Top tips for comms professionals working in the security industry

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Kate Hunter, Director 

The cybersecurity landscape is evolving at a breathless pace, with threats becoming more sophisticated and frequent than ever before. For communications professionals in the security industry, this means a strategic approach that can adapt to emerging challenges while instilling confidence in their products and services. 

The statistics paint an alarming picture. Cybercrime cost UK businesses an estimated £21 billion each year, with the average cost of a cyber-attack reaching £10,830. A reported 50% of UK businesses have been victims of cybercrime, with the pandemic leading to a 31% increase in cyber-attacks targeting organisations across every sector.  

Emerging technologies are making the challenge even greater; research from Microsoft has revealed that 87% of UK organisations are susceptible to cyberattacks in the age of AI. It's not a matter of if, but when the next large-scale attack will occur. 

As such, these figures underscore the urgency not only for robust cybersecurity solutions, but effective communication strategies in the event of an attack. Comms professionals must be rooted in expertise, showcasing their organisations' capabilities to address evolving threats and provide reassurance to customers and prospects. 

I recently attended UK Cyber Week, one of the biggest gatherings of business leaders, IT and cyber security experts anywhere in the world. Among my key takeaways for communications professionals in the security industry were the following: 

Know the difference between misinformation, disinformation and fake news and ensure this informs your comms strategy 

In today's digital age, the spread of misinformation, disinformation, and fake news can have serious consequences, especially in the security sector. It's crucial for comms professionals to understand the nuances between these terms and craft their strategies accordingly. 

Misinformation refers to false or inaccurate information shared without malicious intent, while disinformation is the deliberate dissemination of false or misleading information with the intent to deceive or cause harm. Fake news, on the other hand, is a type of disinformation that masquerades as legitimate news. 

Effective communication strategies should prioritise transparency, fact-checking, and building trust with stakeholders. By clearly distinguishing between misinformation, disinformation, and fake news, comms professionals can tailor their messaging to counter false narratives and provide accurate, reliable information. 

Promote an inclusive culture to attract neurodiverse talent 

One of the most interesting talks I went to underlined how the security industry, like many others, can benefit greatly from a neurodiverse workforce. Neurodiverse individuals, such as those on the autism spectrum, with ADHD, dyslexia, or other neurocognitive variations, often possess unique strengths and perspectives that can enhance problem-solving, pattern recognition, and critical thinking – invaluable skills in the security realm. 

Communications professionals play a crucial role in crafting an inclusive employer brand that attracts and retains neurodiverse talent. This could involve developing messaging that celebrates diversity, highlighting the organisation's commitment to inclusivity, and leveraging targeted outreach strategies to reach neurodiverse communities. 

By showcasing the importance of diversity and celebrating it, comms teams can support their wider business in tapping into a broader pool of talent and fostering a culture of innovation and creativity, ultimately strengthening their cybersecurity function. 

Don't ignore global politics – with so much change on the horizon, make sure your comms is outward looking 

Global politics and security are intricately intertwined, with geopolitical developments having far-reaching consequences for the security landscape. Comms professionals in the security industry must remain vigilant, closely monitoring international events, tensions, and policy shifts that could impact their organisation's overall positioning or standing in the market. 

By staying attuned to the changing landscape, comms teams can navigate these currents effectively, adapting messaging and strategies to align with broader security trends. This involves anticipating emerging risks, highlighting their organisations' capabilities to address evolving challenges, and inspiring confidence among customers and prospects through a forward-thinking, globally aware approach. 

Failure to navigate these global geopolitical currents could leave cybersecurity brands vulnerable, with their communications strategies falling behind the complex security environment. 

Innovate and tap into the zeitgeist to stand out in a crowded market 

Finally, in the highly competitive security industry, it's vital for comms professionals to innovate and tap into the prevailing cultural, social, and political moods to differentiate their organisations and capture audience attention. 

If there was just one overarching takeaway from UK Cyber Week, it’s that this is a sector not afraid to truly embrace innovation. From AI and machine learning, cloud and robotics, the very best of the security sector was on display.  

Comms professionals working in the industry should embody this level of innovation and embrace the spirit of change. This could include anything from adopting new media and leveraging social media platforms and influencer marketing to experimenting with generative AI to supercharge productivity. 

The security sector is an exciting and fast-paced one, making it an incredibly rewarding environment for any comms professional to be part of. As the conversation around cybersecurity continues to evolve, I can't wait to see how companies big and small adapt and push the boundaries of innovation to keep pace with this dynamic industry. 

Missive is an integrated communications consultancy with deep tech sector specialisms built from years of industry experience. We work with some of the UK’s most innovative technology brands to deliver measurable business impact through integrated PR & Comms. 

If you’re looking for support with your comms strategy contact us to find out how we can help. 

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