• May 11, 2023
  • Catagory IT management

Get the Most Security For Your Budget

By : Justin Folkerts

More security tools don’t automatically mean your business is fully protected – blowing the budget on cybersecurity will have diminishing returns. You need to spend smarter, especially if your budget is constrained.

In addition to having the right technology, you need to have proper framework to guide your security investments. These frameworks include how you manage user onboarding, remote access to your network and who’s allowed to spin up new applications in the cloud. Having accurate and transparent guidelines for how employees work will enable to be precise with your security investments.

You must also understand your organization’s attack surfaces – operating systems, device types including employee laptops and smartphones, cloud technologies, browsers and email clients will all determine how you spend your budget for security. They are all vectors for threat actors to exploit.

It’s critical that you must implement effective controls to protect applications and data and a method of ensuring they are functioning consistently and effectively. Most of all, you must look for opportunities to automate because one of the biggest line items in your security budget is people.

Consider all points of access

Your controls for protecting applications and data should be ready to confront ransomware, malware, distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks, internal threats due to disgruntled employees and human error, bearing in mind that each vulnerability is a doorway that opens wider access to your IT infrastructure. These controls must be ready to deal with a dynamic landscape as threat actors are constantly changing their tactics and techniques and consider every access point an opportunity.

Even if you’ve fully leveraging cloud technologies to run your business, you can’t depend fully on your cloud service provider to secure your applications and data – you need to understand where their responsibilities end and yours begin. If you’ve not moved to the cloud, doing so can help you get more for your security budget.

Prepare for a breach

Even if you’re confident that you’ve enabled all the proper controls, your security budget should account for a data breach – you need to assume that a threat actor might gain initial access and be ready to mitigate and learn from the attack.

One way to ready yourself for a breach is to fully understand what’s normal for your organization. It’s easier to spot malicious activity when you have a baseline for what is standard operating procedure. Having the right endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools go a long way to providing the necessary visibility to proactively protect your data and applications. You must also remember that each system comes with its own settings and best practices that contribute to your overall security.

Automation pays off

Given everything you must monitor and control and assuming it’s just a matter of when not if a breach occurs, you must automate wherever possible if you’re to attain maximum protection and resiliency within a constrained security budget. Even if the sky was the limit, the competition for cybersecurity talent is fierce.

You can’t detect, manage, mitigate, remediate, and maintain an adequate security posture without automation. You must be able to update software, firmware, and patches automatically as much as possible while also track the behavior of every asset over time so you can maintain their security consistently as employees come and go and passwords are changed.

You can best get the most of your security budget through automation by doing it in concert with your broader IT systems, especially those already set up to track your assets. Cloud-based technologies can also aid in mapping and scoring your security budget.

If you’re a smaller organization, you should consider turning to a managed service provider to help with you automate as well as evaluate your security frameworks and tools. They can take on many aspects of data and application protection, help you redeploy your staff most effectively and get you the biggest bang for your security budget.