November 9, 2020 By John Harrington Jr. 4 min read

It’s well-known in business that you need to balance money spent versus money saved. The most effective, cost-cutting data security solutions have one thing in common — the costs that come with them. Therefore, business leaders looking for a change must make sure their tools will keep them out trouble with money or their reputation, without placing an undue burden on their work in the process. This is where proof of value becomes essential — and where the recent Total Economic Impact (TEI) studies from Forrester Consulting and IBM can be useful for businesses considering a smarter data security investment.

Why Should Businesses Invest in Cybersecurity?

Today, the average global total cost of a data breach amounts to $3.86 million. It’s a staggering figure, to say the least, and an increase over the previous year. Will the 2020s be defined as the decade when costs continue to spiral out of control — or when security leaders finally got a handle on it?

There are plenty of reasons to want to cut down on these costs. Avoiding a breach means avoiding negative press, maintaining a strong brand name, keeping clients happy and preserving trust. It’s good for business! However, pleasing everyone from everyday consumers to coveted Fortune 100 accounts is only part of the equation. In many cases, best practices come down to abiding by the law. Many regulations today focus on preserving data privacy, security and integrity, and regulations are increasing in number each year. Failed compliance with an audit can cost a business over $15 million for a single infraction.

Too few have found a silver bullet for complying with industry regulations, avoiding costly breaches and preserving data security and privacy — all of which can alone and together have a substantial TEI.

Download The Total Economic Impact of IBM Security Guardium

Let Money Talk

Smarter data security investments do more than merely preserve data security and privacy. They can save customers millions of dollars in costs related to a breach or failed audit each year. In this context, the right solutions are not just online tools; they are cost-cutters for businesses.

However, to truly keep a lid on everything that can go wrong with your data, you need tools that are capable of cutting across key areas. Alternatives are complex, disjointed point tools that require a tremendous amount of time and effort from your already resource-strapped team.

References, case studies and peer reviews can be very helpful when security buyers are considering a technology purchase. TEI studies provide an extra-reliable means for potential buyers to project their cybersecurity return on investment (ROI) using inputs from clients who are actively using the same kind of tools.

Saving with Smarter Data Security

IBM commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a TEI study, The Total Economic Impact of IBM Security Guardium. In preparing this research, Forrester interviewed a longstanding IBM Security Guardium customer to establish an understanding of how data security specialists utilize the platform, how the platform preserves security across its database environment and how the client is able to achieve regulatory compliance with ease and speed.

The participating client is a U.S. energy and utilities company with over 35,000 employees, approximate annual revenue of $22 billion and IBM Security Guardium Data Protection deployed across 200 servers monitoring several petabytes of data.

According to the study, “the company purchased IBM Security Guardium to monitor all the accesses and modifications that involve the sensitive database servers that are relevant to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), data privacy and new regulations like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Guardium Data Protection monitors all network and local traffic — covering a wide variety of databases and applications and ensuring that the company can deploy a single solution enterprise wide.”

Forrester Consulting discovered that over the course of three years, Guardium kept costs down and benefits soaring, delivering a cybersecurity ROI of 401% and a payback period of fewer than six months.

Source: The Total Economic Impact of IBM Security Guardium, a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of IBM.

Appraising a Data Security Investment

To get to the root of how Forrester arrived at these numbers, we need to dig deeper into how they assessed the TEI of IBM Security Guardium for the client. This same type of assessment can be repurposed by any client to get a handle on what their projected ROI and break-even would be with a similar investment.

This customer saw increases in database analysis automation, auditing efficiencies, database security and ability to meet compliance regulations. To measure the benefits against these criteria, Forrester dove into what the client had experienced before its investment and compared the situation afterward.

For instance, their prior database analysis process was manual. It was time-consuming for the client’s team of database analysts, who with IBM Security Guardium are now able to “run these reports and create the tables in a matter of minutes” using automation.

The costs, on the other hand, took into account the implementation, maintenance and ongoing usage.

Project Your Own Data Security TEI

You can apply Forrester’s methodology by downloading the study itself. It’s chock-full of examples for how to measure your own cybersecurity ROI — and it will help you learn some important considerations directly from the customer’s perspective. To learn even more about this study, join IBM and our guest Forrester for an upcoming webcast. Forrester’s Connor Maguire will detail the benefits captured by this client and the various ways you can use the TEI study as a cost-benefit analyzer. Preparing for your next data security investment means cutting the cost of a data breach in the process.

Download The Total Economic Impact of IBM Security Guardium

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