Marketing & Cybersecurity Team Building

While marketing and IT have broadly stayed distant from each other, it's clear that cybersecurity now inspires that to change. Because, if the brand both are charged with defending has any chance to fend off a total cyber crisis, it will take boundless creativity and communication. And, at times, day and night execution that outside crisis strategists love to talk about, but never really have the cybersecurity depth of skills to take on themselves. Moveover, it requires award-worthy marketing and cybersecurity team building.

This is why it is so encouraging when we see signs that organizations are recognizing that age-old gap and taking action to close it. Take, for example, the excellent blog post by Juliette Rizkallah, where as a CMO and featured by Here, she articulates the role to be played in risk factors, digital transformation, and becoming a cybersecurity champion.

Marketing As The Champion

Marketers can resign themselves to being targets or risk factors, or they can become champions of the CISO’s office. Creating a culture of cybersecurity in an organization requires the talent of a marketing departmentthat, campaign after campaign, will reiterate the importance of security training, good password hygiene, physical security enforcement, social engineering awareness and so on. It may be an odd concept to team up the CISO and CMO teams together,but in our company, whose sole focus is security and where both the CIO and CISO are key participants in our marketing strategy and tactics, it has become a very natural thing.Our marketers pride themselves on avoiding social engineering traps and complying with security technology council rules. These marketing employees are the best megaphones a CISO can find to recruit more champions or — as we call them at SailPoint — “security heroes” in the organization. 

Juliette Rizkallah | The Role Of Marketing In Cybersecurity

Marketing and Cybersecurity Team Building

Clear Thinking Cybersecurity Marketing - Zscaler

Taking this to its conclusion is that the outside world should never be able to see where security ends and marketing begins. The market doesn't care that marketing and security are different skill sets. They know that already. All they care about when it comes to cybersecurity is that those who they are doing business with are reputable and seen as such. So as highlighted above: cybersecurity requires marketing talent, which means that CISOs and CMOs must team up and be aligned. When done right, it will look natural. And it really has to.

Of course for many there's also the harsh reality that this level of change is easier said than done. And from our experience, that's most certainly true and needs to be accounted for. That's why, just as it makes sense for organizations of all sizes to have cybersecurity incident response teams on retainer, having cybersecurity marketing teams available and working on the brand of the cybersecurity program itself is proving to be one of the best investments that the CEO and board members are happy to fund.

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Written by Kevin Peterson, CISSP

Kevin Peterson is the founder and cybersecurity practice lead at ZecurityAscent. His background includes: 3.5 years at Zscaler as Director, Security & Network Transformation; 8 years at McKesson (Fortune 5), the last 2 as a business unit security officer / cloud application security lead across all business units (introduced Zscaler); and 7.5 years at Juniper Networks as Sr. Product Manager for the Pulse Secure SSL VPN. Adding to this is his own professional brand as an author, blogger, speaker, InfraGard board member, former police officer, pilot, and United States Air Force veteran.
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