Following on from Part 1 ‘How To Allocate Your Cybersecurity Budget Effectively’, where we explored the basics needed in your cybersecurity budget, Part 2 will dig deeper into how you can spend less yet achieve more for your cybersecurity program.
According to the 2020 State of the CIO study, more than a third of organizations now see security and risk management as their number one priority when it comes to IT spending. Managing a cybersecurity budget isn’t an isolated task. It’s part of a much wider strategy that impacts every aspect of your business and your ability to achieve your business objectives. That said, there are a number of ways in which businesses can make their budgets work harder:
Companies should always adopt a proactive security strategy rather than a detect-and-response approach.
Investing in a suite of solutions that work together to prevent cyber-attacks before they occur can be seen as an expensive outlay, but when balanced with the financial and reputational consequences of a breach, it’s always the recommended option.
Automation is the route to speed. According to research by the Ponemon Institute, automation can speed up the cybersecurity timeline and reduce security operating costs by 59%. Automating tasks to dynamically detect and prevent threats reduces dependence on human expertise and the human error risk.
When it comes to cybersecurity, quality always wins out over quantity.
The most cost and security effective option is to select one platform that provides cover for all your devices and operating systems, while also providing the widest possible coverage for the most prevalent threat types in your industry.
It’s perfectly possible, with solid preparation, analysis and planning, to both slim down your budget and increase your organization’s cybersecurity posture at the same time. The key to achieving efficient spending is by successfully identifying your greatest risk areas and concentrating your budget here to reduce any unnecessary spending. Often, consultant-led cybersecurity posture assessments can highlight the greatest return on investment, and simplicity and automation can help you to streamline your budget based on the outcomes.
One of the key areas of efficiency for more mature cybersecurity programs is combined visibility of cyber risks, governance activities, and, more importantly, the performance of the mitigating controls. In-house developed Excel spreadsheets are often outgrown as the complexities of managing a cybersecurity program emerge. As such, organizations should weigh the benefits of a centralized risk management tool against the resource and effort required to maintain program activities manually.
If you have an internal cybersecurity capability, that’s great. However, many companies don’t have the internal capacity, appetite or in-house skills to handle all the requirements of a proper cybersecurity strategy. Rather than attempting to struggle through themselves, it’s recommended in this case to enlist the help of external expertise.
In balance of the overheads typically attributed to certification requirements for more specialist skills, this can be a smart financial decision as it allows a company to consume on-demand access to experienced personnel, as well as the latest technology, without longer-term overheads. Third-party security experts can often provide an objective expert view of your cybersecurity posture and give advice on areas where your budget should be prioritized.
For many SMEs, enlisting an external’s expert help of an external expert also lowers the cost of operating an internal security operations centre (SOC) and hiring in-house IT security specialists or a team of experts.