Failure to understand what drives customer demand in the cybersecurity market can result in a quick trip to bankruptcy court or a forced sale of a company. For this reason, product developers, service providers, and other types of vendors (e.g. resellers, systems developers, federal or state contractors, etc.) need to understand what drives current and future customer demands and requirements for technologies, products, and services. Once the relevant market factors are identified, companies can develop strategies for meeting current and future demands for products and services — figuring out what customers want to buy and then providing it at a profit.
One of the most commonly used sets of market factors is referred to as PEST. The four factors in this set are:
- Political-Legal factors (e.g. laws & regulations — consider both current and proposed, cybercrime, cyber terrorism)
- Economic factors (e.g. fines for non-compliance with laws or regulations, availability of trained workforce, profitability of purchasers, availability of venture capital or credit for business startups)
- Socio-cultural factors (privacy concerns, pervasiveness of computers and digital devices, digital divide, “hacker” culture)
- Technological factors (product lifecycles, cloud computing, Internet of Things, etc.)
In this activity, you will explore the 4 PEST factors. Look for information that explains why a company must identify and assess the impact these factors have or will have on the demand for IT security solutions (products or services). (Hint: GDPR is having a significant impact on two factors — political-legal and economic — for companies that do business in Europe.)
Present your findings in a 3 to 5 paragraph briefing paper. Your audience is a group of technical and non technical managers who are attending a monthly business round table sponsored by Nofsinger Consulting Services (fictitious company).
Post your briefing paper as a reply to this topic. Provide in-text citations and references for 3 or more authoritative sources. Put the reference list at the end of your posting.
Nofsinger Consulting Services, LLP is a management consulting firm with operating locations
throughout the Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia region. The company is a limited liability partnership
established under the laws of the State of Maryland. Nofsinger Consulting Services (NCS) is
headquartered in the historic district of Maryland’s state capitol, Annapolis. The company has been in
business for over fifty years and has a history of successful consulting engagements with small and
medium sized companies in the region. Originally, the firm served as management and business
development consultants to clients in the Annapolis, MD area. More recently, they have branched out
into e-Commerce, Information Technology (IT), and Cybersecurity with each business area (practice) being headed by a principal of the firm. The corporation’s partners (owners) are primarily family members related to Eloise M. Nofsinger, Esq., the founder and general partner of the firm (see Figure 1).
Esther Nofsinger is the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO). She also serves as the firm’s ethics officer
and believes that the firm’s survival depends upon every principal and every consultant having and
acting from a firm grounding in business ethics.
The firm’s operations are strategy driven and their strategic intent is to improve profits and
expand their influence by providing consulting services to a select group of businesses in the Delmarva
region. In 2020, the firm’s partners approved a five-year strategic plan which includes expansion of their
existing footholds in the e-commerce, information technology (IT), and cybersecurity industries. They
also decided to combine their diverse governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) management consulting
activities into a focused practice under the leadership of Jeremy Calvert. In addition to building a client
base, each principal has also built a team of consulting professionals who are experts in their field of
practice and generalists with respect to consulting skills.
Eloise M. Nofsinger, Kevin R. Sifers, CPA
Esq. (Advisor to the CEO) (CFO)
Adelia Nofsinger Brandon K. Nofsinger Jeremy R. Calvert,
Kline, MBA (Principal) CISSP (Principal) (Principal)
Business IT & Cybersecurity GRC Consulting Practice
Development Consulting Practice
Each client is assigned to a principal of the firm who is responsible for managing the consulting
relationship with the client’s organization. You have met the first client previously in CSIA 310 – Sifers-
Grayson. The second client, Bay and Shore General Store is a new client for Nofsinger Consultants. For
this case study, we will explore the business need for cybersecurity in the context of these two clients of
the firm. Each client has asked for assistance with developing solutions for business problems arising out
of their need to improve their governance and management of risk with a specific focus upon
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