November is budget season for most small and mid-size enterprises (SME). This year, many business leaders are looking for areas to reduce their budget to deal with the uncertainty of the coming year. I’m here to make the case against any reduction to cybersecurity in the coming year.
There are two ways to look at cybersecurity at an SME: either as an operating expense that represents the cost of doing business in the modern world or as a sales enablement tool that opens the business to new markets. Let’s start with the first view as it’s the most prevalent.
Cybersecurity, an operating expense
As businesses have been forced to speed along their cloud migration and digital workplace initiatives due to the pandemic, we’re seeing cybercriminals increasingly targeting SMEs. The reasoning is simple: major cloud platforms use a wide array of alerts and messages that may be unfamiliar to employees, therefore making them prone to clicking links or sharing credentials. In fact, the Verizon Business 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report found that users are three times more likely to click on a phishing link and then enter their credentials than they were pre-COVID.
In addition, the cost of data breaches has dramatically gone up over the years as cybercriminals have learned how to monetize attacks more efficiently. Recent research from Cybersecurity Ventures indicates that cybercrime will cost businesses $6 trillion by 2021, doubling the total from 2015. Not only are SMEs more susceptible to cyberattacks but malicious outsiders are making more money from them. Businesses that don’t continue to invest in cybersecurity run a much higher risk of becoming compromised and have the potential to cost their organization millions of dollars.
The value of cybersecurity
While the threat of cyberattacks is real, it’s often difficult to communicate cybersecurity’s value to the Board in those terms. Instead, IT professionals or business owners can think of cybersecurity in terms of how it can contribute to the business’s bottom line. Compliance with major regulatory bodies – including GDPR and HIPAA – as well as certifications from cloud providers (AWS, Google, or Microsoft) or notable frameworks, such as NIST or the Cloud Security Alliance, demonstrate an organization’s commitment to protecting its clients’ data. This can be a critical differentiator for an organization’s sales team and help close deals or prevent customer churn.
A good way to manage an effective cybersecurity program that protects critical assets and employees while also creating business value is to let the experts at Cygilant take the reins. By working with a cybersecurity-as-a-service provider, SMEs can leverage our team of cybersecurity professionals that hold many major certifications to protect sensitive data 24x7x365. With Cygilant Cybersecurity-as-a-Service, our always-on SOC-as-a-Service offering, business leaders not only have visibility into their IT environments, but can also use several best-of-breed enterprise security tools at a fraction of their normal cost. This helps businesses prevent, detect, identify, respond, and recover against cyberattacks. Finally, Cygilant offers expertise and key compliance requirements for businesses in highly-regulated industries including banks, credit unions, and healthcare facilities.
Cybersecurity is a vital component to the success of every business, regardless of size or industry. Organizations must make tough choices to navigate today’s volatile corporate environment but should reduce their security budget only as a last resort.
Interested in learning more about Cygilant can help your SME stay secure? Let’s Talk!