When talking cyber security, we hear a lot about how we need to get our head in the game to protect us from the surge in cyber-attacks. Over the past six months alone, we’ve been bombarded almost daily with news of current and future predictions of cyber-attacks, and how we need to get ready. And while the cyber security of our businesses is important from the aspect of protecting ourselves, our clients, and our business, it’s not the only thing it impacts.
As the talk on climate change, environmental impact and sustainability continues on a global level, on a more personal level, many businesses are looking for ways to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly. For businesses such as cafes and restaurants, it’s pretty easy. Get rid of single use plastic items and you’re good!
But for other businesses it’s not so easy nor obvious. So, the big questions is, how does increasing your cyber security capability help your business to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly?
All businesses, whether big or small, collect and store sensitive data. With the increase in cyber-attacks, it’s becoming more important than ever to ensure this data is protected. At the same time, we need to consider the energy and resources needed to store and process the data. By implementing good data management practices, you can not only improve your cyber security posture, but reduce your carbon footprint.
Reduced energy consumption: proper data management can help reduce the energy needed to store and process data. For example, implementing data de-duplication techniques can help reduce the amount of storage space needed, which can lower the energy needed to power and cool storage servers.
Improved efficiency: businesses can operate more efficiently by ensuring they have access to the data they need when they need it. This can help reduce the energy needed to complete tasks and can help lower greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the number of physical meetings and travel.
Increased use of cloud-based solutions: the use of cloud-based solutions can help reduce a business’s carbon footprint by allowing the business to take advantage of the energy-efficient infrastructure of the cloud provider.
With the cost of energy consumption, we’re constantly looking for ways to reduce our usage. By adopting technologies such as energy-efficient lighting, HVAC systems, and appliances, businesses can improve their sustainability through lowered costs and greenhouse emissions.
Reduced energy consumption: energy-efficient technologies are what they sound like – designed to use less energy to perform the same tasks as traditional technologies. By using these options, you can significantly reduce your business’s energy consumption and in the process lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Increased energy efficiency: your business is able to operate more efficiently by reducing the energy needed to complete tasks. Again, this can help lower greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the amount of power required to power your business.
Potential cost savings: in addition to helping the environment, using energy-efficient technologies can result in cost savings for your business by reducing energy bills.
Referring to the interconnected network of devices, sensors and other technologies that collect and transmit data, IoT has the potential to bring significant benefits in terms of sustainability to your business.
Improved energy efficiency: IoT devices can be used to monitor and optimise energy usage in buildings, factories and other business operations. For example, smart thermostats and building control systems can adjust the temperature and lighting based on the needs of the building, therefore reducing energy consumption.
Enhanced resource management: by using sensors and devices to track and optimise the use of resources such as water, electricity and raw materials, your business can optimise usage and reduce waste.
Improved supply chain efficiency: just as we can use sensors and devices to track the usage of resources, we can do the same for the movement of goods through your supply chain. By using things such as FRID tags and GPS tracking in real time, you can optimise your logistics and reduce unnecessary transportation.
As you can see, improving your cybersecurity posture is not just going to help prepare you and prevent cyber-attacks. However, it is important to note that being victim to a cyber-attack will also impact your sustainability.
Financial losses: a cyber-attack can result in financial losses for your business through the cost of recovering from the attack, as well as any lost revenue or damage to your reputation. These losses can also impact your business’s ability to operate sustainably in the long term.
Reputational damage: an attack can damage your reputation, which in turn can affect your business’s ability to attract customers and partners, reducing your revenue and profitability.
Legal and regulatory consequences: Depending on the nature of the attack, your business may face legal and regulatory consequences, leaving you to face potential financial and reputational impacts.
Of course, these are only a handful of ways improving your cyber security will impact your business’s sustainability, however they are enough to prove our point. Cyber security isn’t just about keeping your data and networks safe, it’s also about remaining sustainable. By taking a holistic approach that recognises the interconnected nature of environmental needs and cyber security, businesses can protect themselves from cyber threats while also supporting sustainability goals.
There are lots of big topics here. It really highlights just how important good governance on cybersecurity is.