By: Mark Sheldon Villanueva on January 17th, 2022
Cost of Cybersecurity (Factors to Consider)
Imagine a world where cybersecurity companies offer fixed costs for their services. Planning your IT budget will be easier, service agreements will be simpler, and cybersecurity will be more accessible to everyone. Unfortunately, that’s far from reality.
There are too many things to consider when it comes to cybersecurity. Factors like what industry you’re into the prevalence of new cyber threats all come into play. That’s why it’s vital to choose security solutions that fit your needs. Otherwise, you could be paying too much for something you don’t need, or worse, too little to protect your network properly.
At ITS, we’ve helped hundreds of businesses bolster their cybersecurity. In this article, we’ll help you understand why security solutions cost that way and what factors can affect their prices.
Related article: What Businesses Need to Know About Managed Cybersecurity Services
Factors that Go Into Cybersecurity Costs
Many factors affect how much cybersecurity for your business costs. That makes planning your cybersecurity budget a bit tougher. Take a look at some of the things you need to consider when planning costs for cybersecurity:
What Industry You Are In
Unfortunately, not all industries face the same issues regarding potential threats. Different industries have different problems. Some sectors like healthcare, financial, energy, and utilities face more cyber threats than others. That means if your business serves a high-hazard industry, you will need more security solutions to protect your network.
Many high-hazard industries also have more stringent regulations in place. Complying with these regulations could require you to invest heavily in advanced security tools and even cyber insurance.
Types of Data You Keep
Do you keep medical records, social security numbers, or other personal information from your customers? That can influence how many cybersecurity solutions you need to have in place.
Private information is a valuable target for cybercriminals. Worse, the cost of a breach could be catastrophic, especially for small businesses. According to a study by IBM and the Ponemon Institute, an average data breach in 2021 costs $4.24 million, a 10% increase from 2020. While that number will change depending on the size of your company, it is still a hefty cost that could spell trouble for small businesses.
In fact, the US National Cyber Security Alliance found that over half (60%) of small companies go out of business within a year after going through a data breach. Equipping yourself with the right cybersecurity solutions could prevent that outcome.
Security Assessment Results
Undergoing a cybersecurity assessment is a must, whether it’s to comply with industry regulations or simply to spot vulnerabilities in your defenses. You can conduct your own assessment or employ a third party like a managed IT service provider (MSP). That will allow you to identify risk factors that might have been right under your nose.
The results of an assessment will help you identify hidden vulnerabilities or things that you can improve on. You can leverage expert advice and experience to help guide which cybersecurity solutions would best fit your business and industry requirements. That will also affect how much you would need to invest in new tools and systems.
How much should you spend on cybersecurity? According to reports, many experts are opting to boost their spending by 10% to 15% of their IT budget. You can also check out industry guidelines, like the Financial Services Sector Cybersecurity Profile. From there you can find benchmarks for how much your peers spend on cybersecurity.
Is it possible to spend too much on cybersecurity? Probably not. Missed alerts from unchecked security information and event management (SIEM) systems aren’t useful to anyone. However, if you’re not able to make full use of the security solutions you implement, then that money might as well go down the drain.
With that in mind, it’s essential that you think of cost optimization rather than cost reduction when considering your cybersecurity budget. Ask yourself how you can make use of the solutions you have or whether you have the personnel or the resources to make the most of them.
Availability of Skilled Personnel
The cybersecurity industry has a major skill shortage. According to the (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study, there were 2.72 million unfilled cybersecurity job openings in 2021. That gap has presented a lot of problems for businesses, both large and small.
Not having the right people fill the role of managing security has left many companies vulnerable. A 2019 Opinium survey found that 50% of organizations felt the cybersecurity skill shortage was a major challenge.
If you decide to take on the task of building your own security operations center, then you might find yourself in a costly predicament. Not only do you have to get a hold of scarce manpower, but you also need to consider that they will take shifts.
Regulatory Compliance and Cyber Insurance
Some sectors might have more cybersecurity regulations in place, whether it’s with the government or an international body. Depending on the industry or state you operate in, they may require you to have certain security solutions in place, while others might ask you to have cyber insurance coverage.
This could drastically affect your cybersecurity budget. Depending on how underwriters evaluate your cybersecurity, you could end up paying a hefty premium for coverage. In addition, many insurance carriers nowadays have implemented more stringent measures to ensure that clients have certain security tools in place to reduce their risk exposure.
Looking for the Right Cybersecurity Solutions for Your Business?
Improving your cybersecurity posture might seem like an expensive affair. However, if you consider the costs of a data breach or attack, then it’s a worthwhile investment to make.
There may be factors that affect how much your cybersecurity will cost that you won’t be able to control, such as the industry you serve or the availability of skilled personnel. Fortunately, there are solutions out there that can help you make sound decisions, like partnering up with a reliable MSP or MDR provider.
At ITS, we help businesses improve their cybersecurity efforts and help them find the right solutions for the job. Schedule a meeting with one of our experts to find out how we can help you.