Trends to Consider for your Cybersecurity Budget

Cyber security
Cyber security

Trends to Consider for your Cybersecurity Budget- Every data breach today costs an organisation up to $3.92 million. This is a year-on-year increase of 13% since 2014. These figures show that cybercrime is on the rise, thanks to a new breed of hackers. New technology advancements drive them to develop stronger, more resilient, more complex attacks. Businesses are taking advantage of the advantages of digitising their services and operations in greater numbers. According to a recent Brother International Corporation study, investments in small and medium-sized technology have increased by 18 percent. According to a separate survey, 81 percent of the companies polled believe that information technology plays a critical strategic role in their growth.

Business IT, on the other hand, comes with a slew of cybersecurity and compliance concerns. When it comes to business digitization, it refers to the use of sensitive data, such as personal information about customers, to provide services. The world generates at least 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, according to estimates from 2019. Because business data makes up a large portion of the total, hackers have more motivation to hack businesses. This could explain why businesses are the most vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Small businesses are the target of 43% of all cyber-attacks, with web-based attacks, social engineering or phishing attacks, and web-based attacks, respectively, affecting 64% and 62 percent of businesses. As a result, every company should put a significant amount of money into cyber security. To get the most out of your cybersecurity investment, make informed decisions, just like you would with any other investment (Return on Investments). The following are the top cybersecurity spending trends to watch in 2020.

Consider these ideas when putting together your cybersecurity budget

Given how dynamic and changing the cyber threat environment is, allocating adequate budgets to cybersecurity is critical. Most businesses devote 10% of their IT budgets to cybersecurity, according to industry standards. However, such a small percentage may not be sufficient to fully secure the IT environment, invest in security awareness and training, acquire new cybersecurity solutions, or ensure full compliance with mandatory regulations. As a result, when planning cybersecurity budgets for 2020, businesses should focus on the three approaches below.

Being proactive rather than reactive

All businesses should prioritise their cybersecurity budgets. Many organisations, on the other hand, take a reactive approach, which rarely yields the desired results. When a company’s network is breached, for example, new firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, antiviruses, and other security measures must be implemented immediately. While some businesses may find reactive or ad-hoc approaches to budgeting for information security to be effective, cash-strapped companies cannot rely on this method to get critical cybersecurity projects approved. Furthermore, the primary goal of cybersecurity budgets is to keep adversaries out of the system in order to prevent cyber incidents. As a result, it’s a good idea to shift from reactive to proactive budgeting.

Understanding and embracing a hacker’s mindset and using this knowledge to build strong defences is part of a proactive cybersecurity budget allocation approach. This will necessitate in-house security teams putting all of their skills to work detecting all exploitable opportunities that hackers could use to gain access to a corporate network. The findings of the assessment will be used to guide the implementation of appropriate mitigation measures, ensuring that you are always protected. Small businesses with limited resources should consider hiring red and blue pen testers to conduct their vulnerability assessments.

Benchmark organisations with effective cybersecurity budgeting

When it comes to planning cybersecurity budgets, one crucial question that many businesses are unable to answer is how well the company is performing in terms of detecting, preventing, and responding to security incidents. If unable to respond, a company should consider using a benchmarked approach to set and allocate cybersecurity budgets and investments. The method entails comparing a company’s operating performance to that of its peers, a recognised framework, a sample of companies, or a previous study. Observing the best security practises of various security teams can help a company quantify the results and plan a cybersecurity budget that is appropriate. Security investment levels, key performance indicators, and organisational cybersecurity structure should all be benchmarked.

Adopt a risk-based cybersecurity approach when creating cybersecurity budgets

Using risk-based approaches to set cybersecurity budgets can aid in determining the level of investment. The information security team must first share risk categories that affect all areas with the leadership management team as part of this approach. It works better in companies that have well-developed security procedures. This is due to their ability to classify risks across multiple domains and allocate adequate budgets based on the costs of mitigating the risks. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework (National Institute of Standards and Technology) is one of the most effective risk assessment and management frameworks available. Identify, detect, protect, respond, and recover are the five information security lifecycle domains.

Identifying and categorising risks using the NIST CSF approach informs mitigation measures based on risk levels. As a result, a company can spot risks that need to be addressed more urgently. As a result, security investment decisions are informed by prioritising the most significant risks first. Despite the fact that this method is similar to benchmarking, organisations can see significant improvements in security operations using this method.

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It’s critical for organisations to keep an eye on how the cybersecurity landscape might shift in 2020 compared to previous years before allocating cybersecurity budget allocations. In this case, there are three critical cybersecurity trends that businesses should budget for. They’re outlined in the following paragraphs.

Investors/clients will prioritise organisational cyber risks in their analysis

When it comes to investment decisions, cybersecurity will play a significant role. Investors are more cautious when considering investment options after companies like Equifax suffered financial and reputational losses as a result of data breaches. They are less willing to invest in companies that have dubious risk management procedures. This is understandable, given that no one wants to put his personal information in a potentially dangerous situation. As a result, security teams should concentrate their efforts on identifying and managing risks. A strong security posture should now include more than just preventing breaches; it should also include adequate risk management controls. All cybersecurity budget decisions should prioritise improved risk management procedures, as well as the implementation of safeguards and controls to protect sensitive data.

Attackers might focus on using brute-force attack techniques

In 2020, attackers may prefer brute-force attack methods over zero-day vulnerabilities. Using unpatched systems or insecure third parties to gain unauthorised network access is one example. This pattern has been observed in a variety of attacks. When it comes to compromising critical infrastructure, for example, APT33 almost exclusively employs password spraying and brute-force attacks. Companies breached with Shapeshifter and Shamoon, the two most common APT33 deployments, are also examples of successful use cases. Furthermore, business email compromise attacks have increased in 2019, with multibillion-dollar corporations like Nikkei losing up to $29 million as a result of such ruses. NSA reports show that it rarely responds to cyber incidents involving zero-day exploitation, as opposed to incidents involving unpatched software or hardware, despite the examples provided.

To combat these trends, cybersecurity plans and procedures may need to focus on the fundamentals of security. By laying a solid foundation, we can achieve this. Continuously monitoring critical systems to identify new vulnerabilities and threats, as well as constantly evaluating security standards in place, including those of third parties and supply chain partners, are examples of such plans. A company’s security posture can be strengthened by focusing cybersecurity investments on employee training and awareness creation. Human error is the most common cause of weak security connections.

Cyber insurance will play a bigger role in cybersecurity plans in the future

The costs of responding to breaches and attacks are increasing by the day, from BEC to ransomware attacks. Due to a lack of resources and expertise, the majority of businesses, particularly SMEs, are unable to respond to incidents. Most people are incapable of responding to a wide range of attacks, including those launched by third, fourth, or fifth parties. Although most cyber insurance policies do not cover funds lost as a result of attacks, they can help with legal fees. Regardless of the implemented defences, any organisation can be attacked. The question is how well prepared it is to recover from the attack while maintaining business continuity. A breached business can ensure quick investigations and remediation by filing a cyber insurance claim.

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In addition, a growing number of companies are purchasing various cyber insurance policies. As a result, insurance companies will gain a better understanding of the nuances of cyber attacks and will begin to offer new coverage plans. They could even include strategies for compensating for losses and damages incurred as a result of attacks. Organizations must learn about and purchase available insurance plans as 2020 approaches in order to effectively budget for what the policies do not cover. The best cybersecurity budget plans can be informed by reevaluating current insurance plans.

Your 2020 cybersecurity budget should focus on the following things

Awareness training for employees

According to Osterman’s research, investing in staff cybersecurity education gives the highest return on investment. A high majority of attempted breaches can be avoided by raising understanding about how to improve resiliency to security dangers posed by digital assets. In most cases, hackers prefer to target users since they are considered the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain. This is accomplished through the use of undetectable software or hardware, as well as social engineering techniques such as phishing, pretexting, and smishing. Because technical measures are ineffective, these can only be avoided via increased educational awareness and training.

Companies can utilise a variety of cost-effective techniques to raise awareness. Posters, emails reminding staff of the tip of the day, and contests are just a few examples. Use of educational videos, brief computer-based courses, and formal training classes are all cost-effective training options. Employees that demonstrate superior cybersecurity knowledge might be rewarded with monies provided by their employers. This may encourage other members to take the training more seriously, resulting in a cyber-aware culture.

Proper patching

This may seem self-evident, but adhering to proper patching protocols can significantly improve a company’s cybersecurity posture. Patching hardware and software should be a top priority for in-house IT teams. Most managers, however, ignore it in favour of allocating resources to other areas. Inadequate patching has been blamed for some of the major data breaches, including the 2017 Equifax data breach, which exposed the personal information of over 140 million people.

As a result, it goes without saying that patching procedures should be given a lot of money. This is to make patch management a priority in your weekly, if not daily, cybersecurity activities. Patching guarantees that hardware and software assets are up to date and secure, preventing hackers from exploiting flaws. Investing in automated patching systems, if possible, helps ensure that updates are downloaded and installed as soon as they become available. This improves corporate security while also making compliance with numerous regulations easier.

Outsource to cybersecurity firms

The scope required to adequately secure a firm can sometimes deplete financial resources. Unless the organisation in question is a Fortune 500, requirements such as hiring in-house security personnel who must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week are unattainable. Small enterprises, on the other hand, make up the majority, and their minimal resources may make it difficult for them to manage their own cybersecurity operations. Managed service providers offer a variety of expert services that might help you improve your security. These include round-the-clock monitoring, access to specialist experts, and use of the most up-to-date security tools and policies. Outsourcing security is cost-effective because most MSPs provide low-cost subscriptions that can be paid annually or monthly.

Additionally, outsourcing security services such as penetration testing is a cost-effective approach that can strengthen already-in-place protections. The adoption of strong solutions to avoid exploitation is ensured by identifying risks and vulnerabilities in advance. Companies can include pen testing in their budgetary allocations because it can be done once or twice a year.

Endpoint protection

Endpoint security is an effective approach for securing a company’s networks and data. Endpoints are the devices via which a hacker or user can get access to a network or system. Mobile gadgets, smartphones, laptops, and computer USB ports are all examples. In any particular firm, there are so many endpoints that ensuring 100 percent security is nearly difficult. Despite this, businesses should make an effort to invest in endpoint security. Although this may appear to be a large expenditure, there are security services who provide managed endpoint security and response. They usually install software that connects to all endpoints and monitors them for suspicious activity. With minimal assistance from human operators, automated versions can detect unusual activity and initiate necessary replies.

New trends in the cybersecurity sector arise every year. The majority have a big impact on a company’s cybersecurity budget. The eight trends listed below may help you plan your 2020 cybersecurity budget.

Software lagging behind security services

The year 2019 has been designated “the year of security services” by Forrester Research. Spending on cybersecurity services, which is a relatively new development, surged fourfold in that year alone. These investments surpassed those made in other regions. Security services are expected to account for at least half of all cybersecurity budgets, according to Gartner experts. Security services, infrastructure protection, and network security equipment are expected to cost $64.2 billion, $15.3 billion, and $13.2 billion, respectively, according to Gartner.

Increasing privacy concerns

In recent years, new privacy rules and regulations have raised privacy concerns. 2020 will be no exception, especially with the projected implementation of the 5G network. Most consumers are also constantly concerned about the privacy and security of their data as a result of data breaches. Companies must consider investing in privacy protection as security services spending rises. Identity and access management (IAM) systems, data loss prevention (DLP) techniques, and identity governance and administration should all be prioritised in cybersecurity budgets (IGA).

CISOs want increased visibility, analytics, and alignment

With management’s approval, Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) are increasingly spending more on cybersecurity. To handle industry needs, business changes, and security dangers, bigger cybersecurity investments are required. CISOs are determined to construct a well-integrated cybersecurity ecosystem due to attackers’ capacity to design complicated attack tactics. This will allow for real-time threat detection and the development of a more strategic cybersecurity culture. According to Forbes, CISOs may prioritise the following in their financial spending:

  • To replace cross-platform visibility, develop security event analytics.
  • To align security activities, use orchestration and automation.
  • To deal with insider risks, get user behaviour analytics (UBA).

Compliance may be the most important factor driving cybersecurity spending

Today’s CISOs are closer to the C-suite (executive level personnel) than they have ever been. According to a PwC research, the majority of CEOs feel that cyber attacks pose a significant threat and hindrance to a company’s growth prospects. CEOs are increasingly confident that focusing more on compliance will improve cybersecurity. CISOs, on the other side, are concerned that focusing more on compliance rather than addressing digital business risks is misguided. This means that business leaders must guarantee that enough finances are set out for managing compliance and digital threats.

Cybersecurity investments accelerates digital transformation

To ensure that the C-suite understands the technical aspects of cybersecurity, CISOs must continue strong collaboration with them. Any technology-driven firm wants to make sure that their digital transformation is safe. Emerging technologies such as 5G networks may lead to automated business functions, which will change how companies operate. According to a CIO research, the main goals of a digital transformation process are to reduce time and resource waste, improve time efficiency, and reduce business friction. To ensure a secure digital transition, cybersecurity expenditures for critical enablers like DevSecOps will be required.

Evolving ways of measuring cybersecurity ROI

Cybersecurity leaders determine the investment value of a product by evaluating its capacity to lower security risks while also allowing a business to remain compliant. For the most part, they are the most important measures, and they may continue through 2020. Inviting third parties to conduct audits on existing tools and solutions could help determine whether they are effective for security investment.

Investing in a security culture is a key objective

The bulk of effective cyber-attacks are due to human or process failure. Initiating a discussion about cybersecurity budgets and risks can help a company work toward establishing a strong security culture with shared risk objectives. As a result, CEOs should be able to justify cybersecurity investment by resolving current security system flaws. Topics such as appetite for risk, where security investments will have the most significant impacts, and how to guarantee existing expenditures generate desired values should steer the conversation to support the success of cross-functional budget discussions.

Cybersecurity budget benchmarks are not easy

Although benchmarking other firms’ cybersecurity spending is one of the recommended techniques to budgeting, it is a difficult task. This is attributable to a variety of factors, including the size of the company and the industry it operates in. According to a BCG analysis, cybersecurity investment at some of the world’s largest companies varied by 300 percent. When benchmarking, it’s important to remember that robust cybersecurity should take into account things like regulatory compliance, facilities, and the extent of security hazards to IT assets, among other things.

Artificial intelligence will take centre stage

AI investments are expected to skyrocket, so businesses should prepare. Adversaries will be able to create sophisticated malware that will be undetectable by traditional defences thanks to 5G technologies. Protecting corporate networks and IT assets will require AI-enabled cyber defences. As a result, cybersecurity budgets should provide for the possibility of acquiring new security technology and procedures.

Change management

In the field of organisational cybersecurity, change is a constant. It’s possible that this is related to the implementation of new business procedures and technologies. Businesses can maintain proper security by planning for change ahead of time. A particular amount for providing security amid transformation should be made aside while preparing cybersecurity budgets. This is to prevent security from being compromised as a result of the modification.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.