It’s ironic: when global threats are in the news every day, their ubiquity makes them easy to ignore. Whether they be political threats, climate threats, or data security threats, we can become numb to ever-present risk. Add in the chorus of advice from the growing number of providers, and even those who want to act become paralyzed by choice and complexity. Cybersecurity is no exception – the daily deluge of breach notices and press reports of massive attacks has made us less, not more, sensitive to the threat.
Crisis fatigue can be compounded with defeatist thinking, believing that no matter what you do, you will still be hacked and have your data compromised. So it is no surprise that while companies know data security should be a top priority, in reality, it’s easy to focus on more urgent – but less essential – items.
Cybersecurity faces additional hurdles that make it even challenging to address. By identifying those hurdles, however, firms may be able to overcome these barriers and move forward on the path to minimizing one of the greatest risks your company faces.
Data Security Is Expensive – But Not as Expensive as the Alternative
Implementing a cybersecure environment requires a commitment in technology, training, and adapting to the constant rate of change and upgrading processes. The extra steps needed for the simplest of tasks, such as logging in, add to the daily cost of doing business.
Gartner estimates that worldwide spending on data security this year will hit $90 billion. It’s understandable that a CEO would see that as money lost from corporate value. But these expenditures should be seen as an investment to preserve corporate value. Breaches are much more expensive and disruptive than the budgeted, planned improvements to systems, which can be controlled and implemented over time.
Intelligent and consistent technology upgrades, combined with regular training for all employees, are, in the end, better for a company’s bottom line than crisis management and costly technology remediation after the fact. Creative corporate leaders reframe the expense question and find budget for what’s vital.
Data Security Seems Really Complicated
For most of us, data security is complicated. We aren’t IT professionals, and venturing into the cybersecurity world is a challenge. Those who suffer any amount of technophobia may assume that they don’t know it and, more dangerously, that they can’t learn it. The technology community can reinforce this fear by speaking a foreign language and using unfamiliar terminology, all of which creates another barrier for non-technical executives and managers who need to understand the issues sufficiently enough to make intelligent decisions. Non-technical company management often feel that they are at the mercy of the IT experts. Even those who master important concepts in data and cybersecurity may doubt that knowledge, as there can be a tendency on the tech side to stress just how complicated things really are, reinforcing the need for their expertise. Continue reading