Planning Your 2020 Cybersecurity Budget

IT Director planning IT security budget

Cybersecurity risks are at an all-time high. As technology continues to develop and expand at a blistering rate, cybercrimes are keeping pace, becoming more threatening and rampant than ever before. In fact, PR Newswire reports that cybercrime is the fastest-growing type of crime and is predicted to cost the world a whopping $6 trillion annually by 2021.

As such, it’s important for businesses to consider cybersecurity and data protection as an important aspect of business–with a budget effectively planned out every year. That’s because it is far less expensive to prevent cyber-attacks than to repair the damages they can cause, and where prevention might falter, a good mitigation plan (and a budget to match), is definitely worth preparing. To help you get started, here are a few notes on how to plan your business’ cybersecurity budget for 2020.

The Key Steps to Planning Your Budget

As with most things, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for the question of how to budget for cybersecurity, since every organization has a different set of needs and resources. But for a ballpark figure, CSO reports that the average company spends around 15% of its overall information technology (IT) budget on security, with 1 in 4 spending at least 20% of their IT budget to protect their company data.

To flesh out your own budget, start by evaluating everything your company uses, from your legacy applications and the costs of their updates, to the costs of the new applications, devices, and technologies being adopted by your company. Doing this will allow you to see what network security technologies your company needs.

From here, you can then begin outlining a clear set of goals when setting your cybersecurity budget. Having goals and breaking it down into smaller numbers will make it easier for you to know what you should consider when drafting your budget, and how much your business should allocate for cybersecurity. Breaking down goals into parts is the concept behind what are called “SMART” goals, which Marcus notes stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. While you don’t have to do the letters in order, make sure that each and every aspect is present is important, to ensure your cybersecurity budget is feasible and justifiable.

For example, if you are aiming to update the antivirus software on all company devices, iron out the details like which software you are getting, whether the cost and features are worth the investment, if it will be easily understandable for your employees, and what your timeline will be.

What Should Your Cybersecurity Budget Look Like?

A cybersecurity budget varies from company to company, as there are different variables involved, such as the size of the company, the kinds of networks they maintain, and the different levels of risk involved.

However, one rule of thumb that Forbes recommends is seeing cybersecurity as an asset, not as an added cost or nuisance to your company. And as an asset, a cybersecurity budget should involve investments geared towards data protection as well as reducing, mitigating, and transferring the critical data asset risks of your organization. Look towards having investments on software, protocol, and training. Lastly, regulatory compliance should also be looked into.

For other IT budgeting concerns and questions, check out how PEI can assist your business.

Leslie Dixon, Guest Contributor

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