Prevention is better than cure—or, to be more specific in the context of cybersecurity, damage repair. Better means less costly, and for small business, it almost always means survival. But the fact is that many small businesses need to take a good long look at where their cybersecurity funds are going, how much is going where, whether these specific allocations are actually optimizing their protection and security.
So which cybersecurity budget considerations for your business should warrant an adjustment in funding, as well as perspective?
We recommend you start with the following:
1. Cyber insurance
As remote work becomes part of the modified norm, small businesses can’t afford to neglect cyber insurance. Without it, you may be unable to cope with losses incurred during a cyberattack.
Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report indicates that 28 percent of data breach victims were small businesses. Meanwhile the results of a National Cyber Security Alliance survey released in October 2019 warn that these data breaches can be devastating to small business owners:
- 69% of small businesses suffering a data breach went offline for a time.
- 37% experienced a financial loss.
- 25% of small businesses had to file for bankruptcy protection after a data breach.
- 10% went out of business.
Many small businesses are still allocating precious funds for hiring and retaining cybersecurity professionals, whose services they could otherwise have secured through an IT services provider—which would have saved them the considerable amount they have to spend for an in-house employee’s medical insurance, withholding tax, and benefits. And with the difficulty of finding qualified professionals, the cost of hiring can only increase.
3. Cloud spending
The cloud enables small businesses to become more competitive through affordable mobile accessibility; and Garner’s research indicate that by 2022, up to 60% of business owners will be reliant on the cloud for hosting data.
Often, however, cloud spending for cybersecurity is either underestimated or poorly managed as far as SAP National Security Services (NS2) CISO, Ted Wagner, is concerned. In such instances, cloud spending is not centralized, resulting in an absence of proper controls in cloud environments when it comes to testing or development. Having the proper controls in place is vital to preventing unnecessary cloud spending, which runs counter to the goal of cost-cutting. To achieve this, your cloud budget should both reflect realistic pricing and anticipate additional spending for trials and tests of cloud-based security tools for individual business units.
4. Third party input
Be sure to budget for vulnerability testing conducted by an expert third party, as well as for expert advice for your managers and staff on potential threats. Ideally, this particular budget column should get ample funds, which will allow you to enlist the help of more than one expert or team of experts.
While you may balk at the idea of paying for more than one consultant/expert, keep in mind the value of getting a second opinion. The more sensitive the data, the more experts who should help you anticipate and mitigate threats and put together the appropriate safeguards—administrative, technical, and physical—in place.
5. Incident response
The fact is that enterprises seem unable—or unmotivated?—to budget appropriately for incident response. This despite the simplicity of the rationale for the need for this particular budget: you need to put together an incident response team who will undergo comprehensive training in order to guide your entire organization through a thoroughly planned response in the event of an attack.
6. Training on cybersecurity
When it comes mitigating cybersecurity threats, don’t forget to look both ways: outward and inward. An employee who is not particularly savvy or compliant when it comes to cybersecurity best practices can be just as much of a threat to your organization as the faceless cybercriminals. Employee behavior is a risk factor you should never ignore: spend what’s necessary to ensure proper training to educate your employees about their responsibilities and to mitigate insider threats.
Budget for replacements for more than just your vulnerable systems. And with the shift to remote work, if you’re adopting it, then the responsible and wise move is to raise your budget for replacement cost. The alternative of forgoing the replacement or upgrade of vulnerable home systems that are connected to your network is simply too much risk.
Reinforce your smart cybersecurity budgeting with passwordless authentication. For a layered and convenient protection, adopt passwordless multifactor authentication (MFA) and passwordless single sign-on (SSO) to ensure frictionless user experience (both for your staff and employees, and for your customers and prospects) that facilitate compliance with multiple identity verifications.
Contact TraitWare today to explore our enterprise-level solutions designed to give your small business huge value in terms of savings and comprehensive security.