Looking beyond cybersecurity: achieving better business outcomes
A strong cybersecurity posture is essential to business success. As the modern workplace has become increasingly digitised, and additional processes are heavily reliant on technology, cybersecurity has become more of a board-level concern than ever before, and chief information security officers (CISOs) have taken on the role of gatekeeper. As such, CISOs need to extend their expertise beyond the realms of cybersecurity as protection for the organisation and consider how they can contribute more to achieving better business outcomes through secure operations and delivering good user experiences.
Cybersecurity and the protection of an organisation from malicious threat actors will always be of paramount concern to CISOs; however, as businesses evolve in the digital landscape, the CISOs’ role must also progress to keep pace and provide value to the organisation.
Today’s CISOs must expand their positions to ensure that the technology solutions and expertise delivered also extends to key business outcomes. Increasingly, the IT strategy must align with the overarching business strategy, and CISOs will continue to play a significant role in assisting to bring these two approaches together.
While CISOs must continue to prioritise managing risk, they must also step into the position of leader and business enabler. There are two primary ways CISOs can help to deliver better business outcomes.
1. Consolidate and integrate: a comprehensive network architecture is critical for business success and productivity; however, legacy systems that rely on multiple vendors, solutions, and applications create complexity and increase risk. CISOs should consolidate their information architecture to simplify the environment. Not only does this reduce complexity and cost, it also lowers risk and drives increased consistency and more positive user experiences across platforms, ultimately leading to improved productivity.
2. Prioritise visibility: achieving a holistic view of the network architecture is essential, and CISOs should prioritise implementing solutions that deliver a clear picture of the working environment to ensure it is secure and reliable. This is especially important for hybrid working environments where new applications and users can be added from anywhere while also introducing risk and exposing potential vulnerabilities in the system. For the best results, CISOs should implement monitoring solutions that let them proactively monitor environments and achieve end-to-end performance.
Hybrid working environments require an underlying network and security architecture that’s as flexible as their ways of working. The user experience is key. People drive business results, and the technology and processes must facilitate an improved employee experience. Savvy CISOs that invest in solutions that facilitate greater scalability across the architecture without sacrificing the user experience can deliver greater business benefits to their organisations.
The role of the CISO continues to evolve with an expectation to deliver benefits beyond simple cybersecurity. More visibility and a simpler architecture lets CISOs demonstrate to the broader business how improved performance and a simpler environment can improve the user experience, leading to increased productivity. Achieving access to performance monitoring can empower CISOs to demonstrate tangible results and the direct impact that the information architecture has on business outcomes.