Top 4 technology challenges for businesses: Cybersecurity

May 04, 2018

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In an increasingly interconnected digital world, technology plays a key role in all businesses today. That’s why I’ll be sharing a series of articles that will examine the top four technology challenges that businesses are facing in 2018 and provide practical solutions for each of them. In this first article, let’s take a look at one of the most pressing issues facing business owners today: cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity must be top of mind for every business owner, as well as every member of a Board of Directors. With so much on the line in terms of financial and intellectual property, business leaders can’t afford to ignore this risk or leave it up to chance.

Failures to implement appropriate cybersecurity measures are in the news frequently. Stakeholders and customers expect businesses to take the appropriate actions to protect their sensitive data. When inadequate cybersecurity measures lead to a breach in trust, it can be difficult for a company to regain its good reputation.

In many industries, regulators and trading partners now require that a business provide proof that they have performed an independent assessment and implemented appropriate cybersecurity. But what is the right approach? And how can business owners ensure adequate cybersecurity in an affordable, sustainable way?

Getting the right expertise for your company...

The logical first step in any cybersecurity undertaking is to check in with your I.T. person. But while they have good intentions and deep knowledge about your company’s equipment and systems, that does not make them an expert on cybersecurity. If they’re building and maintaining systems, they are probably too close to the work to see any existing security gaps.

Small to mid-size businesses don’t often have the right internal cybersecurity expertise to protect them from security threats, so they need to turn to external experts. When you’re trying to identify the right external cybersecurity consultants, make sure you ask the right questions. The best choice for your company is someone who understands current cybersecurity best practices as well as the unique challenges of protecting your business. They should be able to explain the cybersecurity measures they recommend in an easy-to-understand manner, and align their action plan to your business goals.

To get a better idea of what to ask about when vetting an external expert, take a look at this article on 10 common cybersecurity issues businesses face.

...at the right price


Business owners who recognize the need to implement cybersecurity measures will often contact a large national firm, only to find that their fees are not affordable. Unfortunately, this experience often results in the company neglecting this crucial initiative and failing to address the growing risk. Instead of letting that happen to your company, consider this approach:

Set the right scope

Before you can determine the best course of action to protect your company from cyber threats, you’ll need to start with a high-level, comprehensive assessment. The goal of this assessment is to identify your most pressing vulnerabilities and the areas that need the most urgent attention.

Cybersecurity vendors often do a deep dive into the technical review but overlook the human vulnerabilities and non-technical concerns that pose the biggest threats to your company’s security. That’s why an initial review to identify the biggest risks is so important; instead of blowing your budget on replacing technical components that will drive up costs, you may find that your most pressing vulnerabilities are relatively simple and affordable to address. The overall review and findings should address your organization’s ability to “protect, detect, and recover” from cyberscurity threats.

Find a local firm

Just because a company has a nationally recognizable brand name, that doesn’t mean they’re the best, nor does it make them the right choice for your business. In fact, a local, boutique cybersecurity firm might be a better fit. They often have just as much expertise at a much more affordable rate, and their business model usually makes them a more practical choice as well; boutique cybersecurity firms specialize in custom solutions, so they can tailor the best approach to protect your business.

Take action now

Don’t leave your business’s future to chance. Be proactive and take the right steps to ensure your business has properly assessed and addressed your cybersecurity risks. By following these steps, you’ll be able to access affordable, solid cybersecurity solutions that will address this essential business need.  

Mark Johnson

President of Xtrii, and Global Technology Advisor

Mark Johnson is a global technology advisor with more than 30 years of successful business results. His experience includes roles as a global Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and innovative, business leader for organizations ranging from $15 Billion+ and 100,000+ employees, to small, fast-paced, rapid-growth companies. Mark currently serves as President of Xtrii (www.Xtrii.com), an executive-level, technology consulting firm that works with C-level executives to provide proven technology leaders that help them address their most pressing technology challenges and risks. He has worked with companies to achieve extraordinary success that is globally recognized for technology excellence, such as the 4-time repeat winner of the national award for the best Information Technology organization, the national “Innovator of the Year” award, and Microsoft’s “Global Technology Innovation” award. Mark has been featured in Bloomberg Business Week, Computerworld Magazine, CIO Magazine, and many other national publications. He is a frequent keynote speaker and technology advisor on how companies can best leverage technology for optimal business outcomes.
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