How to Balance Risk and Reward When it Comes to Cloud Security

It’s difficult to quantify the money saved by preventing a cyber attack that never happened. This is why proving the ROI of security measures can be tricky and can sometimes make security feel more like a cost-center than an investment.

In truth, being a great security organization is a competitive advantage. It’s both a sales driver and a compliance linchpin. It’s not simply a cost of doing business. In fact, it can really give you a leg up, particularly when selling to customers with HIPAA, SOC 2, ISO27000, or other compliance requirements.

In this post, we’ll explore a number of ways to balance risk and reward as you pursue cloud security and ensure the vitality of your business.

How Security Drives Business

Security is not just a precautionary measure — it’s a wise investment toward improving your company’s bottom line. When done right, security helps companies ship products faster and more securely.

Here are a few ways security drives businesses forward:

  • Security helps businesses scale: Security breaches interrupt the flow of business. If you’re hit by a major attack, you’ll be distracted by “putting out the fire” when you should be focused on helping your business grow. A solid security program prevents this disaster and allows businesses to stay focused on revenue and growing the company.
  • Security keeps private information private: Product roadmaps, business development deals, customer and patient information, and potential acquisitions or mergers are just a few of the items that your business would rather keep private. A solid security program ensures that conversations around these sensitive topics are kept within your walls and away from your adversaries or competitors.
  • Security gives peace of mind to customers and employees: Customers don’t want to do business with a company if they aren’t 100% certain their data is safe and secure. On a similar note, it’s important to ensure that employee records are kept safe. Strong business processes, like security, are attractive to potential employees.

A Risk-Based Approach to Security

You should aim to build a sustainable program that balances protection against threats with business growth. In other words, balance risk and reward.

An unreasonably high level of security can hinder productivity and slow the business down. On the other hand, a low level of security can increase the risk of your company experiencing a cyber attack. To strike the right balance, companies should adopt a risk-based approach to security..

A risk-based approach  enables the company to makes sure its security measures do not impede its  business goals. Instead, its security measures can actually empower the business to drive operational efficiency, speed, revenue optimization, and growth. Through a risk-based approach security and business units become more aligned and the organization is better able to understand security as a business driver — not a tax.

The 4 Rs of Risk Management

A commonly suggested approach to managing security risks incorporates the 4 Rs: Risk Identification, Risk Assessment, Risk Mitigation, and Ongoing Risk Monitoring.

1. Risk Identification – Identifying  potential threats that could affect the company.

2. Risk Assessment – Assessing the likelihood that a potential threat could occur and the potential impact on the business if it does.

3. Risk Mitigation – Focusing  efforts on detecting serious threats as quickly as possible. Pay close attention to Mean Time To Detect (MTTD) and Mean Time To Resolution (MTTR).

4. Ongoing Risk Monitoring – Continuously monitoring critical systems and infrastructure to quickly detect and remediate threats before they can cause serious damage to the business.

Focus on practices that allow you to continuously improve how you protect against the serious serious threats that you have identified and continue to identify. Consistent improvement against your baseline standards will continue to enhance your security posture without impeding business objectives.

Final Words . . .

A risk-based approach to information security involves identifying acceptable risks while  detecting and mitigating serious threats that could adversely impact the business. This perspective guides you to develop systems that support productivity and company growth while also protecting the business from the bad guys. The truth is, you can never completely eliminate risk. But you can manage it in smart ways that align security with the rest of the business’ goals and make a tangible impact on growth.

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