Cybersecurity is carving more and more out of IT budgets, but how much is enough when it comes to spending? With a greater need for protection and more advanced services to protect your organisation where should you invest? New tools? Greater training? Or spread your investment over an array of options? It feels like the goal posts are forever moving with evolving threats. Let’s explore some simple guidelines to assist you in getting the right set of protective measures.
The IDC predicted a 9.4% growth in cybersecurity spend in 2019, with the growth continuing to accelerate as high-cost enterprise-grade solutions become more affordable and manageable for mid-sized organisation. Services that were once priced out of reach for the mid-sized market, are now available with affordable, easy to adopt and deploy offerings, as the need for these firms to protect their infrastructure and data increase with cybercrime on the rise.
There are 3 core factors to determine an organisation’s cybersecurity needs. They are:
1. Your IT
2. Your People
3. Your Business
What does your IT environment look like at present? Does it have in place all your IT basics? Going back to basics strengthens your foundation and without a strong foundation the latest, most expensive and comprehensive systems will fail to protect your organisation. Ensure core security principles are deployed along with physical controls to create the foundation for good, solid IT security hygiene.
Ensure your have correct policies and procedures in place. These include a tested and tried disaster recovery plan, acceptable use and BYOD (Bring your own device) policies to ensure a standardised framework that protects your environment. Over 40% of organisations don’t have a documented plan to get up and running after a disaster event. This could result in huge fiscal losses if an event occurs.
The biggest security threat to most organisations are from human error. Your staff are on the front line and pose the greatest risk. These risks come in the form of mismanaging password details or clicking malicious links. These can be mitigated by ensuring the basics are deployed. These include MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication), mail and website filtering and consistent cybersecurity training.
A continual training culture provides staff the know-how and knowledge to defend themselves against current threats. Arming your staff with defensive knowledge provides the front line greater and deeper defence before the need for advanced systems.
Beyond getting the basics right one of the greatest influences on your cybersecurity needs and priorities is the industry you work in and the people you deal with. In particular requirements of organisations in the finance or healthcare industry and those involved with Government contracts to comply with greater regulations in comparison to those in small businesses within other industries.
In addition, the type of data you collect will greatly impact the cybersecurity choices you need to make as an organisation. A law firm with highly sensitive client data will require more advanced security measures than that of a retail store selling clothing apparel.
After taking into consideration these three core factors what steps should you take to identify and facilitate preventative measures surrounding cybersecurity risks? Review the settings on your existing security tools by employing an expert to do it for you.
If your organisation conducts its business within a compliance regulated industry such as finance and healthcare arranging an independent security assessment will be highly advantageous. Have a third party review the three factors discussed and provide a prioritised set of recommendations.
Prevention is better than a cure, the costs involved in preventing and securing your IT environment can save you reputably and financially in the future.