Is your company spending enough on their cyber security budget?

Cyber security should be, if it isn’t already, at the very top of budget spending for companies of all sizes.

With continued advances, we’re using technology in new and exciting ways, with innovations on the horizon as artificial intelligence and big data become even more accessible and affordable. But with all the high-tech tools being used around the world, keeping your business data secure is crucial.

Over the years, spending on cyber security has changed substantially — in 2019, worldwide spending for security products and services is estimated to be more than $124 billion, an increase in growth of 8.7% from last year.

Companies around the world are no longer considering cybersecurity a minor part of their spending budget, but rather a priority. One of the main reasons for this is the large security breaches that have occurred in the past few years, putting business and personal data at a higher risk than ever before.

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Changes in cyber security priorities

Cyber security comes with a hefty price tag — it’s expensive and needs to be continually updated to keep data secure from the new methods cybercriminals are coming up with to hack into your infrastructure. Staying informed and increasing both your focus and budget in 2019 on increased security is what’s going to keep your business protected.

In order to achieve higher levels of security, it’s imperative that your company shift its tactics.

While still important, risk management is no longer the center of cyber security. Companies now need to identify their strengths and weaknesses and decide what they can do to recognise and mitigate security threats.

These are the top security priorities for businesses around the world:

Identify security risks to user devices

One of the main risk areas of cyber security are user devices. Using sophisticated operating systems, user devices have more functionality now than in the past which means they’re extremely vulnerable and an easy target for a data breach. Companies are exchanging data and information not only across all business computers but also on employee personal devices.

Cloud security

Cloud computing provides companies with numerous cost benefits as well as the efficiency to store applications, software, and data on central servers. But cloud computing requires its own portion of the budget for security. When left unsecured, cloud computing is an easy entry point into your business data, which is why cloud based services have their own security requirements. It’s estimated that in 2019, businesses will spend 148% more on high-level security for these cloud services to prevent cyber security threats.

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Data loss prevention

More companies in the future will focus on the protection of confidential and sensitive information and data in compliance with privacy laws. Whether your company is affected by Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or not, you can anticipate that North America will follow with privacy regulations that are in alignment with global standards. Companies and organizations will increase their data privacy budget in 2019 and the coming years, as they implement or update their privacy notifications and policies.

Integrating cyber security into corporate structure

Cyber security has to be integrated into your entire business structure and not managed as an entity separate from other company departments. Your customers, clients, and investors expect that you’re doing everything you can to protect sensitive data. With most if not all company data being digital, a data breach for most business is a constant threat. This means that you need to demonstrate that your cyber security budget is being used across your entire corporate structure. Be prepared to show your management team and investors that you’re using your increased security budget to implement updated cyber security for advanced solutions throughout the company.

Cyber security education

Having protection in place isn’t enough to protect your business from cyber attack. There’s no point in utilising your security budget and applying advanced security tactics if employees aren’t aware of the risks and what they themselves can do to mitigate cyber threats. For this very reason, businesses will be allocating a higher portion of their security budget to educating employees and keeping them updated and informed.

Employees need to fully understand that cybercriminals can access business networks and computing systems in many different ways including malware, phishing, and accessing third-party vendors through an unsecured network where confidential data is shared.

Now that many companies allow personal devices for business use, such as mobile phones and tablets, security regulations need to be clearly defined. Not having company polices and security procedures in place can lead to negligent mistakes by employees. These human errors make up 25% of data breaches in the US.

These errors can be preventable not only with the updated security measures you’ve applied using your growing cyber security budget but also by regularly educating employees about the impact and damage that can occur from cyber threats and incidents.

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Re-evaluate your cyber security budget

Cyber security budget spending has changed over the years and will continue to do so. In this digital age, no matter how secure your company is, you’re still exposed every day to the threats of data and security breaches. Take the time to address the concerns of ongoing cybersecurity risks to your organization so you can adjust your security budget accordingly and protect your company from cyber attack.

Information sourced from Varonis.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...