Does Cybersecurity Have to Be Expensive?

During the process of business digitalization, planning separate expenses for cybersecurity is essential because cybercrime rates grow as technologies are getting smarter. There’s a belief that the costs of protecting internal systems against hacker attacks are too high and can be cut down as much as possible. Unfortunately, many business owners make it a priority only after a data leakage or another security incident happens.

On average, the cost of such an incident last year was $3.86 million. Compared to these numbers, the projected security budget of several thousand dollars per year does not seem to be a big deal, taking into account that apart from data loss after a successful breach there are lawsuits, that entail additional expenses, and reputational damage which are sometimes impossible to cover.

The good news is that it’s possible to save on such costs and still benefit from bulletproof security.

Here’s how:

Outsource

It’s not a secret that outsourcing cybersecurity can cut your budget in half because it gives you wider access to the talent pool, you get cheaper rates, and do not have to cover office maintenance costs. There are 2 main streams of outsourcing: onshore where you search for specialists in your location, and offshore when you collaborate with a security team abroad.

While offshore is considered to be cheaper, as specialists overseas work at lower rates than the US, local outsourcing may give you more transparency and convenience of working. You and your contractors are located in one-time zone and can arrange on-site meetings if necessary. And for the security stream, it’s always advisable to choose local specialists. The main nuance here is choosing trusted IT support service providers like San Diego-based USWired if you plan to do onshore outsourcing. Apart from general savings on maintenance, you can also vary the number of specialists depending on your needs and pay for an additional workforce only when it’s used without a long-term commitment.

Take preventative measures

It’s not a secret that preventative measures can cover your back in combat with cyber-attacks. Daily backups, firewalls, and anti-malware protection should go first in your starter pack. Other measures may include but are not limited to protecting internal network with VPN, regular password change to accounts that are accessible company-wide and using a minimum privilege model where you grant your employees permissions only to the work resources that are necessary to perform their daily duties. Even if the attack is strong enough and intruders gain some access, these precautions will help you to mitigate the consequences, and as a result minimize the incident coverage costs, if not avoid them completely.

You can also launch the bounty program and pay the rewards for those enthusiasts who will inform you about a security gap and inform how to find it so that you can close the backdoors spending the costs only if a bug and solution is provided (Note: it’s not recommended to use it as a replacement of security audit).

Automate the processes

The more time your security specialists spend on manual work, the higher are chances to forget something in a rush or miss noticing suspicious activity. That’s why you need to propagate automation in managing the security of your infrastructure. Automation should start from the simplest part like a regular audit of unused accounts and their deletion, automatic password rotation after a certain period, notifications in case of monitoring warnings, etc. In the beginning, it may seem to be costly, but after implementation, your SecOps will spend less working time to cover the routine and focus on other strategically important tasks that will contribute to your long-term cost optimization.

It will be wrong to say that cybersecurity is cheap or free. Depending on the complexity of your infrastructure, you will need to spend 10-15% of your IT budget on cybersecurity that starts from roughly several thousand dollars, but in the long run, they save you more. And the tips above can help you to cut costs without reducing the quality of protection.