In today’s digital world, global expansion is increasingly within reach for businesses of all sizes. However, with greater connectivity comes an even greater responsibility. As companies extend their operations across borders, continents and cultures, they must prioritise cybersecurity measures to support sustainable long-term growth.
Protecting sensitive data, infrastructure and partnerships is non-negotiable when establishing an international presence. Without robust security protocols and compliance standards in place across all jurisdictions of operation, global companies risk major data breaches, system disruptions and limited access to strategic new markets.
“Enterprises and security professionals are now beginning to yield growth by centring cybersecurity in their long-term growth plans from the early stages of business development.” says Lila Kee, Chief Product Officer for GlobalSign. “By placing security as a foundation of their business architecture, rather than treating it as a necessary cost of business operations, organizations are mitigating the risks that come with large-scale expansion and avoiding the reputational and financial following a breach.”
By making cybersecurity a focal point of global growth plans from day one, businesses can securely navigate the complex digital terrain of international expansion and build connected networks that drive opportunity worldwide.
The Risk of Lacking Good Cybersecurity Practice
For global companies, a lack of cybersecurity measures poses risks on multiple fronts that threaten sustainable growth. Sensitive data exposure and privacy violations can undermine customer trust, violate laws across borders and incur legal consequences.
Digital threats like malware, phishing and ransomware have the potential to disrupt vital technology infrastructure across locations and countries. Failure to meet compliance standards in key markets can lock businesses out of those regions or bring penalties that impact the bottom line.
Without robust security protocols and governance programmes in place across all digital territories they operate in, global businesses face major threats. Data breaches that might compromise intellectual property or customer information can have far-reaching impacts, especially as companies connect systems across diverse regions.
Phishing, malware and ransomware are increasingly wielded across borders, often infiltrating networks via a weak access point in one system before spreading widely. Navigating varied data protection and privacy laws internationally requires vigilance, yet compliance failures remain common and pose a serious risk to global growth plans.
Positioning Your Business for Global Growth
Strategic global expansion requires access to business-friendly environments like Gibraltar that incentivise international companies with competitive tax rates, streamlined regulations and cooperative policymaking.
For multinationals focused upon new market entry, locations where operations can launch quickly and thrive offer a key competitive advantage. Places positioning themselves as launchpads for global growth actively attract foreign businesses with targeted benefits and support navigating regional rules or dynamics.
Global companies able to demonstrate strong security and governance have more flexibility in choosing optimal headquarters or operational bases around the world. Well-protected systems, vigilant monitoring and staff training enable businesses to securely take advantage of locations with attractive tax incentives, manage data across borders without issues and avoid penalties in key markets.
The Importance of SSL/TLS
For companies conducting business across borders, secure data encryption is non-negotiable. SSL/TLS certificates, which stand for Secure Sockets Layer and Transport Layer Security, encrypt the data exchanged between a company’s website and visitors.
With an international digital footprint, the volume and diversity of data global businesses collect and transmit makes them an attractive target for cyber threats like hacking, phishing and malware. SSL/TLS adds a crucial layer of protection for any company website, but is particularly vital for those operating internationally. Encrypting data in transit helps meet compliance standards for privacy and data security around the world and avoids legal risks from exposure of sensitive information related to global customers or partners.
The risks of operating without SSL/TLS span lost revenue, damaged reputation, limited market access and erosion of consumer trust across geographies. With encrypted websites, companies can confidently pursue digital transformation and global growth through enhanced customer experiences, secure e-commerce and seamless connectivity across borders. SSL/TLS solutions also safeguard internal systems by encrypting communication between global data centres, cloud platforms and company websites.
Steps You Can Take to Strengthen Your Cybersecurity
Thankfully there are steps that any business can take to strengthen their cybersecurity in order to better prepare the organisation for global growth.
- Conduct risk assessments: identify vulnerabilities and threats across global operations.
With an international footprint, the potential cyber risks facing a business multiply. Global companies must regularly assess threats and vulnerabilities across all digital infrastructure, systems and locations they operate in.
Identifying weak access points, under-protected data stores or team members in need of additional security training helps focus defensive strategies and investments where they matter most. Risk assessments should take an integrated view of the entire global organisation to understand how vulnerabilities in one region could impact operations more widely.
- Establish security policies: for device usage, data access, password management, etc.
To strengthen cybersecurity globally, comprehensive policies around access, authentication, device usage and data handling must apply organisation-wide with sensitivity to local culture and regulations.
Strict password management, multi-factor authentication where supported, and device security policies improve defences across borders. Policies should clearly stipulate employee responsibilities around data access, transfer and storage in each new region of operation. Regular reviews ensure policies keep up with technological and regulatory changes in all markets.
- Invest in personnel and technologies: hire dedicated cybersecurity staff, explore staff augmentation to build a focused tech team, and use tools like firewalls, encryption, MFA.
With global operations relying on seamless connectivity, companies must invest in both human and technological cyber resources. Expert security staff monitor threats and defences across jurisdictions, while tools like firewalls, endpoint protection, encryption and multi-factor authentication improve security wherever companies have an online presence.
Investments should factor in the expertise and solutions required to comply with data protection laws in all territories of operation. Forward-looking spending on personnel and technologies anticipates future global expansion and a changing cyber threat landscape.
- Maintain ongoing education: train all staff on security best practices and new threats.
To strengthen global cybersecurity culture and compliance, staff education across the international organisation is critical. Regular training highlights evolving data protection laws in key markets, along with emerging digital threats and organisational policies employees must follow.
Geographically distributed workforces particularly benefit from ongoing access to resources that keep best practices top of mind and ensure security blunders are avoided despite physical and cultural distances between staff. Education is a global company’s first line of cyber defence.
For global companies, compliance with major data protection, privacy and information security standards is essential for sustainable growth. Failure to meet key regulations can limit access to strategic markets, incur fines and penalties, and undermine customer trust worldwide.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) applies to any business that accepts, processes, stores or transmits credit card information. For global payment card transactions, compliance across all territories of operation is mandatory. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulates how companies handle and protect the personal data of EU citizens, no matter where that data is processed. Global businesses with EU customers or operations must meet stringent GDPR requirements or face significant fines.
- Secure key data and protect partnerships: invest in digital signatures, document signing and certificate management.
For sustainable global growth, companies must prioritise investments in solutions that secure sensitive data and digital assets across borders. Digital signatures, document signing and automated certificate management are key tools that strengthen cyber defences worldwide.
Digital signatures and document signing services enable secure authentication and verification of users accessing or signing important company files, contracts or other records across locations. With legally valid e-signatures in place, global businesses can securely manage partnerships, hiring and transactions regardless of physical distance. For seamless operation across borders, choosing a provider with global reach and locally compliant solutions is critical.
Global expansion opens exciting new opportunities for business growth, but also brings serious cyber risks that threaten sustainability. By making strategic investments in cybersecurity measures with an international scope, companies can confidently pursue growth on the global stage.
With robust security protocols and governance programmes in place across all digital infrastructure and territories of operation, businesses are positioned to take advantage of strategic global locations, connect seamlessly across borders and protect valuable data assets wherever they reside. Regular risk assessments help focus resources where they matter most, while policies, technologies, education and monitoring improve defences against emerging threats that know no borders.
Note: This blog article was written by a guest contributor for the purpose of offering a wider variety of content for our readers. The opinions expressed in this guest author article are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of GlobalSign.