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Making the business case for cybersecurity spending

Data has become as valuable as cash in the digital age, and the increased threat of cybercrime has forced companies to rethink security processes to protect their information assets.

But as cyberattacks continue to threaten companies and individuals all over the world, international cybersecurity regulations and standards are lacking. Uniform regulations remain difficult to develop due to discrepancies between information protection interests on the global stage.

While governments all over the globe continue to debate potential cybersecurity laws, the public and private sector pursue processes and strategies to protect online data. But despite the increasing volume, velocity and severity of data breaches, cybersecurity spending still often struggles to get necessary support from company executives. The problem is that a reactionary approach to protecting data assets is no longer effective in the digital age, said attorney and information governance expert Jeffrey Ritter.

"It's like putting patches on a road after a tough winter -- we are filling the holes but we are not necessarily putting the infrastructure into place to deal with the demands of the coming years ahead," Ritter said a recent SearchCompliance webcast titled "The business case for cybersecurity."

Security enables digital information to have functional and economic value as property. We can use it to perform work, and we can assign economic value to it.
Jeffrey Ritter

In the 21st century, digital information has become a new class of property, transforming data assets into something that can be used as currency during business transactions, Ritter said. As digital information becomes something that businesses are able to buy, sell and license, companies must determine the value that information has to a transaction, he added.

The trend has caused a fundamental shift in how company's view security processes: Cybersecurity spending and processes are no longer just seen as way to protect data assets. Instead, information security can be used to ensure that important company information is accurate and reliable -- what Ritter calls "building digital trust."

Ritter points out that digital "trust" is not an emotion, it's a calculation. By using security to build digital trust, it can ultimately help companies determine when to conduct trade and commerce, and with whom.

For example, Ritter noted that virtually every modern business relationship requires the exchange of digital information, and every exchange requires validation of both the information and the source. In other words, every business decision requires the use and acquisition of accurate information that can be trusted for validity.

"Security enables digital information to have functional and economic value as property," Ritter said. "We can use it to perform work, and we can assign economic value to it."

Ritter predicts that the companies that integrate security into how they manage their commercial relationships will gain a competitive advantage in their respective markets.

"Rather than seeing security as part of risk management, it's now part of the negotiation when new relationships are built with buyers, sellers and supply chain partners that allows us to create new wealth," Ritter said.

In his webcast, learn more from Ritter about making the "new business case for cybersecurity" that demonstrates to stakeholders how effective information protection can generate wealth for an organization. By doing so, companies can help justify cybersecurity spending and investments necessary to protect data assets in the digital age.

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