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How to Budget for Cybersecurity Prevention

January 08, 2018 Sarah Challis Articles

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How should you budget for cybersecurity prevention in 2018? As the security threat landscape continues to become more and more sophisticated, your business needs to protect itself against a wider range of vulnerabilities.

This year’s attacks are projected to be far more expensive for businesses of all sizes. This is because, aside from the traditional costs of attacks such as network cleanups, customer notifications, and reputation management, new additional costs will arise such as litigation.

According to the Information Security Forum (ISF) - a global and independent information security organization specializing in cybersecurity and managing information risk - there will be a rise in the number of data breaches in 2018, and most of them will leave a huge impact on businesses. Other threats will mutate to take account of any defenses already put in place. The stakes will surely be higher in 2018!

 

Prevention is better than protection

Many businesses are now very wisely moving away from cybersecurity protection to cybersecurity prevention. This move is actually more economical for small to medium organizations. As cyber attacks evolve and become more sophisticated, it’s important that your infrastructure is protected and up-to-date to prevent potential incidents.

The move from protection to prevention means taking a proactive approach instead of waiting to respond when an incident happens. Anticipating and predicting possible attacks can help you identify any weaknesses and put measures in place before a possible attack takes place.  

So, how can you budget for cybersecurity to prevent attacks? You can caution against these high-stake cybersecurity threats by approaching cybersecurity in the right way and preparing adequately.

 

The 11 Most Critical Protections Every Business Must Have in Place to Protect Themselves from Cyber Attacks and Data Breaches

 

Budgeting for preventative cybersecurity

If you haven’t looked at your cybersecurity for a while, it’s best to begin with, a security assessment. The assessment will establish your baseline at the start so any existing vulnerabilities can be dealt with quickly to secure your company from ‘easy’ leaks. Then, long-term solutions can be put in place to ensure monitoring and recovery are commonplace and an attack can be dealt with quickly and with minimal impact.

These are the absolute essential areas that we recommend you budget for in your IT security plan to keep your company safe:

1. Upgrades and Updates

Budget for regular updates on software. Microsoft, Java, and Adobe, for example, all release regular updates to their software to fix bugs and to enhance security. Additionally, patches are released to fix security vulnerabilities before they are exploited.

We recommend an automated ‘critical update’ service to ensure that all updates are completed and patches installed to prevent access from known attacks. Updates can be done outside of normal office hours to minimise disruption to your operations.

2. Staff Training

Train your staff and train them often! Today, 95% of breaches happen due to employee error. Educating staff on how to spot a bad website or email is extremely important and plays a huge part in the reduction of security breaches. As is, staying up to date with evolving cybersecurity risks incorporating security protocols into the company’s corporate culture.

3. Advanced Endpoint Protection

Invest in an advanced endpoint protection to secure your network across user endpoints. Using endpoint protection can help protect your network by using advanced behaviour monitoring technology to identify both existing and new threats that traditional anti-virus software can’t keep up with.

By viewing each computer as an ‘endpoint’, the program prevents, identifies and reverses threats from malware, viruses, and cyber attacks. And through monitoring deep-level activity, endpoint protection automatically responds and blocks potential threats to your network by isolating the endpoint device to contain and deal with the attack. The software can then rollback and restore infected files to their previous trusted state.

4. Backups

Implement a backup strategy and backup frequently! Performing regular backups can minimise the impact of any potential cybersecurity attack by ensuring that you still have access to your files even if a hacker holds them to ransom.

When backing-up your files, it is best to not only back your files up locally and to the cloud, but to also have an offline backup that is frequently updated. However, remember it is not only important to backup your files but to also test your backup and test it often to check it is working!

5. Network Monitoring

Establish and implement a proactive network monitoring plan. Instead of taking a reactive approach, establishing a proactive network monitoring plan can help you to avoid any problems by assisting you in the early detection of potential threats. The first step to proactive network monitoring is to select the right tools to carry out your network monitoring and ensure that your IT person or company implements them correctly and efficiently.

By requesting monthly reports as a minimum, and taking the time to understand them, you can use the data as a guide to optimize the network environment. Additionally, by reviewing your network monitoring executive summary and network Health and Patching reports often, you can prevent potential incidents by quickly identifying any security gaps or weakness. Active monitoring of your network can help to reduce risk by not only detecting any network anomalies but also identifying non-compliant devices within your network

 

All in all, as cybersecurity threats are set to continue to advance in 2018, cybersecurity prevention is key. By ensuring that you focus on the 5 essential areas outlined above and budget accordingly you can help to prepare your business effectively.

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