Often times small-business aren’t willing to seek cybersecurity advice before they need it. Entrepreneurs by nature tend to be risk-takers. They started the company and it is their baby. Clearly, they should know how to raise it.
However, not understanding your companies cybersecurity data risk landscape can destroy your business in sometimes milliseconds. When selecting a cybersecurity consultant, follow these five simple, but important, guidelines:
First and foremost, an effective consultant must be a person of the highest character. He or she must be the consummate professional. The consultant must be willing to put the best interest and confidentiality of the client ahead of their own.
For example, the consultant must be willing to tell clients things that they need to hear, but may not want to — even if doing so means that the consultant loses business. The consultant must care deeply about her or his clients.
Solid proven cybersecurity experience
A good consultant should have relevant certifications and experience with the challenges or opportunities you and your company are facing.
She or he may not know your specific company or industry, but you and your people know your company and your industry quite well, don’t you? What the consultant brings to the table is experience in addressing the types of issues you face.
Creative tailored solutions
Unless you are a franchise then your cybersecurity needs are as varied and need to be tailored to fit your specific business model and client base. There is no commercial on the shelf boxed set of a do it yourself cybersecurity solution.
Outstanding communication skills
A good consultant should be articulate. He or she should possess unusually strong communication skills, both orally and in writing. Of course, communication is a two-way street. Perhaps more important than her or his ability to speak articulately and write eloquently is the ability to listen.
No matter how smart a consultant is, she or he won’t be able to help you improve your business until they fully understand the challenges you face. This will never happen until the consultant listens to you.
Excellent interpersonal skills
Simply put, for any consultant to be successful in helping your company, a trust-based relationship is going to have to develop. You will need to be comfortable revealing the intimate details of your business. The relationship between consultant and client is not unlike the relationship between a doctor and patient.
Without complete candor, the consultant will be hindered in his or her effort to help your business. Chose a consultant with whom you can develop this kind of professional relationship.
The right consultant can create tremendous value. The wrong consultant can destroy value. Following these five guidelines will help ensure that you engage the right firm or individual.