How Security Can Drive Business Success: Navigating the Modern Cyber Landscape

andy buckland fortanix
Andy Buckland
Published:May 7, 2024
Reading Time:4min
modern cyber landscape to drive business success

In a recent webinar, and in many recent conversations with customers and partners in our EMEA region, I have had the pleasure of discussing this concept, and identifying ways to help the cybersecurity team pivot from being seen as a hindrance or delay to projects, or the breach hotline when something goes wrong; to being seen as a strategic enabler, with alignment to business goals that drive innovation, revenue and reduced costs. 

In this blog, I highlight the vital role of cybersecurity in the modern landscape, demystifying its importance and exploring strategies for leveraging it as a competitive advantage.  

Data: Ubiquitous and Vulnerable 

Data is everywhere in our lives, from smartphone apps to IoT devices in our homes and even within our bodies. However, do we truly understand the security and management of this data, or do we often find ourselves mindlessly clicking 'Accept' on lengthy Terms and Conditions?  

Once data is shared, users effectively transfer their rights to the organizations housing it, sometimes naively.  Users must understand that once data is added to an app, its secrecy and privacy become the business owner’s responsibility. Compliance with regulations like GDPR and CCPA is crucial, and tools like data encryption and access controls are essential for protection. 

In today's world, with data everywhere, we therefore need to appreciate that data exposure and threats are everywhere. Cybercrime costs have skyrocketed, with predictions expecting costs to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025 [source]. The rise of new technologies such as AI and quantum computers presents new challenges, with threats from the higher processing speeds and therefore volumes of attacks, and the effectiveness of encryption algorithms 

Challenges for Cybersecurity Professionals 

Cybersecurity professionals work tirelessly to protect businesses from data breaches and threats, but challenges persist, especially in larger organizations where cybersecurity projects may lack a holistic approach. NPS levels are lower in the team than with associated peers across the IT organization, as security is seen as a breach hotline vs a strategic enabler.  

Meanwhile, the cybersecurity profession faces a talent gap, with unfulfilled jobs growing by 350% [source] over eight years. This leaves teams stressed and burnt out, impacting job satisfaction and effectiveness. The dissatisfaction extends to CISOs, with 94% [source] suffering from work-related stress. This environment leads to high turnover rates as professionals seek more supportive environments. 

Companies that approach cybersecurity as a team effort across the business gain greater understanding and reduced human errors, as well as potential TCO improvements, and improved visibility. This approach leads to improved timeframes, faster time to revenue, and supports strategic goals. 

The Financial Burden of Data Exposure 

It is well documented and broadcast about the financial burdens of data exposure, highlighted by ransomware and regulatory fines, that can be severe. In addition, companies can suffer stock value declines and extended recovery periods post-breach. 

When considering cybersecurity from a CFO's perspective, it's vital to align cyber risks with financial goals. Security measures can contribute to revenue growth, cost reduction, financial and legal benefits, and strategic investments. CFOs play a key role in evaluating security products based on their ability to support business growth and reduce costs. 

Digital Transformation and User Experience 

In the realm of digital transformation and user experience, security plays a central role. Cloud migration, supply chain security, digital customer engagement, ethical AI, and IoT security all require robust data security measures. Security features such as multi-factor authentication and encryption are integral to building trust and ensuring data protection, across on prem, public and hybrid cloud environmentsThrough a data-first security strategy, customers enable the modern technology landscape, whether data is at rest, in transit or in use. 

Enabling Secure AI and Data Collaboration 

According to research by HPE Aruba Networking [source], 89% of organizations have adopted or are planning to adopt AI and 88% have deployed or are planning to deploy IoT and smart sensors.  AI presents both cybersecurity threats and opportunities. Businesses believe AI is needed to reduce human error and manage the human skills gap, with the added ability to reduce breach costs and identify breaches faster. Regulations like the EU's Artificial Intelligence Act aim to balance safety with innovation, compliance with fundamental rights People will be notified when dealing with a chatbot or other AI system to ensure the experience and outcome is beneficial for the user, not just perceived for monetized gain.  

Data collaboration holds immense potential for businesses.  IDC predicted by this year [source], 65% of G2000 Enterprises will form data-sharing partnerships with external stakeholdersAnd Gartner predicts [source] that those organizations promoting data sharing, will outperform their peers on most business value metrics

However, security considerations are paramount. At Fortanix, our approach to security prioritizes data. We complement traditional security measures with a focus on securing data comprehensively. Encryption, key management, risk management, privacy protection, and secure collaboration are key elements of our approach. 

We believe in a future where organizations are future-proofed against evolving threats. As a pioneer in Confidential Computing, and recently appointed member of the AI Safety Institute Consortium, we partner with our customers to advance the development of safe and trustworthy artificial intelligence, prepare for the world of quantum computers, and secure a world of data everywhere

Security as a Business Enabler 

Cybersecurity is not just about preventing breaches but can be a strategic business driver. By understanding the broader challenges and opportunities, businesses can elevate data security to a business outcome and goal. Collaborative efforts, both internally and externally, are crucial for secure data management and innovation. With a comprehensive and proactive approach to security, organizations can navigate the evolving threat landscape and achieve their business goals. 

You can rewatch the webinar here for more details and examples, and I’m pleased to announce our brand-new paper, which goes into more depth on how to Secure Success: Building Business Value through Data Security 

Conclusion 

We look forward to continuing the conversation, sharing customer examples, and more about our solutions to support cybersecurity teams in becoming rock stars of their organizations. Stay tuned for more insights and updates from Fortanix! 

About the Author

Andy Buckland joined Fortanix in December 2023, and is the VP and General Manager, EMEAResponsible for the EMEA region, Andy spends his time with customers and partners, discussing the importance of data-first security strategies, in alignment with the many challenges businesses face in today’s modern technology landscape.   

Andy joined Fortanix from VMware, where he most recently worked as Senior Director of the EMEA region for VMware software-defined edge and SASE. Before that, he held positions as UK Sales Director at Nutanix, Norther Europe Sales Director at Citrix, and Global Accounts Sales Director at GXS. 

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