joint white paper by the National Cyber Security Alliance and National Association of Corporate Directors advises, “While the specific information your board needs will vary depending upon the organization’s industry, regulatory requirements, operating activities, geographic footprint, and risk profile, all boards are looking to management to translate technical, tactical details about cybersecurity into business terms: risks, opportunities, and strategic implications.”

Assessing risk

Data is one of your most important business assets. Securing it is a fundamental requirement in today’s day and age. A data breach can not only cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars—but also your reputation and maybe even your business.

Up to 60 percent of small and medium businesses that are hacked go out of business within six months after a cyberattack, according to a U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance report.

Simple, easy-to-use enterprise-grade tools like Citrix ShareFile can protect your data and help you maintain security and compliance regulations.

Keeping it real

However, be careful not to overdramatize risk because it can be counterintuitive.

According to a Future of Tech article, “For far too long, cyber-security has been spoken about in negative terms, instantly scaring many senior executives into taking rash action without a comprehensive understanding of the different cyber-security risks and how they affect their company.”

“Instead, cyber-security should be seen as a business enabler,” the article continues. “Just like other business problems, ineffective cyber-security can affect a company’s reputation, consumer confidence and, ultimately, share price and profits.”

Interested in learning more about cybersecurity? Check out these three recent blog posts:

About the Author

Adrian Phillips leads product marketing for Citrix ShareFile. With a diverse career dating back to the dot-boom era, his passion is helping customers transform the way they work by using cloud-based technologies. Striving to live a paperless life in Raleigh, N.C., Adrian holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism.