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Cybersecurity means more than protecting IT alone. Cyber threats pose challenges across an even broader range of enterprise concerns, including supply chain, social responsibility and environmental issues. Cyber adversaries no longer limit themselves to IT and information assets; they’re also threatening everything from the reputation of individuals to the health and safety of the greater population – even threatening the outcome of democratic processes. In 2021 we’ve already seen reports of successful attacks on water treatment facilities, vaccine makers, healthcare providers, cellular providers and various supply chains.

As technology continues to extend its reach and enterprises and entire markets become increasingly connected, the risk of cybercrime, data corruption and data leakage is rising. Organizations are acquiring and storing huge amounts of nuanced data about customers to deliver experiences, products, services and communications that are tailored and personalized to each individual. These growing pools of data are increasingly complex and interconnected, meaning that a single breach or data exposure has the potential to be disastrous.

As evidenced by several recent well publicized breaches, not only can a company’s relationship with its customers be severely damaged by a successful attack, but so can its relationship with employees, partners, the general public and investors. Equity firms in particular are becoming acutely aware of the financial consequences and the reputational risk they may suffer if a company in their portfolio is breached or inadvertently exposes private data. For organizations that have suffered a breach, the loss of access to capital and funding to grow the business could prove to be worse than the breach itself.

New security operations technologies are giving businesses fresh approaches to recognizing threats and containing their impact in multiple realms. However, it is only when security is deeply ingrained into enterprise operations and business architecture, and has a clear place within the overall corporate strategy, that organizations can truly strengthen their cyber resilience.

Security as an afterthought is an unsustainable model in a world where organizations are deeply interconnected with partners, customers and suppliers, and have substantial assets and exposures in digital form. Organizations can no longer just ‘consult’ with the security team or ask for isolated input after initiatives are well underway. Reducing fragmentation and friction with security by fostering collaboration and clarity and integrating security into business processes can deliver the scale and insights needed to strengthen the organization’s collective resilience, recovery and response capabilities.

This level of integration requires that enterprises embrace a strategy of privacy and security by design, considering risk, privacy and security from the inception of every initiative throughout the organization. This task is far easier said than done.

Moving from security as an afterthought to a security-by-design approach can be challenging for any organization. It may be surprising to discover that a modern MSP can be a catalyst for this shift. Delivering a variety of services, emerging technologies and operational practices, modern MSPs are well positioned to help organizations become more resilient, improve their ability to detect and repel threats, streamline operations and realize untapped competitive advantages and differentiation.