There is no doubt that in the highly digitalised world of 2017, digital security should be part of every business strategy, whether it’s for launching a new app or maintaining a website.
We are collecting vast amounts of data – including that of our customers – and it’s essential that we protect it adequately.
Yet, so many businesses fail to understand the risks they are facing and how it can affect not only themselves but the privacy and trust of their customers.
Cyber risk is incorrectly viewed as an issue to be dealt with by the IT team alone. And this sort of mentality has accounted for 44% of Australian boards being briefed on cyber security risks to their organisation only once a year on an ad hoc basis. It shouldn’t come as surprise, then, that Australia leads the APAC region for data breaches.
It’s evident we need to be doing more, and treat security as critical for the larger business strategy.
Revenue and reputation on the line
It’s an unfortunate reality that many businesses are often forced to act only after they’ve been hit by an attack. We all remember the Ashley Madison Hack of 2015.
Organisations have experienced high levels of security incidents with more than 45% of businesses in the Asia-Pacific area impacted by a security incident during an average month.
A security breach can have immediate impacts on your revenue,
- If financial details are stolen;
- If ransom is demanded; or
- From the associated costs of repairing damaged systems and software.
It can also have rippling ramifications for your brand’s reputation,
- If your customers aren’t appropriately assured and kept informed; or
- If you don’t have an adequate crisis communications plan in place, as a precaution.
Security can’t just be a feature, but should instead be a state of mind. It should be at the forefront of any planning, product development, testing, deployment, and monitoring, in order to protect your reputation and your users’ confidence levels.
Building a better digital security strategy from the start
Users visiting websites and downloading apps will be particularly wary of what they consider are good digital security levels, and take comfort in knowing their details are protected.
Applying the right digital security strategies for your business’ website or app in the development stage, not just the deployment stage, is the best way to proceed.
There are a few ways to implement a more robust security strategy:
- Assess vulnerability detection and assessment during the application development process to reduce vulnerabilities once ready to deploy
- User experience and security go together – think about which parts of their data users will want to be protected, and which are ultimately less important
- Balance this with keeping UX sleek and user-friendly – multiple password requests and slow loading times will turn people off
- Develop procedures during the testing period
- Before the application or website is ready to be deployed, include it in your risk analysis and business impact analysis to assess security needs
- While deploying a digital security strategy, engage with key players in your organisation like business process owners, change management, internal audit and technical support
- Finally, keep your software up to date with security fixes
By keeping in mind that digital security is more than just a single feature, businesses can correctly distinguish their offering by having a product that is fully secure every step of the way.
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