Last week, someone planted a tree in the middle of a small green across the street from my house.

None of my neighbours know who did it, when it was done or why it was done.

As it’s the same place that the parents on our street play sports with their young kids (until their old enough to graduate to the ‘big’ green around the corner), our first reaction was to talk about pulling the damn thing out of the ground, in disgust at someone’s decision to try to ‘vandalise’ our little sports ground.

I wonder what our first reaction would have been if the ‘vandal’ informed us in advance about the plan to plant a tree and the reasons why?

For all we know, perhaps the tree reflects an important event in some person’s life (e.g. a baptism or bereavement). Or maybe it’s part of a broader initiative to plant more trees in the area.

What has this got to do with cybersecurity?

Communication plays an important role in any change, including changes required to improve your cybersecurity defences.

Make sure you keep your key people (e.g. staff, executives, board members, customers) informed about planned changes that may impact them.

While you can’t guarantee that they will be happy about the proposed changes, at least their initial reaction should be less confrontational and their views will get revealed before you’ve incurred the costs of implementing the change.

And who knows, through ongoing communication, maybe you will all identify an alternative way for you can achieve your desired change, but with a lower impact on their lives.