The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we have to go about things—that’s a given. From our day to day routine, our jobs, how we procure and produce meals, everything requires some adjustment. Everything requires that we give up a bit of control.
Let’s take grocery shopping for instance. My family loves the process of going to the store for ingredients to produce delicious meals, but now we face the reality that we must leave our children at home to go to the store, wait in long lines while masked, and not all the ingredients we want may be available at a given time.
We have embraced curbside delivery for our staples, but we were reluctant to trust someone else to select our meat and produce. I discovered, though, that local companies that typically supply restaurants have shifted to a “direct to consumer” model. We still have to trust someone else to choose our meat and produce, but we are more comfortable having that job done by specialists we are confident are qualified to perform the task.
But this doesn’t have to be a frustrating thing—it simply requires a change of mindset.
Focus on the Desired Outcome
It’s so easy to get trapped in some of these intermediate steps, get frustrated, and lose sight of the real goal. At the end of the day, the well-traveled and perfected route of grocery shopping and cooking has been impacted and changed, but does that mean I can no longer achieve my goal? No, of course not. It just requires some creativity.
So, before we complete this grocery shopping analogy, what does any of this have to do with cybersecurity? Well, as we entered 2020, security leaders were tasked with delivering security outcomes. They were held accountable—to their business unit, company, and their boards. With all the changes caused by the pandemic and subsequent global economic slowdown, budgets everywhere are being challenged and some cuts are so deep that many strong security professionals had to be let go. However, in this ‘climate of scaling back’, there has been no softening or relaxing of the security outcomes that need to be delivered. Budgets need to stretch further and organizations that already know how to do security may need to explore alternate ways to make it work.
Thus, security leaders must focus on the desired outcome—adjust to the fact that they will likely have to give up some control to continue protecting their organization at the same “business as usual” level. For instance, what if you examined your existing security posture and were able to parse out a portion of it in a similar fashion and have someone else do it? Of course, this someone isn’t just anyone. It would be an organization that has the security chops and the ability to give you access to all your data to do your job better. What if these capabilities didn’t cause you to miss a beat when trying to measure security outcomes? What if an unintended benefit was that it cost less than what you were paying, or that you freed up your own people to work on more critical projects?
This is precisely how many of our security-savvy customers ended up choosing Alert Logic, even under completely different, non-pandemic related circumstances. They embraced a managed approach out of necessity and ended up staying, and many have since expanded their footprint with us because of the outcomes.
So, much like how we’ve had to adjust and adopt curbside delivery for grocery shopping, placing our trust in someone else to choose our items and relinquishing control, some organizations must do the same to stay afloat. Plus, when you do give up some control, you may just find that you have time to focus on other things—for example, with the time saved on grocery shopping, my family has been able to start baking bread regularly and expand the breadth of things we are comfortable making at home. In a COVID influenced world, it’s critical to give up a little control, and the organizations set up to thrive will be the ones that focus on outcomes—the businesses that aren’t afraid to think a little differently, and sometimes give up a little control.