Digital integration is growing across work, home, and life. Smartphones connect us to family on the other side of the world. Collaboration apps give us the power to work from nearly anywhere. But as digital technology steadily integrates into our lives with each passing day, cybersecurity threats are evolving as well.

BCIU is a strategic partner for companies seeking to grow their cyber businesses around the world. In this post, BCIU’s Senior Vice President, Nina Kundra, offers insights for how U.S. cybersecurity businesses should engage foreign governments abroad. Kundra is an expert with extensive experience in international trade and government contracts. “Cybersecurity has become a significant security concern for many developing countries,” says Kundra. “We’ve seen a lack of cyber protocols and shortage of well-trained IT security experts contribute to security failures, and the private sector can help a great deal.”

With over 15 years of experience helping governments and businesses address emerging challenges and opportunities, Kundra offers the following key insights:

Slow and steady wins the cybersecurity race

The COVID-19 pandemic has sped up digital adoption, but rapid adoption can lead to issues. Many developing countries have taken a decentralized approach to security, adopting multiple complex platforms at the same time. Kundra sees a more holistic approach as the way to go. Companies and governments should be methodical when it comes to new security technology adoption. Emerging technologies are often easy targets for hackers and malware. “By understanding the full capabilities and vulnerabilities of your infrastructure, and by establishing a road map for adoption, security tools can then be more effectively integrated into the overall architecture,” says Kundra. At the same time, new security protocols can lead to new security challenges as well…

We have met the enemy, and it’s us

The human element of cybersecurity is critical. Oftentimes, it’s the employee who inadvertently allows a threat in. “Government employees need the tools to protect their governments from a cyber attack.” Given that effective cybersecurity relies on training employees to identify phishing attempts and avoid improper cross-pollination between personal and work on their devices, employee training can be embedded in new technology adoption processes as well. This is just one unique business opportunity the private sector can seize upon. The other is the IT skills shortage.

It’s the IT skills that kill

The most effective cybersecurity companies not only help countries adopt new security technology, but they help governments address the growing IT security skills shortage as well. “As an example, we were working with a government in Africa several years ago, helping them with the adoption of cybersecurity technology,” says Kundra. “As part of the package that was negotiated with a private-sector partner, IT security skills training was added to the onboarding process. This transformed the offering and drove success.” Including bespoke solutions like IT skills training in the procurement process will help ensure that your partnership endures.

While there are important considerations to effectively promoting cybersecurity adoption, the opportunities abroad for U.S. cybersecurity firms are significant. By bringing governments and business together to find the best market-based solutions, security will improve and the industry will thrive well into the future.

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