Do You Know How Much You Should Be Spending on Cybersecurity?
Nowadays, you can’t afford not to have some portion of your business’ budget set aside for cybersecurity. The question is, how much do you need, and what should you be spending it on first? Let’s take a few moments to dig a little deeper into this question and examine a few cybersecurity protections you should establish as your business’ baseline defenses.
How Much Should I Spend On My Business’ Cybersecurity?
If you were hoping to get a set dollar amount, I’m sorry to disappoint you.
Generally speaking, small and medium-sized businesses spend an average of anywhere from 5% to 20% of their entire information technology budget on their cybersecurity, with the average IT budget hovering around 4% of their overall budget.
So, if ACME Co. had an annual budget of $1,000,000, it would be reasonable to expect their IT budget to be around $40,000, with anywhere from $2000 to $8000 of that being dedicated specifically to cybersecurity each year.
Hopefully, this helps you to gauge where your investment into your cybersecurity is.
How to Spend Your Cybersecurity Budget Effectively
As the authority on business technology in New Hampshire, we’ve had plenty of experience in assisting companies manage their cybersecurity protections. It’s from this perspective that we suggest these three cybersecurity investments come first for businesses:
1. Staff Training
The unfortunate fact of the matter is that your employees and team members are always going to be one of your biggest vulnerabilities, as they are always going to be easier to fool than it is to hack into a computer. Whether it’s someone using “PASSWORD123_” as their login credential of choice or being fooled into providing access to your company’s data, many modern cyberattacks can tie their source to someone in the affected organization making a mistake.
Taking the time to teach your team about the risks your business is under and the cyberattacks that they’ll directly face is one of the most valuable things you’ll do to protect your organization. Make sure that this education is an ongoing one, with regular updates, refreshers, and evaluations.
2. A Security Audit
You also want to know where your biggest vulnerabilities are, simply so you know which issues are most pressing for you to improve. You might have a piece of software that’s missing a critical security update. Maybe one of your team was accidentally granted far greater permissions than their role calls for. A security audit can help identify these issues and incongruencies so they can be resolved and give you insight into where you need to focus your efforts next.
3. An All-Inclusive Cybersecurity Platform
Finally, you need to at least have the fundamental cybersecurity tools that will help eliminate most of the potential threats you would otherwise encounter. As cybercriminals have come up against improving security measures, they have had to become more enterprising in response…and as a result, your protections need to respond in kind.
Today, platforms exist that offer businesses a collection of tools and services that can be considered essential cybersecurity defense measures. The hard truth is that today’s businesses need antivirus and firewalls, they need the means for remote employees to securely access data on the company’s server, and they need to ensure that only those who need access to certain data have it. Modern platforms can cover all this, providing businesses with these firewalls and antivirus programs, virtual private networking, access controls, and more.
Mind you, we aren’t saying this is all your business needs. This is simply the baseline that we recommend you start from—the bare minimum.
White Mountain IT Services can not only help ensure these protections are properly implemented, we can help you expand your protections as you are able to optimally protect your business and its interests, at a rate that your budget can sustain. Give us a call at 603-889-0800 to learn more.