Cybersecurity: What You Don’t Know About Your Risks

Cybersecurity is a big-ticket item for any business. As more data breaches occur, businesses need to focus on security needs. Cybercrime is escalating, with the US experiencing an average of 22% increase in data breaches in 2017.

However, most businesses do not have the appropriate budget assigned for security risks. Nor is money allocated into the best technology for protection. While most organizations spend an average of 5.6% of the overall IT budget on security and risk management, this number does not reflect the true cost to business. How can a business track spend and be more efficient with their dollar?

True Business Costs

Most businesses can spend 1 – 13%, with a data breach extending that cost. Statistics show data breaches have cost an average of $7.35 million per US business in 2017 alone. And that cost is up from $7.01 million in 2016.

Most of that cost is internal resources and investigations. On average, it takes a business 206 day to identify a breach, and another 55 days to contain.

The time an IT department spends on recovering systems and data can add up significantly. Especially considering resources allocated to recovery that are not supporting business during this time.

How does a business track or record how they are performing? Via security metrics.

Why Metrics are Important

Businesses run based on KPI and measurables. Without numbers and data, an organization cannot correct and achieve overall strategy goals. Cybersecurity is no different. Metrics are needed to know where a company is performing and where their risks are.

Unfortunately, most organizations are not measuring their performance. Nor are they investing wisely. Accenture created a cost of Cyber Crime Study and found companies were more likely to blindly invest in areas that offered little return in security savings.

Essentially, tracking and benchmarking metrics will help you understand if your business has the right hardware and software, identify cost savings, and evaluate if you need to partner with a company to support your security needs.

Unfortunately, most companies fail at cyber security metrics. The 2017 State of Cybersecurity Metrics Annual Report found businesses regularly fail in planning and performance, not measuring how their strategies perform or if their planning ensured the most savings to the company.

Cybersecurity Metrics

So, what should a business measure to ensure they are receiving the most return for their security dollars?

1. Number of service disruptions. How often has your network been down or inaccessible due to breaches? In September of 2017, there were 20 publicly announced breaches per calendar day. How is your business performing?

2. Effectiveness of security monitoring. How often has your monitoring caught a breach effectively? Is your system being monitored, and can time efficiencies be found in that process? Finding a breach early can make an average difference of $2.71 million.

3. Time to recover. How long does it take your IT department to repair or recover from a breach? How many hours worked goes into security recovery? Average days for containment is 55 days. That is 55 days your staff is not working on the business.

4. Data accessibility. Where is your secured data held? What does the performance and security of the location entail, who has access, and how long will it take you to recover?

5. Overall costs. How much is your security costing you, as well as the overall cost of breaches? Are there more effective means to secure your company? Are you using the best method of cybersecurity for your dollar?

If You Haven’t Yet, Do these Things

Completing a full network assessment, including a business process review, security scan report, and network improvement recommendations is essential. If your network is at risk, a risk assessment will find those risks.

Develop security monitoring for your network. Ideal network monitoring is a 24/7 operation for performance, including preventative maintenance and regular network health reporting. Finding a breach and containing it quickly can save you over $2.7 million dollars.

Ensure enterprise data is stored and secured in a reliable infrastructure, protected by Intrusion Defense and Prevention Systems (IDS/IPS). Make sure access and authentication is state of the art, ensuring your company does not suffer from the 24% human error in data breaches.

Essentially, security breaches can occur at any time, anywhere. It’s not a matter of if your enterprise will be breached, but when. Make sure your enterprise is tracking accurate metrics, is aware of security risks, and monitors all activity for quick discovery and recover.

Say goodbye to downtime and hello to new opportunities.