Executives often have a love/hate relationship with security. The C-suite knows security programs are a necessary expenditure, but some view them as a liability cost rather than a value-driven investment. For their part, security teams often struggle along in silent frustration — they know they need more funding to provide adequate security, but they’re unable to communicate to executives the value it can deliver to the business.

To change this unfortunate dynamic, security teams need to do a better job of showing C-suite executives the value of security programs that go beyond combating cyberattacks to delivering real value in meeting business goals.

Security Programs Enhance Products at the Build Stage

Business executives need to understand that security isn’t only about protecting the company from a data breach; it’s also about enhancing the quality of their products and streamlining processes by embedding security strategies into the product design from the onset.

Throughout the product development process, security teams should be actively engaged in developing tools and solutions that can build real-time security into a product. This may be through providing secure developer tools that can identify potential security bugs as the code is being written, or it might be in determining the appropriate technology stack to better protect a product from security threats.

However the process works, and whatever tools are put in place, security should be a central focus from product ideation to launch, with security teams involved throughout. By doing so, businesses will find that they can more rapidly respond to security issues and on a greater scale.

Effective Security Policies Boost Competitive Advantage

Mobile devices now proliferate the enterprise. As businesses seek to gain productivity and other competitive advantages from a more mobile workforce, a mobile device security policy can be a critical driver in enabling an enterprise to fully reap the benefits of mobility.

An effective mobile device security policy should not only enable appropriate risk-taking without sacrificing security, but also incorporate strategies that enhance productivity, streamline collaboration and allow innovation to generate new revenue streams. Security teams need the resources — in terms of executive support and funding — to develop a mobile device security policy and apply the appropriate security architecture to allow the business to accomplish its goals while keeping corporate and customer data secure.

Security Drives Bottom-line Results

C-suite executives need to understand that a good security program must look at securing its defenses against attackers on multiple levels. Corporate network breaches do happen, but more commonly, hackers look for easy access through social engineering campaigns that use phishing tactics or weak passwords to gather confidential data from employees.

Security teams must, therefore, not only test their ability to protect the corporate network, but also look for ways to deliver security programs that protect their customers. Providing customers with a better overall experience will help enhance the company’s brand reputation and build trust with consumers.

As noted in a Harvard Review article, Facebook’s security engineers recently improved Facebook’s anti-malware scanner used to detect third-party code. These efforts helped them detect and remove a new malware family — preserving the integrity of business-critical advertising on Facebook.

Security is an integral part of every aspect of business operations — from product quality to financial results. Executives and security teams must focus on developing and investing in security strategies that go beyond protection to adding business value. A security assessment, along with the development of a roadmap, can help executive and security teams align their goals — driving greater security protection and better business results.

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