How to Sell Security to Your Business Leaders

In today’s world of increasingly sophisticated hackers and advanced cyber threats, an active security strategy must be a top priority for businesses. That’s right – security is no longer an IT discussion, but a business discussion.

Yet despite this new reality, there remain business leaders who approach the security of their company’s systems — be they on-premise or in the cloud — as a secondary consideration, both in terms of manpower and budget.

If you’re a CIO or other IT professional whose organization still hasn’t created a robust security strategy over those concerns, you may be frustrated that this new reality isn’t taken seriously. You’re not alone. Below are some ways to respond to the inevitable pushback you’re receiving when broaching security with your own leaders.

Start with the vision of your company’s security posture

The time has come for that big meeting with a member of the C-suite, budget holder or senior manager, and you’re prepared with a laundry list of security tools and applications you want to put in place. Instead of diving in head first, take a minute to make sure you understand where your business leaders are coming from. Has there been pushback on security before? Why? Now is the time to determine all issues, concerns and motivations upfront so expectations can be set and met.

Don’t dive into the weeds by immediately talking about products and tools in detail. Instead, use this as an opportunity to make sure there is alignment across the company as to the importance of security, the current state of security within the organization and where things need to be to improve gaps and shortcomings.

If this critical step hasn’t been taken, you must convene all your organization’s stakeholders to map out the vision.

Policy? What policy? 

The obvious place to start is with your organization’s security policy. Don’t have one in place? Time to create a set of security rules and standards for how your business operates will specify how risks are managed, what should be protected and how, and what is allowed and prohibited.

It’s all about risk management  

Members of your leadership team are not likely to be swayed by the awesome specifications of tool A or tool B. What will get them listening is speaking their language: how these tools can manage risk. That’s what keeps business leaders up at night: visions of business-destroying breaches splashed across screens around the world.

Framing your security concerns within the narrative of risk management allows you to offer specific solutions for larger, general concerns.

Security is a decision for the entire organization

A damaging security breach will affect the entire organization, and it can come from anywhere. Every employee has the potential to derail even the most well-intentioned security protocols.

Phishing attempts, compromised passwords and even the physical loss of a device can spell real trouble for an organization’s security strategy, so without the policies in place, which must also be communicated thoroughly and often to employees, a business is operating in risky territory.

The managed security difference 

Creating the right security strategy on your own is doable, if you have the right talent, time and budget. But the reality is, many businesses simply don’t and never will have that expertise. A managed solution allows organizations, especially small anmedium-sizeded companies, but also those that want to stay focused on their core business, to reap the benefit of much larger, more experienced processes, tools and expertise.

Rackspace Managed Security offers efficient solutions for companies that don’t want to (or simply can’t) go it alone. Today’s security challenges demand a proactive, 24x7x365 approach. With a trusted security partner protecting your business from today’s advanced persistent threats, you can rest easy knowing the security of your organization is in good hands.

Visit Rackspace to find out more about how our managed security services can help keep your business safe.

C.J. Puhala is an enterprise managed security solutions sales manager at Rackspace, a position he has held since January of 2016. Prior to joining Rackspace, he was an enterprise managed security solutions executive at CSC. Previous to that, he served with Dell Secureworks as a security solutions partner laison/consultant. Prior to that, he was a security solutions sales director at Avnet Technology Solutions, an IBM partner. Additionally, Mr. Puhala was NE Regional Director of Sales at Cybertrust, a security solutions entity. He was also a Security Solutions Consultant for Verizon Business and Security Solutions Specialist for MCI. Mr. Puhala has over 33 years of experience in information technology, IT Security, consulting, sales and sales management.


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