The landscape of business changed forever with the introduction of the Internet in the early 1990s. The opportunities that digital technology and the World Wide Web introduced to business leaders fostered the growth of eCommerce as we know it today and all of the technology that supports it. Over time, the industry adopted rules and regulations to help protect consumers and organizations from people who use this powerful connection for malicious activities.
Organizations had to adapt quickly to new technologies in an unexplored frontier. Cybersecurity regulations provided standards that aimed to communicate and enforce information security best practices.
Customers need trust in your organization to give you access to their valuable assets.
Malicious actors have forced technology leaders to rapidly evolve to keep up with the threat landscape. Regardless of the pace of innovation, customers will always need to keep their valuable assets safe, but the way they need to think about keeping those assets safe needs to evolve with their threat landscape.
As the expert on your organization’s security strategy, you need to be prepared to communicate how your security program answers customers’ concerns throughout their business relationship with your organization.
Customers used to trust audit results.
Compared to now, internet technology built during the original 1990s dot-com boom was a much more tangible asset. Companies had to own or lease physical data centers to store the data they used to run their business. They hired an IT team or a managed service provider to set up and maintain the systems and equipment needed to provide a secure environment to keep their valuable data safe from threat actors.
Audits gave customers the information they needed to evaluate their risk.
As organizations of all kinds digitized their business, standards began to emerge to provide a way to evaluate the quality of a vendor’s security efforts. The industry adopted regulations like SOC2 and PCI to establish standard ways to provide an unbiased third-party review of security practices. This information helped customers assess the amount of risk associated with their business decisions.
Now, security regulation compliance is the bare minimum.
Cloud services eventually became available to the masses and many organizations began moving their data out of traditional data centers and into serverless cloud technology. The adoption of cloud solutions created new innovative business opportunities, but it also meant more organizations needed to be involved to make that business happen. The auditing process became increasingly complex as technology began evolving faster than the regulations could keep up. Customers today, in addition to stakeholders and consumers, need to know more than just your compliance audit results to understand the quality of your security program.
There is less trust in the process of auditing now compared to the pre-cloud era.
Customers still want you to check the boxes of an audit, however, passing an audit is no longer sufficient on its own. Regulations are firm and inflexible and complicated to change. Many regulations have been around for a long time without frequent updates. Unfortunately, this is leading to a decline in the effectiveness of these regulations over time. Regulation guidelines that were once positively impactful are now forcing some outdated practices. Customers see examples of vendors that are in compliance, yet are still suffering from the consequences of data breaches. Regulations no longer offer the same peace of mind as they once did.
Information security practices continue to evolve alongside technology and threats.
The need to protect valuable data remains, despite the inflexibility of regulations. While technology leaders can’t often change third-party regulations, they do have control over their own security programs and practices. When regulations alone don’t provide enough defense to keep valuable assets safe, technology leaders add additional layers of security beyond just compliance.
Gain customers’ trust with a clear security story.
Traditionally, you earned trust by passing an audit. Now, it’s way beyond that.
• Compliance is: Are you checking the boxes?
• Security is: Do you care?
Customers are interested in how your organization is addressing these present-day threats. Not only do you need to have baseline audits, but you also need to have a strong security culture. This culture is the security story customers are looking for while they’re evaluating if they should trust you with their valuable data.
Communicate a security story that shows how much you care.
While instinctually it’s easy to lean towards hiding your weaknesses from customers, in reality, you’re never done optimizing your security programs. The landscape never stops changing and neither should your approach. They want to know how you stay nimble and adapt your defenses to what matters now. Focus on sharing the power of your organization’s security culture and how that translates to the defense of those assets.
Your security story needs to be more than just passing audits that prove you’re in legal compliance. You should show that you continue to make your security program stronger because you care.
It doesn’t have to be difficult to define your security story.
Use technology to help you gain the insights you need to define your security story. Tools like ZeroWall’s can give you the information you need to communicate a holistic overview of why your security program deserves your customers’ trust.
Get the outline to write your unique security story.
ZeroWall’s tools can help you assess your information security profile and communicate its benefits with your customers.
Taking the ZeroWall Assessment™ is the fastest way to grow a holistic security program.
ZeroWall’s Threat Model Engine™ works its magic and delivers you an Insights Report that outlines:
- The gaps in your security program
- How your current investments are addressing risks
- How you compare to similarly-sized organizations in your industry
- Right-sized recommendations catered to your unique organization
Get the information you need to confidently build your organization’s right-sized program. Get started >