When Covid-19 forced the rapid transition to a remote workforce, it permanently shifted the role that the security teams have in an organization. Whereas previously security teams were more a back office function, today security is the foundation of the business and brand. This is true regardless of the business size or industry sector.
Security teams were more focused on protecting their walled garden. Now they are dealing with a much larger and unpredictable attack surface. Users are working from home, possibly using their own devices. This is true regardless of the business size or industry sector.
Prioritize your security
Companies didn’t fully understand the risks their business was under or the importance of their tech infrastructure. The reality is that if your business collects, uses or engages with online data, you are responsible for its safety.
To help the larger business understand the role of the security team, leadership needs to make sure that the entire organization sees themselves as part of the data first tech company. This increases compliance with security regulations and an appreciation for focusing on this component of the business.
Compliance is not security
This is an essential difference to understand. Compliance is about checking the same processes to meet some pre-established requirements and procedures. Security is about continually monitoring for new and unexpected vulnerabilities. The best way to think of this important difference is as though there is an (ideally) impenetrable net covering every component of your business. Compliance checks the state of that net at a moment in time and from an established list of criteria, but it isn’t checking for a continually growing set of new threats that are not yet on the list.
Security requires ongoing vigilance for unexpected vulnerabilities. It’s very much a real time and continuous effort.
When it comes to cybersecurity planning, the lesson for businesses is that following established processes is not enough. It’s about anticipating what could happen or what could possibly go wrong. Security is like an ongoing and engaged state of being — it needs active and ongoing vigilance and maintenance to remain operational and be ready to pivot when the expected happens.
Finally, alongside these framework adjustments, successfully integrating security into strategy will be easier if the security team is connected into conversations on business transformation, digital initiatives, customer or client feedback. Similarly, making sure they are looped in with senior executives regularly will help the security team understand the risk levels related to core business practices.
Customers aren’t going to shop or trust a service provider if they think buying or working with them is going to put their own data or security at risk. The challenge is how to do this successfully and at scale, and how to be able quickly deploy resources to be continually detecting new threats — all of which takes significant resources and technical expertise.
This is why end-to-end and turnkey solutions that streamline the ability to provide ongoing security testing and assurance validation will be essential to the post-Covid success of startups and SMBs.