Cybersecurity: Not A Cost, But A Catalyst For Business Success

Bilal Baig, Technical Director at Trend Micro MEA explains that big part of the business decision-makers still perceive investing in cybersecurity as a cost and not as a business enabler

In today’s evolving and challenging business landscape, where high inflation, and tightening job markets create the perfect storm, business leaders find themselves navigating treacherous waters. Talent acquisition, cost control, and identifying sustainable growth opportunities have become paramount. However, amid these priorities, there is a critical factor that holds the key to business success: cybersecurity.

A recent study commissioned by Trend Micro sheds light on a concerning disconnect in how business decision-makers perceive the value of cybersecurity. Conducted by Sapio Research with over 2700 decision makers from 26 countries including Saudi Arabia & UAE, the study reveals a stark disparity in understanding the link between business and cyber risks. While 89% of respondents acknowledge this connection, conflicting views emerge, clouding the path to a secure and prosperous future.

Half of the respondents consider cybersecurity a necessary cost but not a revenue contributor, while 48% believe its value is limited to attack and threat prevention. Shockingly, almost 38% perceive cybersecurity as a barrier rather than a business enabler. These divergent perspectives paint a fragmented picture of the importance of cybersecurity in today’s digital landscape.

Nevertheless, amidst these disparities, the study also reveals a glimmer of hope. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents plan to increase their investment in cybersecurity in 2023. However, it is vital to recognize that investing blindly in high-profile technology solutions will not suffice. Organizations must adopt a strategic approach, prioritizing cybersecurity needs based on the unique challenges they face. Sadly, many decision-makers lack a clear understanding of the strategic importance of cybersecurity, even when confronted with compelling evidence.

Joining the Dots: The Business-Cyber Risk Connection
With over 870 million threats detected in the Middle East and Africa in 2022, according to Trend Micro’s Annual Cybersecurity Report, it becomes evident that business decision-makers need to connect the dots between cybersecurity and business success. This disconnect has proven to hamper an organization’s ability to seize new business opportunities and expand their horizons.

To unlock the full potential of cybersecurity and drive positive business impact, organizations should embrace a proactive approach to protecting their digital assets. This empowers decision-makers to:

  • Identify Key Assets: Gain a deep understanding of the critical assets that require protection to effectively manage cyber incidents.
  • Calculate Business Risk: Continuously assess the impact of cyber incidents on these key assets, quantifying potential losses and costs to the business.
  • Manage Risk Intelligently: Implement measures that intelligently manage risk across top-tier assets, ensuring continuous protection.

Implementing this risk-based approach demands a high level of collaboration between IT and business teams. Security professionals need to translate cybersecurity into a language of business risk, all while fostering a deep understanding of business operations.

Embracing Cybersecurity for Positive Impact
Making strides in bridging the gap between cybersecurity and business success requires a recalibration of decision-makers’ views. The study unequivocally demonstrates the potential impact of cybersecurity on winning new business, attracting and retaining talent, unlocking data insights, and driving innovation. It is imperative for organizations to align their strategies, invest intelligently, and prioritize cybersecurity initiatives that safeguard their digital future.