Learn the salient tenets of business development and stand out from the crowd in the competitive world of security consultancy.
It sounds a bit ridiculous, but the reality is that a ton of companies worldwide cannot tend to rising issues about how to protect the data stored in their computer systems, networks and software programs.
And this should worry anyone who cares about their business protection, given that cyber-attacks were ranked the fifth top-rated risk in 2020, and the rates of these attacks are expected to sky-rocket in the coming years. Now, while it’s easy to get the impression that only mega companies like Yahoo and Uber get targeted by cybercriminals, the truth is far from it. Small and medium-sized companies also fall victim to cyber-attacks nowadays.
And as a security consultant, that right there is an open avenue for you to market your skills, offer protection, and make a living off it, but that won’t be possible if your business is not developed enough to be deemed highly competitive with the capacity of the cybercriminals running rampant through the digital scene.
9 Tips Security Consultants Need To Follow To Grow Their Business
Here are nine vital tips that will help you get as prepared as you should be to grow your security consultancy effectively and efficiently when the opportunity comes around:
Right off the bat, you cannot expect to grow your business where there is no business. It always helps to set your office up in a city populated with enterprises and public institutes needing security consulting.
An excellent example of such a city is New York, where some of the largest online attacks in the U.S. have taken place. One such attack occurred in April 2021 when hackers penetrated the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) computer systems in New York. Although the intrusion did not pose any risk to riders, the perpetrated cyber attack forced the MTA to alter the passwords of over 3,700 employees — or five percent of its workforce, including contractors.
Other reported cases of cybersecurity challenges and attacks go on in the United States and other developed countries. To the businesses affected by these attacks, it’s a problem they’re willing to pay for to eliminate. That provides an opportunity for you as a security consultant to bring your skills to bear and grow your business.
But none of that happens if you’re not right where the action is.
2. Prioritizing the Client’s Business Needs
This is tightly knitted with the first tip. Besides having a good location, it is more than essential to be sure you can understand your client’s needs and work environment and adapt to them.
Let’s take another look at the MTA-hack scenario. Knowing that the MTA is a part of the U.S.’ largest mass transit agency, the security consultant that gets to work with the MTA, providing risk assessment and solutions to its security issues, would be expected to pay premium attention to MTA’s business needs.
It should be the same with any client; their business needs should always be the top priority. The motive here is not just to gain a business affiliation but to sustain your client-consultant relationships effectively. This involves being consistently adaptable to your client’s evolving business.
3. High-Level Crisis Management
It may be impossible to get a 100% success rate at preventing cyber-attacks and data breaches in your client’s business because not every crisis is avoidable.
However, suppose you can promptly analyze potential risks before their occurrence, usually by conducting system vulnerability tests and preparing standard responses to them, you stand out easily from the crowd. You can also gain more recommendations and increased traction for your security consultancy outfit.
4. Staying in the Loop on evolving IT security challenges
Imagine you own a house secured with a padlock at the front door for so many years, and one day, a man breaches that security choice and gains access into your home. At least one person’ll tell you that the breach would not have happened if you were aware and you had made use of the technological advancements available for home security, like a digital automated lock system. Now that’s never a good look.
The same analogy applies to the business of security consultancy. Staying up to date on all Information Technology associated tools and solutions applicable to business or government data security is necessary for upscaling your security consultancy.
You have to understand these technologies as they evolve to be able to attend to your client’s business needs as efficiently as possible. Hackers are constantly finding new ways to beat the system; why should you let up?
5. Networking with other Professionals
For a person to succeed in any given career engagement, networking is a no-brainer. This is because networking gives you access to professionals at your level of expertise and above your level. More importantly, networking gives you the chance to access and benefit from the wealth of knowledge those who are more experienced than you in the field have gathered over time.
And just like every other type of career path, Security consultancy is not exempted from the importance of networking.
Networking with savvy security consultants can expose you to the requisite information and skills you may need to develop new ideas and perspectives in your field. Constant contact with other consultants will also keep you abreast with evolving threats and technologies, help with recommendations, and potentially pave the way for partnerships and connections that culminate in the growth of your business.
Some great ways to network as a security consultant will be acquiring membership slots in a sector-specific organization like the International Association of Professional Security Consultants, establishing contacts with hardware and software providers and specialists within the industry, etc.
6. Getting Familiar with Data Protection Laws
Being conversant with data protection laws holds many benefits for your business development process as a security consultant. You must be familiar with the data protection law in your jurisdiction.
For instance, if you’re a security consultant in the U.S.A, you’re aware that the U.S.A is not a member-state in the European Union (EU), but still, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) applies to companies resident in America. Knowing that your target audience will be these companies means you must be familiar with the GDPR as it applies to them.
The reason for this is that data protection laws seek to guarantee personal data security, and one of the typical job descriptions of a security consultant happens to be precisely that — guaranteeing data security.
So to avoid difficulty, it is crucial to understand the tenets of these laws as that will enable you to implement practices and controls that align with the regulations and bolster your reputation with respect to regulatory compliance.
7. Working with others
Being a security consultant means you will be exposed to the business operations of various organizations. In such situations, you may need to hire specialized personnel to carry out necessary business adaptations to the solutions you’re offering.
For instance, let’s say a bank engages you to provide them with IT security support. There may be some core details that even you cannot work your way around because you do not have professional knowledge of the working of banking systems.
In such a case, you would likely need an individual with the pedigree of talent you would have to bring into your consultancy to acquire a complete insight into what is at stake and the best ways to protect the delicate pieces of data held by the bank.
Taking that course of action will not only guarantee you have the best output, and it will also sell your teamwork ability to your clients.
8. Digital Marketing
The importance of marketing to business growth cannot be emphasized enough. You should have cybersecurity demand generation strategies and a proper digital marketing structure encompassing cyber security content marketing, business-to-business technology marketing, pre-paid campaigns, etc.
Hiring a digital marketer’s assistance can also help your business keep up with evolving trends in the field, generate traction for your business, and set your business apart from the competition.
Finally, it takes money to make money, so to achieve that type of business growth you’re after, you may be required to apply external funds to develop your business besides internally generated revenue.
Similarly to these tips and tricks, you are highly encouraged to begin your networking journey by joining our Security Pro Network. We can link you with those first-class customers you’re after and help upscale your business. So why not give us a hello already? Let us help you ace this!