Cybersecurity is becoming more critical to business success than ever before. Five to ten years ago, few organizations were seriously diving into cybersecurity. It was usually the multinational enterprise companies that paid attention to it. Small and medium size businesses assumed they could stay safe by hiding in the crowd, so why divert unnecessary costs and internal resources to cybersecurity?

Investing in cybersecurity is investing in your business. Those who don’t take it seriously are stifling their company’s growth. Meanwhile, their cybersecure competitors are positioning themselves to see more sales, greater profits, and a stronger brand reputation.

Let’s examine the business benefits of a strong cybersecurity posture in your company.

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Sales Success

Customers want to know that their vendors are secure. Many companies will only do business with organizations that can show they’re doing their due diligence. They want to know that the people they do business with are taking security as seriously as they do.

At one time, it was just a box you checked. “Yes, we’re doing cybersecurity.” And that was sufficient. Now, prospects are vetting their vendors with 200-question security surveys. It’s not enough to simply say you’re compliant anymore. Strong security is becoming a common expectation, and you can lose business if your cybersecurity stance doesn’t fit the bill.

Cybersecurity makes the lives of your sales team dramatically easier. If you can walk into that sales call and prove that you have a strong security stance, you’ve immediately eliminated a barrier and you can focus instead on how you can solve their problems.

Better Profitability

Even though your sales team benefits from cybersecurity measures, it’s not uncommon for executives to lament that cybersecurity and compliance are costing the organization time, money, and resources. They see the line item in the Expenses column and fret about the profits that cybersecurity is shaving off of the bottom line.

But there’s another way to look at it.

The truth is, cybersecurity and compliance are safeguarding your bottom line. They’re a smart investment that actually protects and promotes your profitability.

Think of it this way. You could spend $100k on stuff related to security and compliance to protect your company, or you could set yourself up for a data breach that costs millions in damages and cleanup, hemorrhages clients, loses sales, and inflicts years-long damage to your brand and reputation.

Cybersecurity is the locked front door of your house. Without it, you’re just inviting thieves to come in and take your valuables. And that’s where your profitability will fall off the cliff.

Some people think they can hide from the bad guys because their business is small. After all, what are the chances a stray hacker will find you? Cyberattacks have become so common, it’s an everyday occurrence. Without protection in place, they will find you — it’s a matter of when, not if.

Cybersecurity is a profit-building tool, not a cost center.

Insurance Protection

If the worst happens and a hacker gains access to your sensitive information, cyber liability insurance can help you offset the monetary costs you’ll be facing. On average, that’s about $3.86 million per data breach. But your insurance is worthless without a strong cybersecurity stance.

Cyber liability insurance is your emergency parachute when the plane is going down. Someone in your organization is in charge of filling out the insurance paperwork that states you’re actively maintaining security and compliance. But if you just pay lip service to security, you put a big hole in your emergency parachute, and it won’t protect you.

That’s because your cyber liability insurance will only cover you if you’re actually doing the security activities you’ve said you’re doing. Many companies have been shocked to learn that their insurance won’t cover the expenses from the data breach they’ve just suffered.

I always recommend that companies have a compliance professional review the insurance application they’ve filled out and make sure that they are actually fulfilling the requirements they agree to.

Brand Management

When it comes to your customers’ sensitive data, your brand is what you do. It takes a long time to build up a brand reputation, but it can evaporate in seconds. It just takes a single breach.

One data breach can put a company out of business.

DigiNotar was the king of the hill in the certificate authority space, earning tens of millions of dollars in revenue. In a moment, it all disappeared. They announced a certificate hack, and suddenly the company went under. No one trusted them. Every one of their clients left, their sales dried up overnight, and within a month the company went bankrupt and died.

And it’s not just DigiNotar. Sixty percent of small businesses die within six months of being hacked. Cybersecurity protects your brand and keeps your business alive.

Don’t tell your customers you take their security seriously

Corporate Responsibility

Every organization has its set of stakeholders — whether they’re investors, employees, vendors, contractors, even employees’ families and the wider community. Your company’s actions impact each of those stakeholders, and even has ripple impacts that go out from there.

Your leadership team holds some responsibility for your stakeholders. Business decisions need to take those people into consideration. When it comes to cybersecurity, it means asking some important questions — specifically, How is each of our stakeholders impacted by a data breach, if we get hacked?

When you take cybersecurity seriously, you provide a level of assurance and security to those stakeholders who depend on you. Consider it your inherent responsibility as someone who has people that are counting on you.

Build a Stronger Business

Cybersecurity isn’t optional anymore and it’s good for your business. Investing in the protection of sensitive data means safeguarding your business and protecting your people. And it sets your company up for greater success and profitability.

If your company isn’t ahead of the curve on security and compliance, TCT can help you figure out what you need without over-investing or overcomplicating your commitments. We can give you the tools you need, recommend world-class partners, and help you get pointed in the right direction for your security and compliance needs.

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