Preparing and approving the cybersecurity budget is an important responsibility for IT security executives. The budget has a direct impact on the organization’s ability to avoid or overcome cyberattacks. If the cybersecurity budget fails to cover all key bases, the organization could be forced to spend more on recovering from the cyberattack. While the obvious cybersecurity expenses are crucial, it is important that you take care of the not-so-obvious ones including:
- Employee Costs– It is crucial for decision makers to incorporate employee expenses in their cybersecurity budget to avoid making a costly mistake. Employee budget costs should also include the staff training expenses meant to address malicious behavior, negligence, or user mistakes.
- Incident Response– Organizations often neglect to budget for incident response because they usually don’t think about it until a cyber-attack happens. A well-thought-out and appropriately funded incident response strategy can reduce or limit the financial loss resulting from a cyberattack. The cost of incident response should include incident plan review, staff training, and software procurement.
- Underestimating Resource Replacement– When contemplating resources that could be compromised or destroyed following a cyberattack, decision-makers will focus on mission-critical systems. However, it is also important to think about attacks on the less sensitive and vulnerable systems that could still significantly impair the organization’s ability to operate. Without factoring these systems in resource replacement costs, the business is bound to have a difficult time quickly restoring operations to at or near normalcy.
- Consultants– Consultants are very necessary in the realm of cybersecurity. When a cyberattack occurs, few organizations will have the expertise internally to contain and resolve the incident on their own. Consultants offer a deeper understanding of the attack and can provide experience-based guidance that leads to speedy and conclusive resolution. Without a cybersecurity consultant, the longer an attack remains unresolved which gives cybercriminals more time to achieve their devious goals.
- Cyber-insurance– This is a key component in your cybersecurity strategy. The absence of cyber-insurance means the organization must bear the entire financial loss and costs resulting from a breach. The underwriting process itself can identify security gaps. Filling these gaps can improve your security environment whether you do or don’t eventually subscribe to the insurance policy.
- Cloud Security Services– Cloud servers are the enterprise norm. This reduces the burden on your cybersecurity staff while allowing you to tap into the expertise of a team with broad experience in cloud security. In the absence of cloud security, your security employees could be stretched thin and struggle to stay on top of cloud computing risks.
- Change Management– Change is a fact of everyday living and for cybersecurity as well. You must think about the security concerns of your existing setup while accommodating to the evolving cybersecurity landscape. New scenarios may call for a new security stance which will require additional spending. Instead of waiting until these new scenarios unfold, set aside a budget for change management from the start. The costs should cover everything from strategy shifts and process changes to software upgrades and training needs.
Remember, knowing what to spend on is just as important as how much you spend. While increased spending on cybersecurity is a positive, the strength of protection is not the only factor of the total amount of money spent. A comprehensive security budget does not have to be super expensive to be effective, however, it does require identifying and addressing all the key risks. There’s never an assurance of 100 percent protection but more protection is better than none. Your best bet is deploying a dynamic, multifaceted risk-based cybersecurity budget. With that, there is a lower risk of any critical component falling through the cracks and you will be able to better manage an attack if it happens