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As Budgets Tighten, Companies Should Increase – Not Slash – Their Cyber Budgets

In the face of an economic downturn or “tightening up”, leaders at mid-sized companies and large enterprises alike are looking for places to trim budgets and cut resources. It’s tempting to shave off your cybersecurity budget, people or tooling, but that's the wrong call. Here are three reasons why organizations shouldn’t cut their cybersecurity budgets – and why now might actually be the perfect time to double down on your security posture investments. 

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Security is Not a “Nice to Have”

More and more organizations have made cybersecurity a priority in recent years, with the number of organizations hiring cybersecurity professionals and listing cybersecurity as a separate budget line item increasing in the last four years. 

However, threats increase and most organizations still aren’t fully prepared. A recent survey conducted by The Washington Post found that 43% of cybersecurity experts believe US industry and government are more vulnerable to attacks than we were five years ago. While investments in cybersecurity have helped prepare us against yesterday’s threats, new risks appear every day and we’re not keeping up. 

There’s a clear business case for investing in cybersecurity staff and tools. The cost of cyber incidents – including ransoms paid, fines levied, and class action suits that follow breaches – dwarfs the expense of cybersecurity teams and appropriate tools. Ransomware attacks are on the rise and the average ransom paid has increased nearly fivefold since 2021 to an average of $800,000. 

While it’s tempting to slash the budget of every department that isn’t directly driving revenue, organizations that cut security teams do so at their own peril. 

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Automation Drives Efficiency, So Your Teams Can Do More

The security tools your cyber and engineering teams use increase their productivity exponentially.  While CFO’s and COO’s may see software budgets the perfect target for slicing, hard times are actually the right time to deploy new tools to improve efficiency. 

Automation multiplies the impact of a single engineer, meaning that your current team can get more done. With automation your teams can deliver software and applications faster and reduce the number of system admins and engineers required to manage an organization's infrastructure. Cost savings come from speed, efficiency, and reallocation of staff.  

As the engineering talent pool shrinks and the cyber skills gap grows, organizations need to do whatever they can to keep their valuable engineering and cyber employees satisfied and engaged with their work. Tools like Sicura that automate manual and tedious tasks do that, while also freeing up talent to work on complex problems and deliver business objectives faster. 

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Customers Still Expect and Demand Security

As market outlooks decline, it’s more important than ever to hang onto your existing customers and keep them happy. Cybersecurity has become a key differentiator as organizations look to evaluate competing solutions. 

Cybersecurity practices are a key concern for enterprise customers when evaluating vendors. As the SolarWinds breach demonstrated, you are only as secure as the weakest link in your cyber chain. Compliance policies like PCI-DSS (for payment card data) and GDPR (enforced by the European Union) allow companies to evaluate potential vendors’ trustworthiness and ensure their own data is not at risk. Tools including compliance checklists, scanners, and configuration managers like Sicura help organizations achieve and demonstrate compliance with those policies. 

More and more companies require cybersecurity insurance from their vendors. Insurers demand specific technical controls, including strong password controls, network segmentation and segregation, and disabled admin privileges. Organizations that can demonstrate their adherence to cyber best practices stand a better chance of securing insurance coverage, closing new deals, and hanging onto their current customers throughout budget cuts. 

Now is not the time to cut your cyber budget. In fact, when faced with growing uncertainty, increasing risks, and a continued need to demonstrate and maintain security, today might be the perfect time for an increase in your cyber investment – one that will pay off for years to come. 

To learn more about how Sicura can help your organization achieve security, improve efficiency, and demonstrate preparedness to your auditors and customers, get in touch.