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How to make the best use of your cybersecurity budget 

Organisations of all sizes are currently feeling a financial squeeze. In the UK, inflation has just been increased for 12th consecutive time, as the challenging economic environment continues to force mass redundancies and strategic cost cutting across all sectors.  

But simultaneously, the threat landscape continues to expand. One third of UK businesses have experienced cyberattacks in the last 12 months, rising to nearly 70% of large businesses. And the costs associated with such breaches are huge. According to a latest industry ransomware report, the average ransom payment now surpasses a staggering £1.2 million, and almost half of UK organisations are choosing to pay the ransom demanded of them by cybercriminals. 

Facing both economic and security challenges, more than ever, organisations need proactive, cost-effective solutions that can deliver return-on-investment (ROI) and ensure protection from costly data breaches. 

Invest in the essentials 

A first step for organisations wanting to ensure they invest their cybersecurity budget effectively is to proactively identify vulnerabilities in their IT environment. Measures like cybersecurity maturity assessments, vulnerability scanning, and penetration testing evaluate operational resiliency and uncover weaknesses in security posture, giving businesses time and guidance for remediation. For public sector organisations, this may also take the form of a mandated IT Health Check to review and provide assurance over the security of key systems and infrastructure. Through these proactive measures, from the get-go organisations can guarantee limited budget is spent on fixing the most critical issues. 

After gaining a better understanding of where investment is needed most, enterprises are well positioned to establish foundational cyber hygiene and acceptable risk level. What’s important to remember when it comes to cybersecurity is that investing in the essentials can significantly boost your cyber resilience; basic cyber hygiene can actually protect against 98% of all attacks. Central to this is instilling a ‘security-first’ mindset across the organisation, aided by regular cybersecurity awareness training and phishing simulations to educate the workforce on their role on protecting against cybercrime. And implemented alongside other proactive measures like multi-factor authentication and privilege access management, businesses can make best use of their security spend by not only ensuring basic cyber hygiene is in place but developing a defence-in-depth approach. 

Another great way for organisations to save money and showcase that they have adopted proactive security measures is to achieve ISO 27001 certification. In particular, this certification can help businesses reduce their cyber insurance premiums by mitigating and identifying security risks, improving security posture, enhancing reputation and supporting compliance with regulatory requirements. As well as making budgetary sense, ISO 27001 certification ensures organisations establish the strong foundational level of cybersecurity that is critical in the current threat landscape. 

Consider outsourcing 

While strong cyber hygiene can protect against many potentially devastating attacks, there is always the risk that a hacker slips through the security net. However, many businesses simply don’t have the internal resources necessary to ensure 24/7/365 threat monitoring and detection across their IT environments. Mass tech layoffs paired with a burgeoning cyber skills gap – now sitting at 3.5 million unfilled vacancies worldwide – mean that IT and security professionals are becoming more overwhelmed and burnt-out. An increasingly popular option for organisations in this predicament is outsourcing. 

By going beyond the basics and engaging with third party security experts, enterprises benefit from the aggregate value of wide and varied threat intelligence and experience gained from years of working in the threat landscape. And outsourcing need not be costly. In fact, setting up a Security Operations Centre (SOC) in-house would set organisations back by £500,000 on average, not to mention the resource and time-intensive nature of the exercise.  

Outsourcing SOC services not only guarantees ROI with round-the-clock threat monitoring, but also frees up internal teams from labour-intensive manual processes and threat detection, enabling them to invest time and resources in digital transformation, upskilling and developing business capabilities. 

Get in touch to learn more about DigitalXRAID’s Managed SOC services. 

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