A recent report by YL Ventures surveyed Fortune 1000 CISOs (chief information security officers) seeking to evaluate the effects that recent economic downturns have had on their budgeting, interaction with vendors, and evolution of security strategies. The most notable findings elucidate that 33% reported their cybersecurity budgets having been cut, with 21.2% declaring that their budgets were entirely frozen, permitting no new spending on cybersecurity.
This is an alarming trend in light of all of the latest knowledge on cyber threats. The cost of a data breach is at an all time high, a staggering $4.45 million according to IBM. However, these attacks are not far and few between. As budgets are shrinking, data breaches are occurring with higher frequency. Every 39 seconds, a cyber attack takes place somewhere in the world. The FBI reports a 300% increase in reported cybercrime since the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic, with the most frequent and pernicious attack in the form of ransomware. Sophos reports that, based on a survey of 3000 companies, 66% have been hit by a ransomware attack within the past year, as compared to 51% in 2020.
There is a whole discussion to be had about insufficient cybersecurity knowledge or expertise within C-suite positions, but when CISOs and other IT figureheads are confined by their budgets, they must know how to make the most of what they have access to.
Assess Your Cybersecurity Risk
Before allocating your cybersecurity budget, it is important to assess what risks you are working with. Threats are omnipresent across all industries and technology stacks, but the type and degree of risk involved can vary immensely.
Does your company handle a lot of sensitive personal data? With the data you do have access to, who in your company is handling it? Do you already promote and implement cybersecurity best practices such as Zero Trust and the Least Privilege Principle?
Cyber risk assessments can be immensely valuable when it comes to any company’s bottom line. It can be difficult to discern what exactly you should be prioritizing within your company’s cybersecurity framework without evaluating the greatest risks you are prone to. Enlisting help from a third-party provider, you can audit your IT and digital assets, including hardware, software, and data handling in order to determine possible threat vectors. Investing in such evaluations can lower overall spending on tools and other expenditures, as well as staying compliant with cyber insurance policies and keeping premiums down.
Consolidate your Tools
Having assessed your risk, it should be more feasible to consolidate your tools to fit your budget. Discern which tools within your tech stack are indispensable. Note which tools require inefficient monitoring and which can be automated. Avoid overlap in the functionality of tools—find software or services that can accomplish multiple things without double dipping into your budget.
It is important to note that the most important thing behind the tools are the people using them. It is one thing to have access to the latest software that can scan for threats, but the truest efficiencies are met when access to experts enables your company to analyze the security solutions in place. Software can often adequately meet your day-to-day needs, but when crisis hits, cybersecurity experts are essential for providing real-time support and addressing vulnerabilities in real-time, especially those which are only able to be found through an in-depth understanding of your unique technology stack.
Advocate for the Alignment of Cybersecurity Spending to Business Goals
One fact remains clear: you cannot afford a data breach. In nearly all circumstances, a data breach will cost more than any of the potential spending meted toward mitigating one. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In the case of cyberthreats, it should be treated not as an if, but a when.
You may think your data isn’t particularly valuable, or that your company is too small to be on the radar for cybercriminals. However, the reality is quite the opposite. Because small companies spend so little on cybersecurity, this makes them immensely lucrative targets for cybercriminals. Whereas tech giants like Microsoft spend nearly $1 billion on cybersecurity annually, small firms invest fewer than $500 on average, and you can be sure that their data is worth a whole lot more than that to those who have set their sights on stealing it.
The bottom line? Though cybersecurity budgets are decidedly not keeping pace with the threats they exist to defend against, with the proper strategic planning, it is possible to develop quite a resilient framework regardless of what you are working with. So long as CISOs set their priorities in order, enlist third-party support in places where in-house resources cannot meet the same levels of expertise or efficiency, and continue advocating for the importance of cybersecurity spending, it can be assured that they will be making the most of the opportunities afforded to them.
Magna5 can help your organization with addressing all of the concerns we’ve touched on. At Magna5, we seek to serve as an extension of any client’s team. We prioritize offering more services for less money than our competitors and are more than able to work within your budget.
We collaborate deeply with our clients’ employees to learn the ins and outs of each company we work with and address their unique needs by providing comprehensive solutions. When you partner with Magna5, you aren’t just getting another vendor; in addition to our services, you’ll have access to our highly accredited team of engineers and 24/7/365 US-based Help Desk support, ensuring total peace of mind for all issues regarding IT, cybersecurity, and regulatory compliance. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, you can rest easy and leave the difficult work to us. Receive total protection from one partner—contact us today.