As we approach the new year, many organisations will be working out how to prioritize cybersecurity budgets in 2022. However, with the threat landscape evolving so quickly, what may have offered sufficient protection last year, might no longer be viable.
This means security leaders will need to complete an evaluation of their organisation’s security posture. At the same time, they will need to compare it to current attacks trends to help identify weaknesses and allocate resources and budgets effectively.
To carry out this assessment, security leaders will need to be armed with information around which attacks are most detrimental to their business, where their organisation’s crown jewels are and, most importantly, what is being done to protect them?
To help alleviate this pressure, below are our five tips on how security teams can approach their security budget assessments for 2022.
Every organisation will have their own set of crown jewels, and as a security manager, it is your job to protect them. When carrying out a security assessment, the priority will be to understand the organisation’s most valuable assets. Remember, these can change from year to year. Once you have identified the crown jewels, work out what potential threats they are exposed to. Who has access to them? How are they segregated from other, perhaps less secure, areas of the network? How easy is it for an external threat actor to access the crown jewels, and what route could they potentially take within the network? By answering the questions, security leaders can fully understand the actual risks to their crown jewels. After that, they can take the necessary actions to mitigate them.
This seems obvious, but networks are constantly changing and growing, so regular security assessments should become a standard business practice. In what areas do you operate? What security tools do you employ? Are there any glaring weaknesses that external threat actors could exploit? Understanding the current security posture of your organisation is critical to help spot weaknesses and allocate resources and budgets.
A good understanding of attacker trends is also vital when working out security budgets. This means you can allocate resources to protect against the most prevalent threats. For any organisation, the security of employees’ email systems should be a priority. Phishing remains the number one attack technique. Ransomware is also rife today, so having security tools in place to stop and detect the threat before it gets on to systems is also critical. Keeping up to date with other attack trends from the industry in general and from previous attack activity on your network ensures security programs are relative and effective in helping combat threats.
Working out how much security will cost is just one part of the challenge. Getting the boards, the CEO, and the CFO to sign off budgets can be an even more significant hurdle. If the board and other c-level executives do not closely understand security and cyber risks, getting budgets approved will not be an easy task. However, it is up to security leaders to educate them on the importance of security and the impact cyberattacks can have. Educate the board and other c-suite members on cyber risks and how they could impact your organisation. Security is a considerable expense that doesn’t deliver back in business revenue. On the other hand, when organisations fail to secure themselves, they can lose everything. Make sure you communicate this is a message to any security naysayers.
To properly secure an organisation is a huge task that takes many resources. Sometimes organisations cannot manage the job by themselves. Don’t be afraid to outsource security to an experienced service provider if this is you. These companies are experts in the field and will offer the best protection tailored to your organisation’s needs. It is freeing you to focus on other revenue-driving areas of business.
Starting well in advance to collect information is the key to successful budget assessments and understanding how to prioritize cybersecurity budgets for 2022.