As cybersecurity risk continues to evolve and threats become more sophisticated, organisations are starting to invest more in measures to mitigate risks and protect their business. For some organisations, cybersecurity has become a critical investment and is a top board concern. For other organisations, it can be more difficult to treat cybersecurity with the priority that is required for several reasons...
- Lack of regulations: In some cases, organisations may not prioritise cybersecurity because there are no strict regulations or legal requirements in place that mandate certain standards. Without external pressure, organisations may choose to focus on other areas.
How to avoid hidden cybersecurity costs
Like all departments within an organisation, the budget is not finite, and it is hard work to justify your spend. So, what you do not want once you have secured your cybersecurity budget is any hidden costs coming out of nowhere. However, beneath the surface of seemingly transparent cybersecurity budgets often lie hidden costs that can catch organisations off guard. Uncovering and mitigating these concealed expenses is crucial for effective cybersecurity planning and resource allocation.
1. Comprehensive risk assessment
The first step in avoiding hidden costs in cybersecurity is to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment. Identify and evaluate potential threats, vulnerabilities, and the potential impact of a security breach. Understanding the specific risks that your organisation faces enables you to allocate resources more efficiently and prioritise investments in the most critical areas. It is worth noting that a cybersecurity program is a journey, and it is not always effective to try and tackle every risk at once.
Annual investment to support reducing the risk posed by cybersecurity threats will allow for your program to mature year after year. If your organisation lacks the specialist skills to be able to support identifying the cybersecurity threats facing your business cybersecurity risk management services can help with this process.
2. Capturing requirements
Once you have identified your risks and the capabilities that you want to invest in you then need to outline your requirements for those capabilities. When reviewing cybersecurity technologies assess how you are going to use it and what you want to be able to achieve. Outlining requirement use cases is a useful way to determine if a tool is going to meet your needs. It is also key to understand additional capabilities that you may not need currently but may need in the future as this ensures that the product can meet your growing requirements. This includes keeping on top of new features released by the technology vendor as part of their continued product development. Often organisations forget to do this step and it results in them not fully utilising the tools they have in place and then adding additional security tools when they are not required.
3. Cyber insurance
Having a cyber insurance policy helps pay for any financial losses that may be incurred as a result of a cyber-attack or data breach. Some providers also cover costs related to the remediation process. Understanding what is and is not included in your policy is crucial to making sure you get the most out of your policy but also avoid paying for services that may be included through your insurance provider.
4. Regular training and awareness programs
Investing in regular training and awareness programs for employees can significantly reduce the risk of unintentional security breaches. Educated and vigilant employees are your first line of defence against phishing attacks and other social engineering tactics that can lead to hidden costs.
5. Transparent vendor relationships
When selecting cybersecurity vendors, transparency is key. Hidden costs often arise from unclear licensing agreements, unexpected fees, or add-ons that were not initially disclosed. Prioritise vendors who are open about their pricing structures and any potential additional charges. Thoroughly review contracts and engage in a dialogue with vendors to clarify any ambiguities.
6. Up-to-date software and patch management
Using outdated software and neglecting patch management can lead to security vulnerabilities, eventually resulting in cyberattacks. The cost of recovering from an attack can far exceed the expenses associated with maintaining up-to-date software. Regularly update and patch your systems to ensure they are protected against emerging threats. Implementation of a vulnerability assessment capability allows you to gain visibility of your threat exposure allowing you to take remedial action to secure your systems.
7. Monitoring and incident response
Investing in proactive monitoring tools and incident response capabilities can save costs in the long run. Early detection of potential threats allows for a quicker response, minimising the impact and associated recovery expenses. Regularly test and review incident response plans to ensure they remain effective in the face of evolving cyber threats. If you do not have an incident response capability, having a pre-arranged agreement with a third party will allow you to respond to incidents quickly and also secure you better rates if an incident does occur.
8. Cloud security considerations
As organisations migrate to the cloud, understanding the implications of cybersecurity is crucial. Cloud services often come with their own pricing models and potential hidden costs. The ability to turn modules and capabilities on and off can now be done all at the click of a button by technical teams. But often the impact of turning on capabilities is not seen until the next payment cycle. Thoroughly review and understand the pricing structures of cloud service providers and consider implementation of controls to ensure that any deployment of new capabilities is fully impact assessed. Also, invest effort into implementing tools that provide visibility into cloud applications. With solutions like LogRhythm Axon’s Cloud SIEM Platform, organisations can optimise cloud costs and efficiency by right-sizing workloads, automating scaling, and gaining transparency across cloud environments.
9. Data privacy compliance
Failure to comply with data privacy regulations can result in severe financial penalties. Invest in understanding and adhering to relevant regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, DORA, or HIPAA, depending on your industry and location. Non-compliance can lead to legal costs, fines, and damage to your organisation's reputation.
10. Regular security testing and audits
Conducting regular security testing and audits helps identify vulnerabilities and areas for improvement. By proactively addressing issues, you can avoid the hidden costs associated with data breaches, downtime, and reputational damage. Outline an annual security testing and audit schedule. Engage third-party experts to provide an unbiased assessment of your cybersecurity posture. Understanding your annual requirements helps you forecast your costs more accurately.
Help with reducing cybersecurity costs
Navigating the complex landscape of cybersecurity costs requires a proactive and comprehensive approach. By conducting thorough risk assessments, investing in employee training, maintaining transparency with vendors, and staying compliant with regulations, organisations can minimise the risk of hidden costs. The evolving nature of cyber threats necessitates a continual commitment to cybersecurity, ensuring that resources are allocated efficiently to protect against both known and emerging risks. To make sure your organisation gets the best out of your cybersecurity investments and ensure hidden costs don't take you by surprise, contact LRQA Nettitude.