As cyberattack instances and damage continue to mount, the need to develop a strategy to counter them is becoming more pressing. No one is disputing the benefits of beefier cybersecurity. Still, it’s natural for businesses to want to maximize their returns.
This article examines common cybersecurity practices businesses should adopt and ranks them by way of ROI (Return on Investment) potential. All are essential to run a business smoothly from a cybersecurity standpoint. However, the breakdown can help you figure out which ones to prioritize.
Several factors make giving general advice on cybersecurity ROI expectations difficult. Different businesses have unique cybersecurity needs and priorities. For example, a measure that protects transaction histories and payment processing will be more effective for a retailer than a facility providing elderly care.
Cybersecurity risks are also less tangible than others. When assessing them, how do you put a price on a data breach that hasn’t happened? IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach report states the average amounts to more than $4 million. Double that for healthcare, and you get a broad answer that may not apply to your industry or company.
Having said that, it’s not impossible to make some generalizations about the most common cybersecurity practices. Here’s what you can expect from each.
Keeping operating systems, programs, and antivirus / antimalware solutions up to date is a no-brainer. The updates take care of themselves, adding new features while patching exploits and making your systems more secure. There are no maintenance costs other than licensing, yet each update brings protection from more threats.
Human error is to blame for more than 80% of data breaches. The attacks that cause them can be sophisticated and use social engineering to trick people into giving up sensitive data. Cybersecurity training teaches employees how to recognize and respond to such dangers.
Fostering cybersecurity awareness costs little per employee, yet its disaster-mitigating potential is exceptional. It adds the benefit of making employees more aware and receptive to adopting other cybersecurity measures.
The training mentioned above is sure to also touch on the dangers of relying on the same or similar password for multiple accounts. Enforcing a unique password policy is a good start. However, that can’t account for people wasting the IT department’s time whenever they lose their login credentials.
A company-wide password manager is a cost-effective solution. This provides access to all their accounts while securing each with a long, distinct password. Doing so decreases employee downtime. It frees IT staff to do more important work and distills password-related costs into a single budget item.
Two-factor authentication augments and completes password management. It slightly impacts productivity since logging into a 2FA-protected account adds an extra step. However, such accounts are more secure since a stolen password is no longer enough to access them.
We’re lumping these crucial procedures together since it’s unclear how much time and resources you need to devote to each. Depending on the company, it might be more cost-effective to hire a third party to help with them rather than do it in-house.
Risk assessment is essential for developing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy tailored to your business. It highlights the quantity and type of assets that need protection. Risk assessment highlights vulnerabilities in your existing procedures and strives to predict the impact of a compromise.
An incident response plan is a set of policies that establishes duties and regulates the company’s behavior if and when an incident happens. It should be in place long before, though. The plan serves as a guide for identification through containment and post-incident activities.
Both practices help companies efficiently allocate their cybersecurity resources. They make businesses better prepared for attacks, not to mention legal & regulatory ramifications. That leads to less downtime, fewer losses, and more efficient future responses.
Data loss can bring day-to-day operations to a standstill, so investing in backup options is a must. Some companies opt to use legacy physical drives. Others embrace secure business cloud storage as the more modern and versatile alternative.
Cloud storage offers better encryption and more nuanced access control. It makes setting up user roles easy & simplifies logging. Cloud providers offer flexible plans. Still, some companies with ballooning storage requirements may find keeping up with the costs difficult. Separating highly sensitive data from other files that require lower degrees of security is a proven strategy for bringing such costs down.