by Bill Rosenthal

The rise of the hacker next door or across the world: Your customers get it. How about your CEO?

Nov 02, 2015
CareersCyberattacksData and Information Security

For every cyber impostor targeting your hard-earned research and development, customers' personal information, or potentially embarrassing secrets, there's at least one cautious manager who still needs more proof you deserve immediate reinforcements.

Remember the old self-help homily, “life is not a dress rehearsal”?

It applies to today’s cybersecurity training imperatives.

Just in time for the mobile and application-based “trust economy” consumers expect from every organization, service or brand that wants to connect with them, destructive hacker attacks have swooped in as a news headline staple and crashed the party.

This puts IT in a tough spot, and under pressure to develop simple, affordable, scalable and irresistible (to the intended user) applications that almost by definition will cause a crisis-level security breach to happen soon — or in the next two minutes.

The security breach, of course, will be all IT’s fault.

Fortunately, IT professionals can react effectively by obtaining the necessary resources for training to improve your ability to keep your most valuable databases well out of harm’s way.

You can raise the odds of a speedy approval for those funds by aligning the training program you select in a profound and compelling fashion with your organization’s goal of successful, continual brand building.

I suggest your presentation to request this investment is built around the following themes: faster introductions of exciting, distinctive applications to an eager marketplace and more meaningful and trust-building conversations with your customers.

Here are three ways to make the case that the right training program will contribute to getting the creative, make or break new offerings to market, ahead of your competition. If you ensure the training you propose is nimble, substantive and yet robust compared to previous offerings, you’ll be miles ahead of your competitors. Many of them still take traditional paths to their increasingly difficult cybersecurity tasks. This slows down their pursuit of the same customers, clients, donors or supporters you want and hobbles their relationship with the ones they already have.

Find a qualified instructor

If it’s led by a qualified instructor for deeper engagement, plans for student collaboration and interaction and reflects input from the field, there’s a very strong case for an intelligent, sound streamlined process at its core.

Prove usefulness

Underscore how your choice of courseware will result in a fast, effective implementation of an up-to-date cybersecurity system is content centered on strengthening students’ decision-making skills. These include penetration testing, network planning and incident response.

Today’s generation of emboldened, stealthy and wily hackers have put a premium on your fending off an attack at its earliest stages and simultaneously uncovering and neutralizing your network’s vulnerabilities. You’ll thus minimize the time needed to watch for unauthorized access to your databases, shut down the ones that occur and deliver a solid return on investment.

Find a solution everyone can use

A third selling point to aim at budget-conscious managers anxious to implement a solution that can “hit the ground running” is courseware that allows for easy upgrades and can be taught to a wide range of experience levels and IT specialists. Compared to topic specific instruction that has characterized cybersecurity training available up until recently, a holistic view of network security promises to get more of your troops to combat ready status more quickly than ever before.

You can reinforce the essential wisdom behind both better decision making and a holistic approach by highlighting your proposed courseware’s well-researched and designed reference tool in your proposal. For a team facing ongoing threats under very stressful conditions, it’s the next best thing to having a good teacher always at your side.

More suggestions

Another route to successfully linking your choice of courseware to your most critical brand building objectives is by positioning it as the foundation for greater communication between your organization and its customers.

In an ironic twist, the ceaseless and visible reminders about hacking’s power to disrupt our economy (and its corollary, the unlikelihood of a digital fortress impenetrable to all future attacks) has perhaps made consumers at least temporarily forgiving of an occasional assault on their personal information.

In this cat and mouse game played forever against modern data thieves, many of whom operate beyond our laws’ scope, you’ll score big by homing in on how a rapid deployment of effective defensive maneuvers gives you the means to alert customers right after the first alarm sounds and follow up immediately with credible, reassuring updates on your progress towards guarding their privacy.

If you need a killer visual for your presentation, put this one showing current cyber attacks streaming live behind you.