Cybersecurity has shifted from the domain of IT into a business issue concerning everyone in the organisation. While we are seeing more business leaders on board with this these days, the value cybersecurity brings to the business is often still undervalued.

In fact, many business leaders are yet to move on from seeing cybersecurity as a hinderance to grasping that, deployed correctly, it can improve operational efficiency and play a vital role in business modernisation.

Improve operational efficiency

Significant breaches, such as those impacting the Australian Red Cross and Ticketmaster, demonstrate how damaging cyber threats are to an organisation. Incidents such as these not only tarnish an organisation’s reputation, but they can also bring business operations to a standstill, putting an organisation months, if not years, behind its competitors.

According to our research, businesses across Australia spend four days a month investigating potential security issues, with only one in seven (14%) turning out to be actual infections. IT and security teams are, therefore, wasting time investigating ‘non-issues’ – that’s time that could be spent on other business initiatives.

Look at it this way, if your cybersecurity team is spending an accumulative 41 days a year investigating non-issues, that equates to two months worth of work with time and resources spent on nothing. This is a ‘double whammy’ – time and resources wasted that could have been spent making a meaningful impact on the business, such as updating its cybersecurity infrastructure or deploying employee education programs.

As the old adage goes, time is money. Most professionals, regardless of sector, consider time to be valuable, always looking for ways to improve productivity and efficiency. For a cybersecurity team, investing in the right next-generation cybersecurity systems that effectively identify and thwart suspicious activities, without impacting business operations, will deliver just that – improved productivity and efficiency, freeing up time and resources.

And let’s face it, none of us would say no to more time and resources to dedicate to other initiatives like digital transformation or application moderisation.

The true value of cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is also a catalyst for positive change. Forward-thinking organisations are viewing regulatory and compliance changes – such as the introduction of the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme or, more recently, APRA’s CPS 234 information security standard – as an opportunity to improve their overall security posture and supporting business operations.

Consider the financial services and insurance sector with the introduction of Australia’s open banking legislation. As customer data is opened up, there needs to be a robust discussion around security and how consumer data will remain protected. The legislation has forced business leaders to think about compliance, but smart leaders are viewing open banking as an opportunity to innovate and transform.

These organisations are adopting a DevSecOps approach to include security as early as possible in the software development and delivery pipeline to embed security into the very processes that make open banking possible.

These are just a couple of examples of how cybersecurity is enabling businesses to modernise operations and embrace new opportunities. Once seen as a roadblock to change and a drag on performance, cybersecurity is now key to business success.