We’ve come a long way in a relatively short space of time. Cybersecurity was long viewed as a business cost, rather than an enabler. Boards dismissed it as a matter purely for the IT department—a black box with little or no strategic value. But in recent years there has been a perception shift. According to one 2022 study, two-thirds of business leaders now view cyber as a revenue enabler, with the most cyber-mature organizations reporting a 43% higher average revenue growth rate than the least mature.
These organizations stand as a fantastic example to others: proof of the critical role good cybersecurity can play in driving competitive advantage and growth.
Why it matters
The US recorded an all-time high annual volume of data breaches this year, with a whole quarter still to go in 2023. And small businesses in the country said they experienced more cyber-attacks than in any previous year. With news like this, it’s easy to see why cybersecurity is commonly viewed through a negative lens: one of minimizing the risk of something bad happening rather than proactively driving positive business outcomes. Yet despite near constant coverage of major data breaches, ransomware incidents and state-sponsored campaigns, we can discern the business value of a mature security posture. Specifically, it can:
- Help to protect sensitive IP and therefore preserve competitive advantage
- Neutralize threats which may otherwise lead to productivity loss, financial damage and reputational hit—thus providing a platform for growth
- Mitigate the kind of breach which could derail critical growth-driving digital transformation initiatives
- Support regulatory compliance programs, and therefore open the door to new markets
- Help to keep existing and win new customers, partners and suppliers looking for trustworthy, accredited and compliant companies
- Encourage R&D spend, because teams will be more confident that their IP is protected against leaks
- Help to preserve and drive up stock price—not only by preventing breaches, but also by proactively impressing investors
Apple is a great example of a company using cybersecurity excellence to drive advantage and growth. Not only does its walled garden approach to app development mean a more tightly controlled and secure app environment, it has more recently placed security and privacy at the heart of its value proposition for customers. This is backed up by features such as end-to-end encryption (E2EE), private browsing, Lockdown Mode and more.
How data-centric security can help
Of course, exactly how organizations use cybersecurity to drive competitive advantage will depend on their unique characteristics, the sectors they play in and the commercial pressures they’re under. But most should view data as a key strategic asset and growth driver, especially if they have intelligent tooling to extract insight from it.
A data-centric security strategy would therefore help to drive many of the benefits listed above for sustainable growth—keeping the organization’s most important assets out of the hands of threat actors. The comforte Data Security Platform goes even further, by ensuring all enterprise data is continuously discovered, classified and protected, no matter where it resides. It also offers the option of tokenization technology, which protects data in line with GDPR and other regulatory requirements, but crucially allows teams to still use it in data analytics projects. It’s the perfect example of security as a business growth enabler.