By Jennifer Adams
According to Tech Republic, “Figuring a cybersecurity budget is a combination of emotion and guesswork.” With security spending on the rise, IT professionals have the latest technology and security tools at their fingertips to protect their organizations most valuable data. But how much security do you need? How do you know you are investing in the right products? What is ROI on cybersecurity? The answers to these questions depend on several factors.
What do you need to protect and why?
“If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it.” Lord Kelvin (William Thompson) has been quoted saying. Take an inventory of the company’s technological assets and the data stored on them. How critical is this information to the success of your business? How much money would the company stand to lose if the information stored on the device were inaccessible? Which devices are the most important to your business? Why are they important? A cybersecurity assessment from an IT professional is a great way to find answers to these questions if you aren’t sure. They can help you determine what exists and what is needed. Understanding why there is a need to spend on security will help legitimize the cost and help you make better purchasing decisions.
How much risk can you take?
How significantly would a data breach impact the business, both financially and functionally? Hackers target businesses for ransomware based on what they think the business is worth and demand the large sum of money before releasing any of the data. Even if the ransom is paid, there is no guarantee they will restore the lost data. What is the cost to implement necessary data-security measures? When budgeting for cybersecurity, compare the amount spend on security with the potential monetary cost a cybersecurity attack would have on your business. Basically, what is the cost of investing in a cybersecurity solution versus the cost of suffering a cyber-attack?
Do I need an In-House IT Person, or should I outsource?
Depending on the size of your company, hiring a full-time IT professional to monitor and protect your network may not be an option. Larger companies have the resources to employ a full-time IT professional, or even an entire IT department. If your company is small to medium sized, contracting with an IT company that specializes in cybersecurity. Whether your business is large or small, it is still a target for cybercriminals. The decision to hire an in-house IT professional or to contract with a cybersecurity company makes a big difference in your cybersecurity ROI.
How Effective is your Security Strategy?
Attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, but there is no individual tool that solves every cybersecurity challenge a business may encounter, so a layered approach is the best way. With reliable software and employee training, a company stands a better chance against cyberattacks.
The cybersecurity landscape is complex and can be complicated to navigate if you are unsure of what you are doing. Comparing your potential loss against the amount spent on cybersecurity is one great way to determine your cybersecurity ROI, but also comparing the cost of contracting with an IT company versus hiring a full time IT professional.