Convince your board of directors you can show the Return on Investment (ROI) of engagement in cybersecurity services. It seems simple enough. Get to the point. Show how investing in loss prevention services like cybersecurity will save your company money. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Some may look at cybersecurity similar to the act of gambling. How much are you willing to risk losing? To answer that question, you first have to know exactly what is at risk. Would you leave your office unlocked for days to save on the cost of purchasing a lock? Is that risk worth the potential cost savings? Overcome these 5 challenges with cybersecurity ROI, then you will be ready to present to the board.
5 Cybersecurity ROI Challenges
1. Leaders/boards of directors want a one and done solution.
The reality is that to be able to successfully decrease your risks, you have to continually take various actions to protect your business. Cybersecurity is not a one and done task. Many leaders/boards of directors would love to invest once and be done. It’s important to educate leaders/boards of directors on best practices in cybersecurity so that they realize the value of continual evaluation and discovery of your vulnerabilities. Just as businesses get more savvy at protecting themselves, hackers evolve and advance in their techniques. Also keep in mind the critical component of cybersecurity awareness training for employees. Remember part of the big picture of your security efforts is to shift to a security conscious culture. The saying “It takes 5 times for someone to hear something for it to stick” definitely applies.
2. Finding your “sweet spot” for protecting assets.
To find that “sweet spot” you should consider two things: controls and investment vs. value of assets. For example, you wouldn’t want to put so many controls on your software accessibility that your workers cannot properly fulfill their job expectations. Also, you don’t want to spend so much on security that you are spending more on protections than the value of what you are protecting.
3. ROI of cybersecurity is difficult to measure.
Recall, in the introduction to this article we use the term “loss prevention”. Cybersecurity efforts are largely preventative measures. It is difficult to fully realize the cost savings on something if you prevent it from ever happening. In addition, threats and cyberattacks are always increasing and changing so it’s nearly impossible to have up-to-date statistics. It would be great if you could simply provide leaders/board members with a percentage of how likely it is they will suffer from a breach or attack based on the current protections in place and how much that attack is likely to cost them. However, it is not quite that simple, when thinking about loss prevention, you’ll be considering the impact of the bottom line, private information, reputation, employee productivity, loss of competitive advantage and liability.
4. Comparing your cybersecurity budget to other companies.
This is a huge mistake. You have no way to actually know how well protected they are. Furthermore, every company has different assets to protect along with different risk factors to consider. They often depend on the industry. Consider the different government enforced regulatory compliance requirements that vary by industry. Consider the differences of priorities to various industries when protecting information. Think about what a healthcare provider has at stake vs. a bank. Consider what a tech company is concerned with protecting from hackers and how that might differ from a manufacturing company. Once a company can determine their highest priorities, then they can determine where to start with cybersecurity and what their risk appetite is.
5. Being too overwhelmed to take action.
If you, like many others feel a bit overwhelmed by the task of “where to start”, consider having a third party expert like TechGuard perform a Risk Assessment for your company to get the ball rolling. Think about it, knowing where your weaknesses lie allows you to know where to invest. Risk Assessments also provide a means for meeting regulatory compliance requirements set forth such as HIPAA or PCI-DSS. Another benefit for having a well done Risk Assessment performed is that it often requires input and participation from multiple departments. This involvement results in an increase in organizational visibility and enhanced communication. This increased visibility and communication can help form the cultural change around cybersecurity that many business owners are striving for.
Present to Win
Hopefully now you have an idea of where to start before you present to the board. The board members will appreciate you clearly and concisely addressing the 5 challenges presented above. To help strengthen your argument for a third party Risk Assessment, read up on the company you are considering hiring. Look for testimonials and reviews. Request a quote with one of our specialists now so that you have a detailed proposal in hand to present to the board. Being fully prepared is the best way to persuade undecided minds to support your agenda. Your presentation will help the board see a Risk Assessment as an important jumping off point for cybersecurity.
Written by Michelle Stamps
Michelle has over 10 years of experience in marketing and business development across various industries including government and non-profit. Her background in writing, facilitating presentations and event planning allows her to use her creative skill-set and her relationship building skills strengthens her ability to understand the human element role in cybersecurity and to support positive behavior change. Whether she is out in the community, blogging or developing the next social post for TechGuard, she believes in telling the company’s story and uses relatable, real-life examples to connect with our clients. If you know Michelle outside of work, you would know that she loves sunny days and tropical places.