Overcoming Budget Challenges: Proving Your Cybersecurity’s ROI

As risks to business from cyber threats continue to grow (along with budgets), the pressure is on for cybersecurity programs and leaders to justify their spend. Here’s one way to do it.

Throughout the pandemic, many businesses have dealt with the technology and logistical complexities relating to remote work, web-based meetings, evolving sales processes, and fewer person-to-person interactions. Organizations have deployed more online tools and applications to facilitate these online engagements, and this transformation creates a significant increase in the opportunities for bad actors to target and attack.

The big picture is that there are more attackers, with better tools and processes, who now have access to more targets — which creates a significant challenge for businesses.

For many businesses, budget season is around the corner. With many factors driving uncertainty and concern, undoubtedly some will be looking for areas to cut back on spending. While the need for stronger security is greater than ever, cybersecurity budgets may face scrutiny as these usually are categorized as an operating expense.

According to PwC’s 2022 Global Digital Trust Insights report, 69% of the organizations polled expect to increase their cybersecurity spend in 2022. Budget cuts in this area would leave organizations potentially exposed, so a growing cybersecurity budget sounds like good news – but a bigger budget understandably draws larger scrutiny. As risks to business from cyber threats continue to grow (along with budgets), the pressure is on for cybersecurity programs and leaders to justify their spend, especially to the board and C-suite.

A starting point for the conversation is how a sound cybersecurity position can contribute to the key metrics that boards and executives measure. Start with the bottom line — a measure of the company’s overall financial performance (e.g., earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), net profit, and revenue growth from new and existing customers). Then consider the unbudgeted hard and soft costs of a successful attack.

The specific costs related to an attack, of course, will vary in both scope and scale. But going through the exercise of listing out unplanned costs that would be incurred should a security incident happen, and then determining the real monetary value of these remediation and mitigation efforts, can show that an ounce of prevention is indeed worth a pound of cure in cybersecurity.

When determining the hard costs of incident remediation, consider these factors:

  • A ransomware demand
  • Forensic teams to determine the extent of the impact
  • Legal support
  • A notification plan for any personal data that may be exposed
  • PR services to develop messaging to respond to customers and the market
  • IT resources and time to harden existing systems and networks
  • Additional preventative measures

While soft costs are harder to enumerate, they are equally important to consider:

  • Customer confidence
  • Employee morale
  • Employee churn
  • Vendors and partners
  • Broader community

In the long run, the perception that the board, the C-suite, customers, and even current and potential investors would have of an organization, its “brand,” and credibility could also be impacted, depending on the severity of the security incident and the efficacy of remediation efforts.

Businesses do not have to go through this ROI exercise alone. A managed cybersecurity services provider such as SilverSky not only can quickly enhance your security posture. It can help you document your security position, align it with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework or other recognized cybersecurity standards — and help you communicate your in-place security policies and strategy to executives, partners, customers, and prospects. This can both differentiate your company – and drive confidence in your business’s ability to effectively defend against and mitigate cyber threats.

 Reach out to us today if you’d like more information on how we can help, or visit our solutions page.