May 24, 2018, 9:54 am

Why Investing Proactively in Cybersecurity Should Be at the Top of Your Budget

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: More Financial articles
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When it comes to business, the golden rule is that everything is always changing – and your business should change with it if you do not want it to perish. Entrepreneurship is not only about that great idea but also about knowing how and when to adapt to changes. As recent ransomware attacks have demonstrated, cybercrime is here to stay, and hackers seem keen to keep attacking companies rather than individuals – which means that companies have to adapt to this hostility, starting off by changing their budget.

How to Approach Your Budget

Changing a budget priority is not only about reallocating funds. It is mostly about employing a different perspective on things. What was perhaps once a footnote in how spending was approached has gradually emerged to the forefront of budgeting. Just like with the way advertising and marketing needs have evolved to adapt to the rapidly changing technology or the banking solutions that emerged to make online shopping easier, so has online security grown to occupy a much bigger space in a company’s needs. Any company today that does not have a dedicated IT department and an incident response plan is an easy target for cybercriminals wishing to steal sensitive data and extort companies for ransom by deploying malicious software.

Source: Pexels

Know the Enemy

In order to make sure that you allocate sufficient funds into cybersecurity, first you need to understand where the risk is coming from and at how much danger you are. For example, some types of attacks like spear phishing are more sophisticated and thus demand closer attention. Similar to phishing, spear phishing is a social engineering attack where a hacker disguises as a trusted entity in order to lure the victim into clicking on a malicious link that will give the perpetrator unauthorized access to data, install malware or even launch the first phase of an advanced persistent threat (APT). However, spear phishing is much more tailored than simple phishing rather than automated or sent en masse and thus more dangerous, because the recipient of the message is more likely to consider it genuine. Companies need to invest funds not only in cyber tools to fend off hackers but also in personnel training, as this would be the first and often most crucial line of defense in the case of tailored attacks like spear phishing.

Source: Pexels

Cyberattacks Are Bad for Business

Being proactive is key, as cyberattacks are not only bad for business in terms of disrupting service and turning clients away, they are also very expensive. According to the US White House’s Council of Economic Advisers study, the cost of cybercrime in the US economy amounted to a number somewhere between $57 billion and $109 billion, just for 2016 alone. This translates to a figure between 0.31% to 0.58% of that year’s GDP, which is a huge figure when it comes to a GDP of a country like the US. According to the report, the industries that were contributing the most to the country’s economy were hit the hardest, including manufacturing, government operations, and healthcare. Unsurprisingly, the finance sector was at the top of the number of incidents list, with a record of 471 breaches. The report, which became public in 2018, also suggested that insufficient funding in cybersecurity might be part of why the problem is so acute.

It is not easy to keep adapting to a changing landscape. Still, budgeting in for cybersecurity for your firm has evolved from simply a wise choice to an absolutely essential decision.

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