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Op-Ed: Cybersecurity, The New Pillar of Business

Cybersecurity can sometimes be treated as an afterthought. However, with the recent surge in ransomware and cyberattacks, it’s coming to light just how important it truly is. Everyone understands why finance, operations, management, etc. are non-negotiable to an organization, but where does cybersecurity fit?

Entrepreneurial ventures and long-standing businesses have placed an emphasis on key pillars for success, which for decades have been a constant staple throughout business models — including areas such as marketing, sales, finance, operations, and management. But with today’s prevalence of sophisticated and advanced cyber threats, if cybersecurity is not made a top priority, the very existence of a business will be in jeopardy.

Prevention or remediation: relative costs.

Cyber Risk Quantification models have found that the cost of a data breach significantly outweighs the cost of prevention. Just last year there was an unprecedented surge in ransomware attacks, with the average ransom paid by organizations in the U.S. growing from $115,123 in 2019 to $312,493 in 2020, a year-over-year increase of 171%.

Technology surrounds the workplace often at large and dangerous scales. From emergency alert systems for schools in lockdown to massive supply chains relying on digital programs, data breaches can cost not just money, but also human lives. For example, a 2019 Health Services Research study indicated that for every 10,000 heart attacks at a cyber breached hospital, there were roughly 36 additional deaths beyond the typical heart attack fatality rate for hospitals. Just as intelligence should flow through every aspect of a security program, cybersecurity should touch every aspect of a business in order to protect organizations, employees, and client data from threat actors.

The way we work today should shift our risk calculations.

After decades of traditional business models being preached to entrepreneurs as the recipe for success, we have reached a time when it is crucial for business leaders to realize that cybersecurity must be placed at the center of attention. This is especially clear during the rampant increase of cyberattacks against businesses of all sizes over the last decade and has become even clearer since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in more reliance on digital technology than ever before. New digital strategies post-pandemic — compounded with the natural progress of digitalization in the workplace — have created widespread cyber vulnerabilities for every type of business.

By Adam Vincent, Co-Founder & CEO of ThreatConnect. Read more of the story here: