Spend Your Security Budget Wisely in 2017

 In Cyber Security, IT Planning

The impact of information security failures has never been in the news more. Major breaches in 2016 resulted in significant thefts of data, possibly even influencing the election returns. It’s no wonder federal spending on cybersecurity is increasing by 35 percent, climbing to $19 billion.

Your cybersecurity budget probably doesn’t come close to the feds’; if you’re like most companies Gartner surveyed, you spend less than six percent of your overall IT budget on security. Those two factors, combined with the continued onslaught of cyberattacks, makes getting the most out of your spending critical.

What Threats to Expect in 2017

Some of the threats this year will be familiar, and some will come from new sources. InfoSec Institute expects ransomware to continue to increase, and Internet of Things devices and mobile malware to provide new modes of attack. While artificial intelligence will support security analytics to help identify threats, AI will also help hackers find ways to penetrate systems and make sense of the data they steal; McAfee expects machine learning to make social engineering attacks more sophisticated. Symantec adds the concern that ransomware will target cloud-based systems.

Smart Spending to Protect Against the Big Risks

Your budget may not allow you to defend all your networks, devices, and data against all threats, so it’s important to develop a strategy to support your decision-making. Understand your legal and regulatory requirements to determine a baseline level of required security. Identify the impact of a breach of each asset. Then evaluate the solutions you already have deployed to see where your protection falls short.

You may be able to get more benefit from your existing security tools; many companies have features turned off because of worries about blocking legitimate traffic—or simply lack of staff expertise. A small investment in training and a brief experiment on a small network segment can have significant benefits. Talk to your vendors to understand how you can get the most from their products.

Evaluate your spending to make sure it offers the most impact. If your budget doesn’t support protecting everything, you may need to weigh the impact of protecting the most vulnerable asset against the protecting a greater number of other assets. Extend your security budget by making sure that every IT project allocates funds for its own security needs.

Don’t forget that security spending isn’t just about introducing tools. Make sure funds are allocated for training staff, both in the IT department and throughout your business. Everyone needs to understand how to recognize, defend against, and report an attack on your systems.

Get help understanding your vulnerabilities with a free infrastructure assessment from Prescient Solutions. Our team’s certifications in networking, security, operating systems, and virtual environments allow us to understand the full scope of your information technology to develop and deploy a solution that addresses your critical needs. Contact us to learn how we can help you be smart about your information security spending.

Additional Cybersecurity Resources

Municipal Cybersecurity Deserves Making a Federal Case Out of It

What CFOs Need to Know: Small Firms Should Pay for Security Now or Pay More After a Breach

You’re Never Too Big Or To Small To Need Cybersecurity

Encryption: Are You Missing the Last Line of Defense?

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