With breach after breach flooding today’s headlines, cybersecurity has become more of a focal point than ever before. Organizations are under immense pressure as the world continues to redefine the “norm” as it applies to cyber security amidst a newfound sense of unpredictability, uncertainty and attempt to balance risk, development, and cost.

As if accommodating today’s rapid digital transformation wasn’t enough, adapting our defense strategies creates an added pressure. A newfound spotlight has been placed on IT departments and security teams to protect the company from today’s volatile cyber landscape. Before falling further behind, it’s time to address your organization’s defensive gameplan.

Here are some do’s and don’ts for modernizing your organization’s cybersecurity strategy:

Do: Consider cybersecurity a team effort, not a standalone job

Whether the organization is large or small, private or public, a household name or just getting its start, cybercrime doesn’t discriminate. However, the aftermath is always substantial. Regardless of whether it’s loss of earnings, regulatory fees, or even damage to your brand reputation, breach impact has evolved just as rapidly as the attacks themselves.

Unfortunately, many enterprises still consider security an IT issue, rather than a business issue—and that mindset has proven costly. By 2025, global cybercrime will cost organizations $11.4 million per minute. It requires more than a secure infrastructure and a one-time implementation of security processes for effective cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity necessitates continuous monitoring and fine-tuning of procedures and organizational control. In its simplest form, it requires a risk-aware attitude that spans the entire business ecosystem along with third parties. It’s time to move away from the old school product-oriented or checklist approach, and ensure your entire organization, especially the executive team, is aligned on these initiatives.

Of course, this is much easier said than done. Correct implementation requires feedback that speaks their language. Strategy reports should include tasks prioritized based on criticality, which in turn, enables executives better understand their cyber risk posture and scale the return on cybersecurity investments based on that risk mitigation guidance.

Don’t: Get tunnel vision when it comes to customer centricity

Today’s customer-centric vision has completely transformed the way we operate. The modern tools and processes that accompany digital transformation have created significant amounts of personal data. While this data, or personal identifiable information (PII), is intended to provide a better customer experience, it also puts companies at risk.

Therefore, although it’s critical to provide a pleasant customer experience, customer-driven technologies and processes will do more harm than good if proper protocols and protections of the exchanged data are not put in place. Not only does protection a brand reputation standpoint, regulations such as GDPR, CCPA and HIPPA have made it mandatory.

Privacy applications are not only applicable to the business itself, but also the third-party ecosystem, or the parties with whom the customer data is shared or outsourced software the customer data resides in. In order to “do” security right, it has to be made part of the most elementary fiber of the organization, both technically and physically.

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Do: Adopt a holistic security approach

We’ve all heard the saying “2 + 2 does not equal 4”.  Cybersecurity is no exception. It’s not an easy fix, nor is the approach linear. While solving one problem, another may pop up elsewhere. Or, even worse, the new technology may shine light on brand-new problems, despite the intent to introduce a solution.

Cybersecurity is one of those domains that require a holistic mindset throughout the business ecosystem. Independent audits within a specific business unit will not yield the true security of a company, since the relationship between these units and the various technologies in use are the critical factors in security.

So instead of going for “cheaper” options like individual audits or compliance efforts at different plants, companies should aim to capture a 360-degree view of their cyber hygiene and conduct an overall enterprise certification or audit. Although an integrated approach will be a much larger project, it will create a cyber security posture that lasts.

Don’t: Rely entirely on manual labor

Again, it’s no small feat. Without automation, this labor-intensive process can take months, or even years to complete. It also extends well beyond the responsibilities of a single compliance officer, whereas 87% of practitioners already lack extra capacity. Save time, money and manpower by adding automation into the equation.

Putting this into a financial perspective (or, thinking like an executive would), fully deployed security automation saves organizations an average of $3.86 million annually. Not only that, but it reduces the room for human error, which is responsible for many of today’s data breaches and violations.

Security has taken the back seat for many organizations. Still, the longer you wait to shift the conversation, the more difficult it will become, and the more vulnerable you are to today’s increasing cyber threats. Even if you’re unsure of where to start, it’s critical that you start today.

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