Cybersecurity Budget: Understand The Real Costs For Your Business
In today’s modern industrial age, cybersecurity protocols play a more important role than ever in every business. Once the decision-makers have decided to invest in cybersecurity, they will then ask: how much do companies spend on cybersecurity? How much should I spend for my business? It can be difficult to accurately assess the costs to implement and maintain cybersecurity systems, and investing too little or not at all can have costly consequences. In this article, we will help you assess your company’s needs and determine the right budget for you.
The Importance Of A Defined Security Budget
Every business attempts to keep costs low wherever possible, but the accurate costs of cybersecurity can be difficult to determine. The organization must have a clear understanding of its current cybersecurity risks, periodically reassess them, and implement the measures to be prepared against them, all within a set budget. Managers and owners who don’t understand the financials of it may quit halfway, being unable to grasp the importance of this investment. Having a set budget for cybersecurity measures gives the organization power to seek the right tools to fit their needs.
Determining The Needed Resources
There are three components every company must consider when creating its cybersecurity budget:
- Employee education
Cybersecurity awareness is growing at a healthy pace, but the focus seems to be on IT tools and resources and less on skilled professionals who are actually essential for success. Market data shows that most medium and small businesses are underserved when it comes to security experts, even if they have a budget in place for cybersecurity tools. This is especially evident for industrial facilities and commercial buildings that put more into operations. The key is a balance between manpower and technology, found in hiring or creating a team focused exclusively on the company’s cybersecurity needs.
Organizations have a few options for these teams:
- the company can hire a prepared in-house team.
- hire or contract with a third-party cybersecurity firm.
It’s important to remember that even a strong in-house team might not be fully prepared for all challenges involved in cybersecurity. When this happens, you may research a third-party firm to lend a hand.
Now that we recognize the importance of education and dedicated cybersecurity teams, the organization must find the right tools for the job. The most effective cybersecurity solutions offer threat detection tools. The right tech can detect weaknesses and threats early, enabling the organization to act on time and prevent extreme losses. Unmonitored devices are a favored target for cyber attacks, so a solution that offers asset detection and management will be very important. We also highly recommend solutions that offer a balance of preventative measures and threat detection and response.
Choosing the Right Investments
Once we understand that human resources are as equally important in cybersecurity as tools and tech, the next step is determining where to put the money. Different industries have different needs, and when budgeting for cybersecurity, businesses must evaluate how to invest their resources in a way that suits their specific needs adequately. For example, an office building maintained with a Building Management System (BMS) and a modern water facility controlled by an Industrial Control System (ICS) will have different cybersecurity needs. You should also consider your industry and the regulations that must be adhered to. There are a few questions you can use to assess your company’s needs:
- How many assets (PLCs, IOs, servers, computers, printers, IoT devices, etc.) are connected to my network?
- How many buildings and IoT networks does my company have?
- What’s my industry? What are the regulations and requirements I must follow?
- Do we have any current cybersecurity measures in place?
It’s okay not to know how many devices are connected to your network at the time of your search. Many cybersecurity firms offer asset discovery services that will show you what’s connected to your network. It’s also important to research your industry’s regulations and find a cybersecurity firm that can help you stand up to desired compliance.
How much companies spend on cybersecurity?
The ultimate answer is: it depends. In the IT world, the budget is typically 10-20% dedicated to IT. In industrial OT cybersecurity, it is recommended that the budget be 10-20% of the maintenance funds invested into Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT). We also highly recommend additional cyber insurance to cover data exposure risk. For many organizations, a cybersecurity budget is something new, especially for small and medium businesses that are slowly digitizing their workflows. These early budgets may be shy in most cases, so the best decision here is to take a broader look and be willing to increase the investment as needed.