Cybersecurity spending is one of the most underrated things in the business world. With the onset of the digital era, there are tons of innovations that happen every single day that lead to more convenience of carrying business operations and personal daily tasks. However, with these new and innovative applications, comes the looming danger of cyber attacks. It goes without saying that the more we use a particular software, the more data we stand to lose in case of a cyber incident. What this article is going to highlight is the problem that engulfs the entire business world, including public organisations: why organisations are not spending adequately on ethical hacking?
Let’s start with some facts. Usually, the cyber security budget of companies is known to be a tiny part of their entire IT budget, roughly below 5%. Now, while it is better than nothing, it is also downright unfortunate. Companies like Microsoft have now become aware of the importance of increasing cyber security spending and have increased their cyber security budget to over 1 billion US dollars every year from now onwards. As quoted by the CEO of Microsoft, cybersecurity is rightly seen as the central challenge of the digital age.
But what are the challenges to this budgetary decision? What are the roadblocks in understanding the importance of this investment? Is it the lack of funds or it is the lack of vision? Many questions wander our minds. When looked into the problem, it was found that on one hand, many businesses underestimate the need for cybersecurity investment, stating that they are already spending too much on the task. On the other hand, many businesses simply fail to understand how much they should allocate to cybersecurity and how to distribute that budget effectively over different services. Overall, it seems to be a matter of lack of proper guidance and information. There are little to no sources explaining how organisations should divide their cyber security budget among hiring professionals like CSO (Chief Security Officer), CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker), computer forensic experts etc., purchasing security products, conducting security audits and providing basic cyber security training to employees.
As a result, organisations simply leave the task or invest in a disorganised way never realising that with security, it is simply a matter of a tiny mistake in the wrong place. Most of the time, organisations are found to only make this matter a priority to meet compliances and regulations posed by data protection acts and government bodies. Needless to say, this shows the abysmal state that cybersecurity currently finds itself in, in our global economy. However, things are now starting to look better, with all the efforts being made to open negligent corporate eyes to the rising fire of cyber crimes. Apart from educational strides being made in this field, that bolsters ethical hacking training and coding among young minds, there is a rising trend of making cyber security one of the top priorities among topmost organisations.
Lastly, this post will highlight another hidden issue or barrier that leads to low cybersecurity spending: not enough technical understanding. Most C-level employees and board members are not trained in technical aspects and fail to understand why investing in a particular software will make their organisation safer or better. At such a point, it becomes extremely difficult or nearly impossible to convince the management to spend a decent amount in the right places unless there is someone who can bridge this communication gap and talk numbers to them so that they can see the bigger picture, which is: It is better to invest a little in cybersecurity every year than to lose everything in a cyber attack at once.