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Security can be a competitive differentiator

Brian Contos | April 1, 2016
Technology has opened a security Pandora's Box

They have to have a robust cyber security strategy in place with robust features that includes incident response planning, breach remediation, and a communications strategy that provides transparency to both customers and the public writ large. Thus, we are seeing the next evolution in competitive advantage - the successful implementation and execution of cyber security actions.

Failure to implement proper cyber security mechanisms can impact businesses' bottom lines due to lost consumer confidence and switching brands. Target saw its customer traffic drop considerably after its 2014 breach was publicized. These patrons likely turned to competitors for their shopping needs during this period. In some cases depending on the size of the company, it can even render them bankrupt. 

According to a 2014 source, 72% of businesses that suffer major data loss shut down within 24 months. Four such notable businesses that folded as a result of such cyber breaches are Code Spaces, Nirvanix, Mybizhomepage, and Impairment Resources,.  While these showcase incidents of data breaches, data loss occurs other ways as well highlighting not so aggressive cyber security failures. 

Negligence or lack of security due diligence can equally contribute to a poor cyber security posture. According to one article, 60 percent of small and midsize businesses did not back up stored data, a potentially detrimental shortcoming that would affect any disaster and recovery effort should the data need to be restored.

Those organizations that are able to demonstrate that they have cyber security strategies in place to include incident and contingency planning position themselves ahead of competitors that are in the process of developing them or have yet to develop them. 

As long as the cyber environment continues to favor the offensive and criminal actions of hostile actors, organizations must continually improve their cyber security to prove that they are resilient to the dynamic threat space. Those that do will easily distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack and draw the support of customers looking to be reassured that their interests are being protected. 

Given the millions of individuals that have already been provided identity theft protection for a limited time after breaches due to security failures, this will be a refreshing change and reinforce the fact that the organizations that are forward looking are the ones that will be the most attractive to patron.

Source: CSO 


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