Protection of customer data makes a strong selling point

There is no doubt that security will play an increasingly important role in enabling business growth, but it requires those in the boardrooms of Great Britain to wake up to the real challenges that will threaten their business over the next decade.

How can security play a central role in enabling business growth?


There is no doubt that security will play an increasingly important role in enabling business growth, but it requires those in the boardrooms of Great Britain to wake up to the real challenges that will threaten their business over the next decade, writes Kate Danbury, head of information security service at The Corporate IT Forum.

There are two main areas where our members feel that security can make a real difference. First is in enabling the secure externalisation of data and communications, allowing staff, business partners and even customers to access company data wherever they may be. Whether this is through leased line or the cloud, effective security is paramount to the success of this strategy.

Concepts such as de-perimiterisation, where organisations are moving the security border closer to the data rather than trying to create a multi-functional defence around the network itself, will enable unheard of capability to collaborate and open new avenues for increasing business capability.

The second strategy is to use security capability as a big gun in the rapidly developing battleground around the growing threat of e-crime. With businesses and consumers becoming increasingly aware of the impact of data loss and perceived governmental indifference to detection and law enforcement, companies that can prove they are serious about the protection of customer data are gaining significant commercial advantage. As incidents of e-crime proliferate, more organisations will be featuring their credentials as "beyond compliance" as a major USP in marketing and contractual strategies.

New technologies and innovative thinking in information security will deliver large financial savings, resource agility and reputation benefits to organisations that make the investment now. The message that comes across most strongly from our members is that boards must start to recognise that security is not a cost centre that can be marginalised in the overall business strategy. In the challenging environment ahead, where there will be no boundaries between the organisation and the outside world, data will be central to the ability to compete and prosper.

Read more expert advice from the Computer Weekly Think Tank >>

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