Turn security culture into a value proposition
Instilling a culture of security throughout the organisation is more important now than ever before, as companies are forced to become digital organisations due to the pandemic and lockdown. By establishing security as a strategic business enabler and the key to maintaining customer trust across digital channels, organisations translate a security culture into a value proposition.
“If you go digital and you can’t maintain the trust you had in the brick and mortar relationship, you risk losing trust and your customer base, which could ultimately close down the business. If you digitise incorrectly or insecurely, it’s a risk, so you need to ensure that security culture permeates the organisation. You can’t allow the old culture, in which security is seen as a ‘blocker’ rather than an enabler, to continue or there will be a lot of teething issues and incidents along the way.”
Barnwell notes that in many corporates, security is still seen as an entity that blocks progress, enforcing rules ‘like an angry headmaster’. “In many organisations, projects are rolled out without security being consulted – it is seen as a blocker that has to sign off at the end before the project goes into production, often resulting in delays. This creates a bad reputation for the security function."
In Standard Bank, there’s very little of that, he says. "Security works side by side with business and IT, as a partner and an enabler that adds to the value proposition.”
In many corporates, security is still seen as an entity that blocks progress, enforcing rules ‘like an angry headmaster’.Robin Barnwell
Instilling a security culture throughout the organisation started with increasing visibility. “We did roadshows on the potential impact of cyber or security incidents, and focused on the security officer function as a liaison between security and business, emphasizing how security can be flexible and enable the business to do better.”
In this maturing security culture, security is no longer seen as a cost centre, but rather as a crucial partner in honouring customers’ trust in the bank’s digital channels. “This has helped transform the reputation of security into something that’s client centric,” Barnwell says.
Barnwell will participate in a panel discussion on ‘creating a culture shift towards embracing security in your organisation’ at the upcoming ITWeb Security Summit, to be staged as a virtual event from 25 – 28 August.
This discussion, of value to CEOs, CIOs, CISOs and any organisation on a digital journey, will include an overview of Standard Bank’s experience in instilling a security culture, and the benefits of doing so.