The economic downturn that is affecting companies on all levels is having unique effects on cybersecurity budgets, in part due to security’s costly nature.
It would make sense to assume that during times of economic slowdown, companies would reduce their security spending. Unfortunately, the growing prevalence of attacks and their increasing sophistication has required organizations across the board to increase their security spending despite the economic downturn. According to one source, 65% of organizations plan to increase cybersecurity spending in 2023.
CISOs tasked with maintaining strong security postures in the face of these new threats must scrap everything they know about budgeting in ideal circumstances and rethink how they optimize their security plans.
Here are CYE’s 5 cornerstones of a solid security plan in times when the money isn’t flowing, and management is keeping a tight watch on the spending.
Understanding your threat landscape
By performing a baseline assessment, you will know where your vulnerabilities lie and what attack routes hackers are likely to take to reach your most business-critical assets. CYE’s baseline assessment is also the first step to a prioritized mitigation plan, which is a CISO’s best friend when it comes to optimizing cybersecurity on a budget.
Cobalt’s 2022 The State of Pentesting Report found that 90% of short-staffed security teams are struggling to effectively attend to vulnerabilities because they are overwhelmed. Prioritization based on the findings of a baseline assessment solves this very problem, giving the CISO a clear indication of which vulnerabilities pose the most risk to the business, what to mitigate first, and where to focus the security team’s efforts.
Assessing before purchasing
When budgets are tight, every purchase must be accounted for with a clear indication of its value to the business operation. This is especially true for security purchases which tend to be costly line items.
In today’s economic climate, proving ROI for security spend is a big part of the CISO’s job. It is crucial that before purchasing a new cybersecurity tool, investing in a service, or hiring specialists, you understand their functionality and purpose.
If this functionality overlaps with other tools or services you are using, or it doesn’t offer a holistic enough solution that addresses multiple security concerns, you are probably better off finding a more fitting tool to invest in.
The name of the game in a lean operation is a solution that is customizable and adaptable, and that will grow with the changing needs of your security team.
Reducing your attack surface
While the wealth of tech solutions available today can help companies scale their operations, companies should remain mindful that these products and services can expand the organization’s attack surface and increase security risk.
Security teams should be vigilant about checking the added security risks that come with adding tools, services, and integrations and giving access to company databases. By limiting access to critical data and implementing PAM (privileged access management), CISOs can reduce the organization’s attack surface to what the security team can realistically manage.
Quantifying your cyber risk
CYE’s cyber risk quantification translates the security risks a company faces from technical terms into monetary business terms that management and board members can understand. By attaching a dollar value to the cyber risks the organization is up against, you will be in a much better position to discuss your security plan and budgetary needs.
A cyber risk quantification process is an excellent way for CISOs to improve communication with management. It is a particularly good investment in times when management is closely monitoring spending and is looking to understand how security investments figure into business operations.
Creating a culture of cybersecurity
Cybersecurity awareness is one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to optimize security and maintain a consistently high security posture over time. Investing in CYE’s security awareness programming and security education companywide is always a good idea. It is especially important to do this when budgets are cut, due to the relatively low cost of implementation compared to its high return on investment.
How CYE can help
To summarize, CYE’s cybersecurity optimization platform, Hyver, helps organizations:
- Easily identify and address critical security issues
- Prioritize cybersecurity and remediation efforts
- Quantify the cost of risk vs. the cost of mitigation
- Allocate resources more efficiently
Want to learn more about how CYE helps organizations protect themselves from cyber threats while optimizing security budgets? Contact us.