Every company has budget limitations. Whether it’s thousands or tens of thousands, there is always a limit. The very nature of cybersecurity means that even a mid-sized company could spend millions in order to get everything required to prevent cyber attacks, data breaches, malware, ransomware and other attacks. Millions aren’t the standard option so it’s time to better understand where to prioritize the budget for the best result that minimizes loss.
It’s true that a cybersecurity breach can cost up to $4.5 million US for Canadian companies. That’s the average cost of a data breach in the country, but millions don’t need to be the target for expenditures to control that loss. While cyber criminals are growing more and more sophisticated, so too are those who take cybersecurity courses to better understand where to target hacks and breaches.
Those in IT who add education like CySA+ training courses quickly learn ways to target the spots that cybercriminals look to, to access data, insert malware or otherwise create havoc. IT professionals with this kind of knowledge can help create a more effective cybersecurity budget.
First, look at the effectiveness of cybersecurity controls
Take a look at what you currently have in place to stop cybercrime. If your team isn’t as up-to-speed as you would like, encourage additional education like Security+ certification courses or other options that bring awareness to how to better control breaches and security issues. With the right background, IT team members will be able to objectively look at the cybersecurity activities and assess their effectiveness in an ever-changing world.
Cybersecurity is going to change more rapidly than any other area in IT. This makes designations like A+ certification even more important in team members. By having education behind them, your IT team will be able to look further into the future – not just at today’s issues – to assess what needs to be done to protect a company’s data and digital assets.
It will take a significant amount of team effort to determine what is working and what isn’t in the existing organizational controls, but it’s essential to understanding how to improve what exists. This is the first and most important part of a budget – establishing a benchmark.
Second, vulnerabilities, patches and immediate identification must be a priority
When it comes to budget, staying on top of the access points is the biggest priority. This can be done through a variety of means and the affordability varies, but the essence comes down to an ongoing scan and identification of vulnerabilities, patches of potential weak spots and immediate identification of any unauthorized access.
It’s a mix of proactive and reactive, but that’s the world cybersecurity lives in. There needs to be a balance between blocking cyber criminal access and accepting that their continuous technology advancements may allow for entry. Things like a network+ certification course can help IT professionals better understand this fine line between prevention and identification of unauthorized access.
Both prevention and identification are needed in a cybersecurity budget because even the best IT personnel can’t possibly see everything that’s coming and can’t predict the tools that cyber criminals create. It’s an ever-changing world and budgets must need to reflect an acceptance of this balance.
Third, employees must be educated about vulnerabilities and their role
It’s often been reported that employees are the weakest point of cybersecurity. An IT team must make sure that they work together with other departments in order to establish the protocol and best practices that reduce security vulnerabilities organization-wide.
Education and awareness are absolutely key, especially in an increasingly remote workforce. How to handle corporate logins and app access when using a public network is just one of the many, many educational topics the IT team can share with the organization. It takes IT professionals who are savvy about the potential for employee error that causes access balanced with communication skills to ensure the organization knows their role in the overall picture of cybersecurity. It’s the mix of identification of cause and effect and training that will benefit the organization overall.
Workshops, newsletters and other engaging forums that train employees are an important element of a cybersecurity expenditure.
Fourth, and perhaps most important, stay on top of it
This is absolutely not a set-it-and-forget-it type of activity. Cybersecurity is going to continue to evolve. It’s important that IT teams work through their budget and priorities on a quarterly basis rather than an annual one. Cyber criminals don’t work on an annual cycle – they are constantly building and evolving new tools to hack into data, take command of websites and hold things ransom. This continual diligence is where cybersecurity courses come into play. Individuals in the IT department need constant upgrade to their education to make sure they are on top of the latest advances that protect and organization.
Read our other blog: Taking Advantage of the Bean-Counter Shortage