Not all businesses have a large budget for IT and, more specifically, cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is an issue that concerns all types of enterprises, including small businesses. In reality, roughly half of all cyberattacks threaten small companies, and 68% of small businesses have experienced a cyberattack in the last year. Regardless of the size of the organization, the challenge is always determining how much to spend or invest in cybersecurity. But one thing is certain: preventing cyber attacks is much less expensive than repairing the damage after they occur. For example, if the business is the target of a cyber attack, there are costs associated with mitigating the threat. But there is another, more significant loss, that is the damage to the brand’s image and loss of sales, whether due to a failure to acquire new customers or a loss of existing ones.
How much should you spend on cybersecurity?
There are numerous aspects that affect how you create a cybersecurity budget, same as there are in any other area of business. Here are a couple to think about:
• Size and type of your company and industry
• Mandates influencing your company in terms of compliance and regulation
• The importance of the data you collect, use, and share
• Requests from stakeholders or customers of the company
The total amount that businesses expend on cybersecurity is often linked to their IT budget, which accounts for company size and IT infrastructure. Estimates on what companies are now spending range from an additional 5.6 percent to up to 20 percent of total IT spend – a significant but not unmanageable amount that would be well worth it given the potential cost of a cyberattack. Your cybersecurity provider may also assist you in determining the highest priority – and lowest cost – items to tackle for your limited resources. From there, you can tailor your cybersecurity policy and gradually increase the budget over the next few years to provide improved security and risk reduction. Just make sure it’s an ongoing program, not a one-time initiative.
If you’re not sure what cybersecurity entails or where to begin, there are lots of resources available to assist you.
1. Maintain Compliance: The first step in budgeting for cyber security is deciding if your company must be in compliance with a regulatory authority as this would mandate certain cyber security practices.
2. Remediation of the risk: Addressing the risk after becoming aware of possible risks and vulnerabilities by an assessment is a significant step – and it goes beyond simply installing antivirus software and configuring a firewall. Your policy should include appropriate technology solutions, company policies, and a strategy for incident management, as well as a plan for continuous improvement.
3. Training: Companies can take proactive measures toward increased security by investing in managed services, mobile device storage, and data backup, but if the users are not trained on cyber security, they are the weakest link, posing a significant security risk. BYOD (bring your own device) policies, password setup, verification processes, how to monitor for potential phishing attacks, and a variety of other topics can all be included in a comprehensive training plan. A one-time employee orientation is insufficient. A effective training program will offer continuous education to guarantee that employees apply what they’ve learned in the workplace.
4. Conduct annual security assessments: Cyber security assessments are critical for finding flaws in the network. A basic understanding of cyber security is inadequate. Before you begin budgeting for cyber security, it is best to conduct a security assessment to identify areas of weakness and establish a strategy to close those loopholes.
Cybersecurity is no longer a “nice to have” for businesses; it is a “must have”, and it needs to be included in the company’s budget. It is important to remember, however, that cybersecurity protection is not simply a function of money spent. A comprehensive cybersecurity plan may not have to be expensive, however it does require prioritization and dedication from management, IT, and employees. On the other side, no matter how much resources an organisation invests in improving its cybersecurity position, there is no such thing as a guarantee of complete protection. A company’s best bet is to implement a multifaceted, ongoing cybersecurity plan that combines resources, training, and time to keep it cyber-strong and ultimately reduce costs in the case of incidents.
Don’t wait to be another statistic, now is the time to take your business’s cybersecurity protection seriously. Our Cybersecurity Eggsperts are here to help design a comprehensive cybersecurity protection plan. Contact EggHead IT today to get started with a custom Cybersecurity Evaluation! Our Cybersecurity Eggsperts are standing by to help answer your questions.