The current cybersecurity landscape resembles a sea full of sharks that are so hungry that they’ve started to go after small fish—small and medium-sized businesses.
It’s no wonder that those who can afford it are increasing their cybersecurity budgets to address threats – like ransomware and business email compromise (BEC). This is driving the growth of the information security and risk management market from $172.5 billion in 2022 to $267.3 billion in 2026.
While the willingness to throw money at security threats is commendable, the results often fall short of expectations. Follow the tips below to maximize the impact of each dollar you spend on cybersecurity.
Take Full Advantage of Existing Capabilities
According to the third-annual Oracle and KPMG Cloud Threat Report 2020, 78 percent of organizations use more than 50 discrete cybersecurity products to address security issues. What’s more, 37 percent use over 100 cybersecurity products. The more tools you add to the mix may weaken the overall defense posture by creating more room for misconfiguration.
It’s safer—and certainly more cost-effective—to take full advantage of existing cybersecurity capabilities. For example, many organizations that spend money on a Microsoft 365 subscription (because they rely on the Microsoft Office product line) largely ignore the numerous Microsoft Security products that are included with it – such as Microsoft 365 Defender, Microsoft Endpoint Manager, and Microsoft Purview Information Protection.
Strengthen the Weakest Links First
The strength of the cybersecurity chain is always determined by its weakest link. What this means is that you can implement, for example, the most sophisticated intrusion detection system, but your overall ability to resist cyber attacks will remain the same unless it stands on a rock-solid cybersecurity foundation.
Patch management is a good place to start considering that one in three incidents are caused by unpatched vulnerabilities. Weak and reused passwords are another major weak link to address, and they play a role in 80 percent of data breaches. Astonishingly, 88 percent of breaches are caused by employee mistakes – making cybersecurity awareness training for employees a top priority.
Don’t Get Swayed by the Latest Cybersecurity Trends
Every year, new cybersecurity trends emerge which influence how organizations allocate their IT budgets. Since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted established work routines, hybrid work security has been a topic of many C-level discussions. The same can be said about cloud security threats or Internet of Things (IoT) vulnerabilities. This has caused many organizations to hastily bolster their defenses by investing in a variety of different solutions.
These trends are certainly worth paying attention to; however, you shouldn’t let them have complete control over your strategy and budget. Every organization is unique and so are the risks it needs to address. That’s why it’s crucial to develop a detailed cybersecurity plan by doing the following:
Outsource Your Cybersecurity Operations
In the United States alone, there are currently over 700,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions available. The cybersecurity skills shortage is massive, and its impact on organizations is worse. According to the Fortinet 2022 Cybersecurity Skills Gap Global Research Report, 80 percent of organizations suffered one or more breaches that they could attribute to a lack of cybersecurity skills and/or awareness.
The good news is that organizations can easily outsource their cybersecurity operations to a managed security service provider (MSSP) – like Aligned Technology Solutions.
Our managed cybersecurity is fully customized to your organization’s needs. We provide comprehensive protection implemented by certified cybersecurity experts at a price you can afford.
Measure Your Return on Investment
Simply throwing money at security threats is not the best approach to cybersecurity. Not measuring the effectiveness of your cybersecurity investments can lead to money wasted or unintentional vulnerabilities – and the statistics back it up.
One in three companies had invested in cybersecurity technologies without any way to measure their value or effectiveness, as revealed by the 2017 State of Cybersecurity Metrics Report. These companies may do the same ineffective thing repeatedly – hoping for different results.
The number of times an attacker has breached your network is the key performance indicator to keep an eye on when measuring the effectiveness of cybersecurity investments. You can also monitor how long security threats go unnoticed, how long it takes you to respond to them, and more. Remember that you must make a plan and follow through with it – paying close attention to the details.
If your goal is to spend every dollar of your cybersecurity budget as efficiently as possible, then you need to:
Be sure to measure your progress continuously. This will help inform your future decision-making activities. If you find that your in-house skills are lacking (or your team doesn’t have the bandwidth to take on the cybersecurity challenges your business faces), consider outsourcing to an MSSP.
Outsourcing to an MSSP, like Aligned Technology Solutions, is the best way to close the cybersecurity skills gap at an affordable cost – giving you peace of mind.