September 26, 2017 By Christopher Burgess 2 min read

What is the cost of security in your company? Regardless of size, companies must prioritize the security of their business, customers, clients and partners. According to Forbes, Bank of America’s Chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan reported that the business spent $400 million on cybersecurity in 2015. He also noted that cybersecurity was the only sector without a budget constraint within the company.

Businesses without an unlimited budget must determine the most effective strategy to allocate their resources.

What Makes a Secure Organization?

According to a Ponemon Institute study, the cost of cybercrime depends on the size of the company. The study reported that smaller enterprises experienced a higher proportion of cybercrime costs from web-based attacks, phishing and malware. On the other hand, larger companies experienced higher costs due to malicious insiders, malicious code, denial-of-service (DoS) and stolen devices.

To help enterprises mitigate the cost of security and address these risks, Ponemon identified nine features of innovative and cybersecure organizations:

  1. Security posture. Evaluate potential security risks and establish that the job security of employees is linked to the company’s security.
  2. Information management. Determine where your data resides and who has access to it to prevent breaches of sensitive data.
  3. Information governance. Guard against ransomeware by backing up data, isolating those backups, investing in storage and protecting backups by encrypting the data.
  4. Data protection. Invest in technologies that reduce information loss and enhance security by shifting budgets to application and data layers rather than network layers.
  5. Application security. Build security into applications and test for vulnerabilities before releasing them to consumers. Ensure all technologies affecting the application are kept up to date, patched and secured.
  6. Detection and recovery. Invest in technologies to reduce the time between discovery and remediation of attacks.
  7. Third-party risk. Verify that the vendors and partners that provide doors into your company are protecting your data.
  8. Insider threat. Host security awareness training and foster self-policing environments.
  9. Security information and event management (SIEM). Monitor and correlate events in real-time to detect security threats.

Making the Most of a Budget

The SANS Institute’s 2016 “IT Security Spending Trends,” report highlighted the importance of creating a separate cost center for security budgets. If security budgets are folded into other operational expenses, it becomes challenging to track and report those responsible for the company’s security posture.

According to the report, the primary drivers behind security spending include:

  • Protecting sensitive data;
  • Ensuring regulatory compliance;
  • Reducing incidents and breaches;
  • Protecting intellectual property;
  • Aligning with organizational and IT strategic planning;
  • Protecting brand reputation;
  • Reducing attack surface;
  • Improving visibility into security operations;
  • Guarding against new, advanced threats;
  • Enhancing end-user education; and
  • Improving incident response.

Investing in a MSSP

The value of cybersecurity far outweighs the cost of security. Small enterprises should always implement good security practices from the beginning. If companies lack the information security expertise they need, they can invest in a managed security services provider (MSSP).

MSSPs will help companies to identify risks, form an effective mitigation strategy and ensure that the security budget is well-managed. They can also institute effective practices to minimize the exposure of data and make sure that every device touching company data adheres to good cyber hygiene.

Read the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Managed Security Services 2017 Vendor Assessment


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