If there is anything positive that arises from recent high-profile data breaches, it is the public’s increased awareness to real threats to our private information. As a result of this awareness, all sectors of business, especially government relations firms, should similarly begin focusing on providing the best possible data security for their clients. As awareness increases, preparations and protocols should correspondingly expand to prevent catastrophic data loss from criminal elements.
This budding and overlooked dynamic of cybersecurity creates an opportunity for government relations firms to amplify trust and security as a marketable competitive advantage. Thus, maintaining unmatched digital privacy on the technological front can become the cornerstone of successful growth within this vulnerable sector.
In an article from the Journal of Accountancy, it was recommended that all firms should build controls around their client’s sensitive data. These measures should be equal in security to the Sarbanes-Oxley requirements for financial reporting. Therefore, data privacy and security is not simply a risk management matter in the government relations sector. These issues are as pertinent to advocacy professional as they are to those working in the field of accountancy. When lobby firms ensure that robust network security measures are in place, they will gain an operational advantage over their less secure competitors.
To further cultivate trust, government relations firms should additionally operate in an environment of complete transparency before their clients. This level of confident openness will lead to assurances that a client’s personal and corporate information will not be left exposed in an unprotected digital environment.
It is vital to the reputation and work of all government relations firms to be well prepared to guard against any data breach. However, given the nature of the evolving progress in hacking techniques, lobby firms must also have a codified plan to respond and recover should a hack occur.
Cybersecurity is a critical marketable asset to all government affairs professionals. It is equal in importance to professional recruitment and networking within corridors of Congress. When lobby firms begin to view data privacy as an integral part of their professional offerings and assets, firms will begin to pull ahead of their competitors as the digital transformation of advocacy work expands.
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