How to Align Your Cybersecurity With Your Strategy

How to Align Your Cybersecurity With Your Strategy

We’re nearing the end of 2020, which means businesses are analyzing their ROI and determining which strategies are working and which need pivoting. It’s fair to say that 2020 has been a year with quite a bit of uncertainty, but it’s important companies remember to continue to adapt and stay in touch with their corporate visions.

There’s no question that the pandemic has impacted all facets of business, especially since many companies needed to establish the proper infrastructure to shift remotely. On top of that, 2020 has been a big year in terms of cybersecurity trends. “COVID-19 played a big part in businesses rushing to digitize everyday functions and expand into cloud computing,” says VP analyst Peter Firstbrook at Gartner. Of course with rapid digitalization comes the onset of new and unanticipated cyber threats. As you and your company begin to map out new initiatives for 2021, consider your overall strategy and how you can weave cybersecurity measures into not only IT planning, but the overall company-wide planning process.

Elements of a Successful Strategy

The importance of a business strategy may be apparent to some, but few companies take the time to understand the elements of what makes a strategy successful. For starters, your strategy should be based on an analysis of your current position in the competitive landscape. It should help the organization define and reach its business goals while simultaneously striving for growth among the competition.

A successful strategy is more of a process rather than something you check off your to-do list. It should create actionable items that are repeatable, scalable, and can be modified for unforeseen challenges in the business environment, much like what we’re experiencing right now. For instance, to ensure that all departments are working together toward the same goals, use a productivity platform to help teams communicate and check off actionable items as they are completed. By creating a strategic plan you can assess changes that may need to be made and alter workflows to overcome new challenges and reach goals that might not have been feasible before the process was implemented.

When planning your business strategy, it’s important to do some departmental auditing to figure out where there are successes, where there could be improvements, and where there might be a bottleneck. Asking questions like: “What direction do we want to take the company?” and “How are we set up organizationally to reach our goals?” are great starter questions to assess the current internal climate of the company. Once you have identified a clear vision for the future you can then begin to incorporate cybersecurity into the mix.

Weaving Cybersecurity Into Strategy

After you’ve finished an internal audit, you can then look at your IT measures. Are there silos between IT and other departments? IT workflow should foster cross-departmental collaboration. If you’re thinking about increasing your cybersecurity measures company-wide, you might want to start by making IT more involved in normal business functions and procedures for all employees. The goal is to have business function and IT in alignment.

An important method of incorporating cybersecurity into business strategy is by offering employees regular training on IT best practices, and things to be mindful of when performing job duties. In the new normal of remote work, having a secure network option is vital for hosting virtual training. Holding virtual training meetings through video conferences can be as easy as setting up a Zoom meeting on someone’s calendar on a regular basis, or when IT updates need to be announced.

Another way cybersecurity can be incorporated into strategy is by looking at the various programs and applications the company uses and who has access to them, and how they integrate together. Do you use any programs that are not compatible with each other? Who has access to applications with sensitive information and are those applications secured? By streamlining the ways in which applications are used and accessed, businesses can easily increase the security of their operations.

Looking Forward

Although these are just a few ways an organization can better align their cybersecurity measures with their strategic mission, there’s always room for improvement and new technology to make data more secure. To learn more about current trends in the tech industry, you can check out our 2020 Webinar Series.