As the leader of an organization, you are responsible for acting in your best interests. The motivation for daily decisions should be how to improve the company, and you should understand that they will have a lasting impact. Consider this responsibility in the context of minimizing company risks and establishing a strong security posture to protect company assets.
Risks are unavoidable and may be difficult to control. This does not mean that we cannot take preventive measures to minimize it. We can fasten our seat belts and drive at a speed limit. We can deposit money in the bank instead of hiding it under the mattress. We can protect sensitive data owned by the company instead of assuming that threat actors will not try to invade the company and try to steal it.
Part of your job is to grow the company responsibly, which includes protecting yourself and your partners and customers from risks. The strange thing is that not everyone seems to think about these two concepts. Often, leaders believe that the most important thing for an organization is growth in one form or another.
I will identify three barriers that prevent leaders from effectively establishing a security posture to manage risk. The goal is to avoid a cycle of security indecision that can damage the development and progress of the organization.
1. Build a solid foundation for growth-then protect it
Don’t get me wrong-growth may be the ultimate goal of many organizations. This is the judgment of shareholders and the board of directors on you. But unsafe growth can be risky and unsustainable—even reckless.
If you can forgive the analogy, expanding a company is like building a building. Before stacking floors on top of each other, you need a strong and safe foundation. Of course, flying to the sky is an exciting and satisfying process-who doesn’t like seeing real-time progress? However, if you don’t build a solid foundation first, then the towering structure may collapse when the risk becomes a reality. If you have ever experienced data leakage, loss or theft, this may be how you feel.
Spending time, attention, and budget (all valuable resources) on security projects and plans that prioritize data protection is one way to reduce cyber risk. Budgeting and resource allocation may not be the most exciting topics, but they are necessary foundations to ensure that companies and their customers remain safe.
2. Make a safety plan and don’t let indecision become a decision
Since 2010, we have seen organizations continue to be compromised because data protection has not been prioritized. I even saw the company cancel the project during the test period-only a few days before the purchase-but then it was destroyed.
This makes me wonder why companies are not taking data protection seriously. We have a lot of data on the risks and consequences of violations, but heeding warnings and fighting indecision can be difficult and overwhelming. You must also communicate warnings to the board and encourage everyone to consider protection as the key to maintaining business.
Procrastination in data protection is actually choosing not to take any measures against direct and serious threats to the business. By not directly addressing this threat, you choose to expose yourself, your colleagues, your customers, and your shareholders to undue risks. It’s that simple.
As a business owner, I understand the difficulty of balancing priorities and allocating resources. However, certain operations are critical to the health and longevity of a business, so they should never be sacrificed-safety is one of them. The term “default prevalence” exists for a reason, because the company is caught in a cycle of refusing to take the necessary measures to change the outcome.
3. Don’t be shy about using technology to develop strategies
Clarify misunderstandings about data protection and its importance to the business-not only from a security perspective, but also from a growth perspective. When I first founded my company, we mainly focused on narrowing the scope of PCI DSS compliance. More than a decade later, we have witnessed the evolution of this field and continue to develop how we can help meet the needs of the emerging digital environment.
For example, tokenization has moved from a new technology designed to prevent the worst from happening to an industry standard applicable to any business. With proper implementation, tokenization enhances key revenue-generating businesses. It can provide access to more data and more third-party integrations. It can simplify internal systems and promote digital transformation by increasing flexibility and achieving things that were previously impossible or impractical (especially digital payments).
Decisiveness is an asset of your security posture
Investing in technology to prevent violations is not exciting, but I think it’s more about investing to accelerate growth and increase revenue—while reducing risks and expenses—and Yes Very convincing. In my role, my goal is to transform the conversation from “data protection is a necessary condition to prevent the worst from happening” to “data protection can be an enhanced catalyst for organizational development.” In this case, prioritizing data protection is not only the safest decision, but also a wise decision.
By raising awareness of these issues and sparking dialogue, I hope to encourage you to put your organization’s data protection first. Not only to protect your business, but to enhance your ability to fully realize the power and value of organizational data.
In 2010, Alex Pezold founded TokenEx with the vision to create the most secure, non-intrusive and flexible data security solution on the market.Before founding TokenEx, Alex obtained a master’s degree in computer science and information security through the Cyber Corps program… View full resume