What to Include in Your Cybersecurity Budget

cybersecurity budget

Written by Cailey Gibson

March 10, 2020

Can you really put a price on peace of mind… and keeping your money in your pocket? You’d rather invest in a lock for your house than pick up the pieces after having someone enter your house and steal all your money and valuables. 

The same goes for business cybersecurity. It’s better to budget for cybersecurity than deal with the repercussions after an attacker has hit your business online. 

Cyberattacks are increasing and many people think they are safe from attacks so they slack on their security. But when your business is hit, it can hurt you and your employees, your customers, and your business reputation. About two out of three SMBs are forced to shut down after a cyber breach due to financial loss or reputation issues.

It’s not a stretch to say that preventing cyber attacks can make or break your business and it’s better to have a cybersecurity budget than to hope you don’t get hit and pay more down the road. 

If you think you’re saving money by not spending it on cybersecurity, think again. The average cost of a security breach on a small to medium business was about $369k in 2019. I don’t know about you, but a budget for cybersecurity seems like a cup of coffee compared to that. 

But how much is the right amount to spend on your cybersecurity budget? A good rule to follow for a small to medium business is to spend about 4-7% of your revenue on IT including cybersecurity. Depending on your industry and business structure that may be more or less. If you’re in a financial or healthcare industry those numbers will be higher due to regulations. Likewise, if you’re in an eCommerce or data-heavy industry your customer’s expectations may demand higher security measures. 

No matter what, you will want a base level of protection from the four main types of cyber threats. 

Top threats are: 

  1. Malware – includes viruses, spyware, worms, or keyloggers.
  2. Phishing – is emails sent to collect information by pretending to be a familiar person or institution. 
  3. Ransomware – a type of virus that holds your server or desktop hostage for money, usually asking for payment in Bitcoin.
  4. Fileless Attacks – breaches that take advantage of applications already on your computer much like malware worms.

To help you determine where to spend your money, we’ve compiled a list of your top areas to secure ranked in order starting with most important.

Network 

First, you want to have network security in your cybersecurity budget. Network security helps protect the entire group of systems connected in your business. This includes desktops, laptops, servers, modems and more. Network security helps protect your business using authentication, firewalls, and other network surveillance tools. This helps prevent unwanted users from accessing your secure network. 

Endpoint 

Next, you want to include endpoint security in your overall cybersecurity budget. Endpoint security helps protect each device like laptops, mobile devices, and servers on the network at the device level. For Macs, we use Bitdefender Endpoint Security for quality endpoint protection to guard your business against cyber-attacks. 

Email

Endpoint security also helps protect against email attacks although it’s not the only email security method. About 90% of malware is sent through email requiring additional security methods. You’ll want to include email gateway security in your cybersecurity budget as an added level of protection. 

On top of Bitdefender endpoint protection, we use Bitdefender Email Security to secure your email. Bitdefender Email Security helps protect your business at the email security gateway which helps prevent spam or malicious emails from ever reaching your inbox. That being said, it’s also helpful to train your employees to look for signs since technology can’t catch all the attempts. 

Employees

At the end of the day, almost all attacks rely on a certain level of human error. As your organization grows you’ll want to spend more time and money on training employees as it will become a larger vulnerability. 

Almost all cyber threats prey on people who are IT novices and likely to trust that the email from HR asking for their social security number is real or will not think twice about clicking the zip file from Suzie in accounting even though Suzie never sends zip files. Train your employees for what to look for both online and in their inbox to finish off your cybersecurity budget. 

This is a bare-bones list of what you should include in your projected budget for cybersecurity. Keep in mind that depending on your industry and business size you may have additional required spending due to regulations, partner demands, or customer expectations. 

Something else to consider is regular risk assessment even if you have a cybersecurity budget. Cyber attacks are increasing and becoming more complex with each passing year, you’ll need to advance your security which will require a larger budget for cybersecurity. 

If you are running an Apple ecosystem with Macs in your business and want to know where to get started, contact us today for a free risk assessment.

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