Spend Wisely (Not Just More) to Become Cyber Resilient

August 6, 2021
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2 min read

Spending on cybersecurity is hitting record highs. And that makes sense. Because of big changes in how work gets done (plus the rising cost of breaches and attacks, like ransomware), companies are spending more than ever. But simply throwing money at the problem in order to try to become more cyber resilient is not a solution.

It’s time to think about exactly where and how you’re directing new spending. Let’s explore how to focus on the future and advanced security tech and strategies. 

Why Spending Is Rising

According to McAfee, cybercrime cost more than $1 trillion in 2019. Canalys estimates a 10% rise in cybersecurity spending this year. And Gartner says security spending will rise 12% in 2021 over the previous year, reaching $150 billion!

Why? First, higher costs come with the shift to remote and hybrid workforces. And security is usually top of mind when businesses and agencies work on becoming cyber resilient. Defending and following regulatory demands around the cloud can also increase costs. Gartner says that while spending is rising across all relevant vendor areas, some — like apps, the cloud and, above all, hardware support, implementation and outsourced services — take the bulk of the cash.

The truth is that spending is on the rise because it’s clear that not doing so can be expensive both in terms of actual finances and the company’s good name. 

Smart Spending for a Cyber Resilient Future

Every increase in spending is a new chance to set your group up for success going forward. It helps build the foundation for more efficient and effective cyber defenses. Do this by taking a close look at the following: 

Where Are You Spending Too Much?

Businesses and agencies often spend some of their defense budget on threats that no longer exist or pose a very small financial risk. Yes, run a cost-benefit analysis on under-spending on the big threats, but also do the same to figure out overspending on the small or non-existent ones. It won’t help you become cyber resilient if it’s not defending against a plausible threat in the first place.

Other costs do not apply directly to getting more tech. Chronic understaffing has pushed employers to spend big on consultants and outsourcing. New tech may allow companies to boost their cyber defenses with fewer staff, thus saving money by spending more on tech. Make sure you compare the price of consultants and outsourcing against doing it in-house.

If hiring is the barrier, work on that problem. See if you can hire from the inside, train and bootstrap your way to a solution, rather than just hiring others from outside.

Key Tools to Become Cyber Resilient 

Separate tools that overlap are another needless expense. Focus less on this tech for that threat and instead consider your overall strategy for becoming cyber resilient. 

Seek out tools and solutions that address not only the most common vulnerabilities and exposures that could be costly, but also help discover and quickly fix new, unknown threats. Artificial intelligence-based tools that can discover emerging threats can go a long way toward future-proofing your cybersecurity posture.

There are both challenges and opportunities aplenty in this field. Just look at the pros and cons of remote and hybrid work and of the cloud. You can face rising and costly threats by making sure your strategy fits the future, not the past. That way, you can stop spending too much, spend more wisely and boost cyber resilience all at the same time.

Mike Elgan

I write a popular weekly column for Computerworld, contribute news analysis pieces for Fast Company, and also write special features, columns and think piece...
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