With ransomware and malware attacks at an all-time high, organizations are spending more on cybersecurity than ever. Doing so is an incredibly smart investment as spending more in the beginning will result in significant savings later on. Still, it is vital that businesses maximize the value of their cybersecurity budget without overspending on unnecessary items. For companies looking to make the most of their cybersecurity budget, take note of these best practices and spend wisely.
Assess Current Security
The first step to making the most of your cybersecurity budget is to assess your current spending. It’s important to not only understand how much you are spending on security but also what you’re spending on. Is most of your budget going towards physical security and not digital?
If a significant portion of your budget is going toward tools that aren’t effective or aren’t being used, then you aren’t making the most of your budget. As most security tools are expensive, it’s essential that if you're paying for something, you’re using it.
To start this assessment, organizations should consider any security issues they’ve had in the past. Whether a cybersecurity attack, data breach, or misconfiguration, you need to identify any previous and ongoing security risks present in your organization. It is also important to determine if these issues were a one-off incident or a recurring problem. If it’s the latter, some changes need to be made.
With these risks, or “holes” in your security identified, you then need to consider how they occurred. Were your current security tools and practices inadequate in security prevention and detection? If so, you may need to consider switching out these tools for new ones. This will also help you identify where new tools are needed. If a security risk is identified with no means to resolve it, this is something to consider when adjusting your security budget.
Many organizations choose to conduct a risk assessment before adjusting their cybersecurity budget. In doing so, they can better understand their current digital and physical security and the associated risks. It is also beneficial to review any cybersecurity policies your organization should follow, as you may need to dedicate some budget to compliance and regulations if you aren’t already.
Prioritize Security and Privacy Matters
Once your current cybersecurity status and budget have been assessed, it’s time to make some changes. The best cybersecurity practice for every business is to be proactive rather than reactive. When it comes to cybersecurity, once you have been attacked - it’s too late.
While yes, you can still implement measures to reduce the severity of the attack and bounce back later, you will still face significant losses in the meantime. Overall, it is much more cost-effective to prevent cybersecurity attacks than deal with the aftermath, which will likely include legal fines, damage to your reputation, and potential costs associated with ransomware and lawsuits. For this reason, it is crucial to prevent attacks, not just recover from them.
Some of the best preventative measures to implement include access control and authentication, advanced malware protection, regular backups, and 24/7 monitoring. Access control and two-factor authentication serve as excellent preventative measures as they force users to verify their identity before receiving access to any sensitive data. Such practices follow a zero-trust security approach, which follows the belief that organizations should not automatically trust anything. In doing so, they significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access of data and thus data breaches.
In terms of monitoring and backups, these are also excellent practices. 24/7 monitoring ensures that any attempts to access your organization’s network are immediately detected. As a result, any breach or hack attempts can be stopped before they access any data. Regular backups also ensure that should any data be compromised; it can be recovered quickly.
Many organizations fail to implement these practices because they seem tedious or they lack the workforce required to conduct ongoing security practices. But, by automating these practices, these are non-issues. Automation is an excellent way to ensure ongoing security, whether by backup or monitoring. As a result, organizations can consistently protect their networks at no extra labor to themselves.
Preventive measures such as these significantly mitigate the risk of cybersecurity attacks. While they may require an investment upfront, the alternative is much more costly - in more ways than one. For this reason, it's essential to prioritize these measures in your cybersecurity budget and invest in them well.
Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses
While it is crucial to know what to spend your budget on, it is equally important to understand what you shouldn’t spend on. Following your initial budget and cybersecurity assessment, you should have identified any risks or unnecessary expenses. Once this is done, it is time to start cutting costs.
If your organization is investing in software or talent that isn’t paying off, it takes up important budgetary resources without adding value. That being said, you can’t necessarily eliminate all tools that aren’t working, so we use the term “cutting costs” loosely. For certain security measures, it may be better to find an alternative.
Hire the Right People
Speaking of alternatives, organizations are finding that they currently lack the talent and skills necessary to facilitate the required level of cybersecurity today. While hiring new talent is definitely one solution, it can be time-consuming and expensive and won’t guarantee improvement. For companies to effectively execute cybersecurity, they need a number of experienced cybersecurity professionals. Unfortunately, cybersecurity skills are in high demand right now, but available professionals are scarce.
But, not to worry, there is an alternative - outsourcing. By outsourcing cybersecurity needs to an MSP, organizations can solve multiple problems. First and foremost, MSPs can close business’ skills gaps. With a team of highly experienced and skilled professionals, businesses can instantly equip themselves with the cybersecurity experts necessary to maneuver a complex and crucial field.
As these experts will focus on cybersecurity, they can easily help organizations perform risk assessments, implement new security practices, and perform ongoing security maintenance. As such, companies can conduct business as usual while their MSP is dedicated solely to cybersecurity. MSPs will ensure that data is safe and secure, monitoring and protecting their client’s network and IT infrastructure.
Even beyond the skills they offer, MSPs also come equipped with state-of-the-art technology. For many organizations, such technologies are highly sought after but not feasible, considering their price or how rarely they will be used. Still, certain technologies can drastically improve cybersecurity measures. With an MSP, these technologies are included, providing companies with the tools they want without the price tag. Plus, MSPs will be trained to use these tools, ensuring they maximize their value.
MSPs are a cost-effective solution to modern cybersecurity. With so many growing cybersecurity risks today, there is no question why so many companies are choosing to partner with experts for their cybersecurity needs. With an MSP, organizations obtain experts skilled and trained in cybersecurity, in addition to the tools they need to step up security - all at a lower price than doing so internally. If your organization is looking to make the most of its cybersecurity budget, consider outsourcing.