Enterprises of all sizes and industries face a dilemma. How do they justify an increased need for cybersecurity spending in the face of historic business disruption and revenue losses?
The fact is cybersecurity spending is a necessary investment. You hope you never need it, but you’re thankful when you do because not having adequate security in place will do irreparable damage to your business. A single breach can go beyond financial loss and drag down brand reputation, consumer confidence, and staff morale.
On average, the cost of a data breach in 2020 hit nearly $4 million and took at least six months to recover from. Is your organization even able to weather such a loss?
The global cybersecurity market will reach more than $230 billion this year, and more than 30% of that estimated growth is expected in North American markets alone.
This article will cover the trends that are driving cybersecurity spending, and how your company can reconcile security investment with ever-shrinking budgets.
The trends that are driving cybersecurity investment
The major trends that are driving the increase in cybersecurity investment are the proliferation in mobile app use, a rise in cybercrime that are attacking these apps and platforms, and the increased need for virtual platforms that help businesses continue running smoothly during a global pandemic that forced workforces around the world to work from home.
Add to that the rising opportunities for fraud and criminal activity brought on by COVID-19, and you have a recipe for cyber disaster.
Here are the top trends that are specifically influencing the cybersecurity market:
- IoT networking
- The integration of security with AI
- Mobile app development
- Cross-platform integration
- Cloud-based computing
- 5G implementation
- Digital transformation
- State-sponsored cyberattacks/cyberwarfare
- Insider threats
When everything is interconnected, and sensitive information such as health records is being stored off-site in virtual databases – keeping confidential information, mobile devices, and networks secured should be a top priority.
5 Ways to Leverage Your Cybersecurity Budget
When security is concerned, you should never skimp or cut corners. That being said, there are ways that you can stretch your cybersecurity budget without putting your data, networks, or customers at risk. Cybersecurity doesn’t need to cost a lot, but not allocating the right amount of budget to cybersecurity could end up costing you even more.
Here are five ways you can attain cost-effective cybersecurity.
1. Maximize the value of existing tools
Many companies don’t even realize that they already possess very effective cybersecurity tools due to a lack of knowledge, training, or information in most cases.
For example, many online businesses rely on payment processing and accounting tools that come with built-in security features such as firewalls, restricted data access on a need-to-know basis, and PCI-DSS-certified encryption capabilities to protect customer cardholder data. But what good are these built-in measures if your team doesn’t even know they exist or how to use them?
For another example, the simple act of enabling automatic updates will close many security gaps. Ensuring you regularly update software can keep you on top of new threats and combats the common problem of the improper configuration of basic security measures like firewalls and networks.
2. Analyze and understand the whole threat landscape
It’s difficult to prepare for danger unless you know where it originates and where you’re most vulnerable. In order to leverage security spending, have a clear idea of where within your enterprise may be at the greatest risk of attack.
Are your biggest liabilities in the virtual realm? Is your company spread out across geolocations or are you a smaller company with one physical location and a large online presence?
Knowing your biggest areas of risk will help you to prioritize spending. If you don’t have the knowledge, time, or ability to perform a cyber risk assessment, use a template or hire an outside cybersecurity firm. Make sure that you check their track record and qualifications beforehand.
3. Make data-driven decisions
You can justify expanding your cybersecurity budget through detailed and insightful analysis and then backing that up with concrete, measurable support data. Try going beyond general information to highlight a direct cause/effect relationship between spending and positive or negative outcomes. Further, demonstrate how this applies in the real world with benchmarks that are modeled on the experiences of other companies of the same size and industry.
4. Outsource security
Not every company is a major enterprise with in-house cybersecurity experts on call. In fact, SMBs are at greater risk of security breaches and less able to recover from a breach. They also have smaller security budgets.
Outsourcing cybersecurity to a firm that specializes in threat assessment and mitigation is a cost-effective measure that will provide you with an objective view of your vulnerabilities and risk tolerance as well as providing you with cost-effective services and solutions.
As with any other third-party involvement, know who you’re working with before letting them into your most sensitive business processes.
5. Consider the liabilities inherent in the “new normal”
The necessity of remote work and study highlights the need for companies venturing into these virtual realms for the first time to consider the increased threat from human error, shared networks and devices, and cloud-based computing.
Everything from virtual databases to your IP address is a target. Installing tools that tighten cybersecurity within networks such as a cloud VPS (virtual private server) can ensure that data is secured and safe from hackers. Sydney-based cybersecurity analyst and software developer Nathan Finch from Best Web Hosting Australia argues that a VPS is necessary for securing your network in today’s world.
“Virtual private servers give you the scalability and security of a dedicated server without the high price or need for an in-house IT team to manage your platform,” says Finch. “There’s no need to invest in expensive infrastructure, and the updates, security, and maintenance are built into the system.”
Cybersecurity spending is a reflection of the increased cost of updating/acquiring current security technology as well as the evolution and nature of cybercrime itself.
In some ways, the increase in spending is encouraging. It means that companies are taking security more seriously and they’re willing to spend the money required to keep data and systems safe.
However, with cybercriminals remaining a few steps ahead of the game, and the results of their crimes putting innocent citizens at risk and costing companies billions in lost revenues and reputations – cybersecurity investment is not a nicety, it’s a necessity.