Cybersecurity as a Growth Strategy

Today's business world is becoming more and more intertwined.

A meeting to discuss current projects with colleagues in China, a customer meeting to close that crucial international deal, a team meeting to check whether all colleagues are doing well, or to check the status of an order with your supplier in Africa. What would we do today without digital connections? Globalization in its purest form. But also think of all the new product and service innovations, where would they be without technology? These increasing online activities lead to vulnerabilities, about which we are happy to share our insights.

In this digital era full of new opportunities and possibilities in business growth and process optimization, threatening outside influences are just as likely to emerge. New threats emerge every day, both from the vulnerabilities created by a larger attack surface and from improved communications. In addition to all the negative impacts that COVID-19 had on both human health and society, it also led to an increase in the number of cyber-attacks. With organizations and businesses rapidly deploying remote systems and networks to support telecommuting workers, criminals are taking advantage of increased security vulnerabilities to steal data, make a profit and cause disruption. Cross-sectorally, we hear within our network that things are heating up and that both companies and professionals need to adapt to these new dangerous developments.

We noticed that in today’s business environments, the most important function of cybersecurity is often assumed to be ‘just’ risk reduction by fighting the dangers of viruses and hackers. But it’s time to look beyond that and see how cybersecurity is impacting the company’s growth strategy.

New products, new services, better customer experiences and many more aspects are crucial for the development, innovation and growth of a company. Organizations with competitive advantage often excel in digital technologies, involving big data, cloud and digital infrastructures. To face the complexities of threats in the digital age we live in, security must be embedded in all organs of a company. A strong cybersecurity attitude should be part of a company’s DNA.

As security becomes more complex due to the increasing surface area for potential attacks, businesses must strike the right balance between digital development and risk. More and more often we hear from our network that the more security is implemented, the less user-friendly, innovative or disruptive the product or service becomes. The phenomenon of the level of security versus ease of use is a constant challenge for companies today.

As the false acceptance rate of a system falls, as a natural consequence the false rejection rate rises. In other words, the more secure your access control, the less useful it will be, as users will be falsely rejected by the system. Remember the increasing difficulty in Captchas? Where you have to select traffic lights, zebra crossings or storefronts to get to a particular web page. But after three attempts of failure, you may even doubt whether you are a robot or not. The same happens the other way around. You want to increase ease of use by decreasing the false rejection rate. The system will probably be less secure.

Looking at innovation and development related to the development of new products within the marketing discipline, cybersecurity is also often seen as a pain in the neck. Creativity develops quickly and new ideas have to be launched yesterday to stay ahead of the competition. How much risk can a company take to remain both competitive to the market and reliable to their customers? Isn’t trust the raison d’être of every company? It’s the best long-term competitive advantage a company can have, we often hear from our network. To be or become a continuously successful, future-proof and competitive company, a flawless cybersecurity strategy should not be underestimated.