The Five Risks Most Businesses Face

Very little of today’s cybersecurity practice is proactive. Businesses don’t begin on day one with a robust cybersecurity strategy. Implementation of security standards often begins when they are first needed. In the absence of strong external or internal pressures, businesses generally will not voluntarily adopt a standard until it becomes necessary.

Small businesses will apply minimal standards as needed until such time as they reach a size where they see the necessity for formal policies and procedures. This approach is meant to avoid the high demand for resources to implement and maintain the standard.

Of course, the tendency of small businesses to put off these investments is precisely why they are such appealing targets for hackers. They may seem insignificant compared to enterprise organizations, but small businesses are usually connected to larger businesses by way of cloud services and inventory management and procurement systems.

Some businesses put off implementation until they no longer can. Here are some of the events that force (or persuade) businesses to implement standards or more rigorous security profiles:

• When a growing business begins to sell a product or service that falls under an existing standard

• When a business is looking to expand by adopting new technology or expand into new markets

• When their client’s data falls under an existing security standard

• When changes in the regulatory environment force the implementation of standards

In these cases, adopting and implementing standards helps the company avoid negative consequences, but it’s the bare minimum. Because standards and tools aren’t designed to forecast or help you prevent attacks, doing the bare minimum to meet requirements leaves plenty of room for improvement in your security strategy.

Mature businesses have room to improve cybersecurity protocols as well. The cybersecurity threat landscape changes every day, and our strategies and approaches must continuously evolve to meet the need.

The Five Risks Most Businesses Face

Development Risk is often the first risk a business faces. If the business can’t establish a viable product and strategy it won’t last very long. It’s easy to come up with lots of ideas and easier to pick the wrong ones. The trick here isnt’ to eliminate risk, but to make smart decisions about the risks you face. Risk in development could actually be turned into opportunity.

Production Risk is a common reason for start-ups to fail. You’ve had a great idea, you’ve started development, you’re in early production and now you face an unexpected risk, or you’ve failed to plan appropriately. This is actually a very controllable risk. One solution lies in how you organize and align development an production. Effective communication and the ability to rapidly respond to change is a key indicator of success.

Marketing Risk is the result of poor analysis. This is a key area where founders learn how honest they have been with themselves in valuing their product or service. The “build it they will come” philosophy seldom holds true. Interestingly a viable solution to this risk may lie in the relationships established around the delivery of the service. Statistics show that organizations with 15 or more strategic relationships saw 20% increase in growth.

Financial Risk is not just about credit, assets and profits. It lies deep within the people and processes of the organization. Underestimating the hiring and management of staff can be a hidden contributor. There is a bias to underestimate costs and overestimate profits.

Growth Risk is often tied to limited cash flow forcing poor decision-making. When solutions are seen as too complex, numerous or fragile decisions making is negatively impacted.

Want to do something about it? Schedule a meeting and we’ll discuss how you can reduce your business risk by understanding your cyber risk. Charlene@fismacs.com. Schedule a meeting.

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