Did you know your security efforts can (and should) be used as a business differentiator? By creating and maintaining a solid security posture (which is often viewed as a secondary, if not defensive, priority), you can help to increase revenue and better position your business as a leader in your industry.
In fact, companies can drive revenue in the tens of thousands to millions of dollars with the right approach to building a robust security posture.
In a recent interview, host David Raviv asked Jason Albuquerque, Chief Operating Officer at Envision Technology Advisors, how companies typically approach security, and how they ultimately should approach.
Albuquerque’s response (crystalized around the 36-minute mark in the link above) is simple: companies are used to treating security as a defense measure only thought about when needed, but they should be thinking about it proactively, as something that separates their company from all the rest.
In other words, a robust security and risk management strategy can definitely make the difference when prospects are shopping for vendors.
To accomplish this, companies can think about their security strategy on two fronts:
It’s important to actively demonstrate to the outside industry that your business has put, and continues to put, a lot of effort into building your strategy around security and GRC.
A key message to deliver is that your company thinks about security so that your customers don’t have to.
This is especially important if your organization acts as a third party vendor to others. Going into business with your organization should be as frictionless as possible, and customers need to know they can trust you right away.
However, traditionally, the security review, by which a customer needs to assess the third party risk your organization might pose, has been a bottleneck in the sales cycle and a deterrent for many deals. It’s been manual, repetitive, and time-consuming for both sides.
In contrast, projecting a robust security posture upfront will make doing business with you frictionless and a no brainer. Trust is the foundation of your ability to connect and build relationships with your customers. It’s not about closing a deal and being done, it’s about working hard to show integrity and being everything you’d want to see in a business provider.
Proactive means being ready. Don’t wait for a prospective customer to chase you down to answer security questions, or send your latest SIG or SOC report. Instead, show your strength upfront: you are probably certified in different industry standards, you have conducted penetration tests and other audits, you align your processes and documents to internal and external regulations such as PCI DSS, NIST, SOC 2, etc…
With this approach, you’ll be so on point that every time you need to intervene and talk to a CISO or GRC Manager on the other side, everything will run smoothly:
So how to actually do this? And more importantly, how to drive revenue from it?
Almost every business application your organization uses has a reporting functionality, including sales software. It’s easy: just get together with the sales operations team and make sure they tag every opportunity that your security team helped win.
Over time, this will let you calculate how much revenue you’re bringing by showing a solid security posture. Quantifying your efforts and translating them into growth metrics will make the case of why your security and compliance initiatives are an important part of the business.
As for having a process to showcase your robust security posture, that’s also easy when you have a dedicated tool. We developed Beacon by ThirdPartyTrust after our own CEO and Founder spent years on the receiving end of vendor risk assessments, answering redundant one-off spreadsheets with security questions.
With Beacon, you can build a single, online and centralized security profile that consolidates all your questionnaires, certifications, and attestations. You just answer them once, upload their latest version, and invite your customers to review this profile with the click of a button.
Modern business is so fast that there’s never time to think about the overall strategy. Security is always putting out fires and you probably can’t find the time to look at the bigger picture or think where your security posture should be in 3 or 5 years. Well, now you can.
Take control of how your business projects its security posture, and increase efficiency by reducing the manual and repetitive tasks involved in one-off questionnaires. You will respond to more security reviews with the same resources, while increasing your reputation as a company that takes security seriously.
If responding to security questionnaires is taking too much of your time, follow these best practices to accelerate your security review response process. Start your customer relationship off on the right foot while reducing your workload.
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