IT security breaches are becoming more frequent and costly. According to IBM Security’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023 UK organizations shell out an average of £3.4m for data breach incidents. There isn’t a CISO around that doesn’t wish they had that kind of budget to spend on IT security. The tools to help security teams do their job more effectively are out there, but getting them approved in the annual budget is not guaranteed and investment can sometimes be too late.
So what can UK IT leaders do to make sure they continue to improve their IT security without blowing their budget? Here are eight ways to bolster cybersecurity resources:
Hiring experienced IT security specialists can be expensive and the job market is fiercely competitive. However, there is a benefit to hiring less experienced staff. Cybersecurity is a team sport after all and there are plenty of cybersecurity team roles that don’t require years of experience. Adding ambitious junior staff to support the day-to-day tasks will ease some of the pressure on the rest of your team.
On top of that, it gives you a pool of fresh talent you can train to fit the needs of your team. More people means more room for everyone to focus on their dedicated tasks. A full cybersecurity team, where every role is filled will make operations run more smoothly – and it never hurts to have an extra pair of eyes looking out for security risks.
The playing field of IT is always changing so cybersecurity learning is a constant and ever-evolving need. A solid progression plan for your cybersecurity staff will help you determine which skills and knowledge your team needs.
There are an abundance of cybersecurity education programs, therefore it’s up to you to choose the cybersecurity education resources that would be worth investing in.
As well as training in core areas of IT security, organizations should look at developing their team’s soft skills – how to work under pressure, think on their feet, and resolve problems quickly. The team needs to know how to respond in emergency situations, maintain a professional demeanor, and stay calm when a security breach or disaster strikes.
3. Incentivize and Monitor the Performance of Your Cybersecurity Resources
A skilled and hard-working team won’t cut it if their efforts are being wasted in the wrong places. The right KPIs and a robust performance management program will help keep your team focused and motivated.
Meaningful meetings, effective deadlines, clear objectives, and thorough evaluations with each member all serve to keep your team on track. Consider incentivizing staff members who are doing a great job. This can boost morale and encourage others to follow their lead, giving your team greater motivation to maintain a top-notch performance.
The more IT teams know about the dangers their business is facing, the better equipped they will be to defend against them. The right software will help you to monitor and protect everything from individual computers to mobile devices, to the entire network infrastructure.
An ideal solution for enhancing your cybersecurity stance is a comprehensive tool that provides a thorough understanding of your IT infrastructure. Invest in a tool that enables your IT team to uncover hidden elements, establish a comprehensive inventory of your IT assets, and enhance your cybersecurity measures. Be sure it facilitates vulnerability detection, patch application, upgrades, and adherence to prominent cybersecurity frameworks as these features will contribute to a robust cybersecurity strategy.
If your payroll is constrained, it might be a viable option to outsource some of your IT support services. However, outsourcing IT support only really only works if you can find a Managed Service Provider (MSP) that can either do it cheaper than hiring someone yourself (often not the case) or if IT services are budgeted differently within your company than payroll.
Outsourcing to an MSP or or Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) is however is good way to get expertise in the short term in the current challenging labor market as finding IT Engineers with the correct level of expertise can be difficult. By outsourcing some of your team’s day-to-day responsibilities to a trusted third party, you can save time and focus on core business activities.
If you’re expanding and optimizing your IT team, AND looking for new software AND investigating outsourcing opportunities it can be easy to overlook the importance of managing the existing suppliers you already have. Running a thorough review of suppliers and the services they provide might present opportunities where you can reduce your cybersecurity spending.
By doing a full cybersecurity review, you can weigh each service you have against the cost and renegotiate your agreement or look for a more worthwhile alternative. Ask your team what value they are getting from your current suppliers and compare them to other options. Alternatively, ask your existing supplier what more they could offer. You may end up with a better service, boosting your overall IT security.
IT security is a company-wide responsibility – and this needs to be made clear to everyone. The better your workforce is informed about cybersecurity, the easier the job will be for your IT security team. Training your entire workforce may seem like a big investment. However, knowing that the average cost of a cyber attack in 2022 was $4.35 million, it can be argued that it is worth it.
Make IT security an important part of employee onboarding and introduce regular training sessions for staff members. Focus on the essentials like strong passwords, how to spot phishing emails, keeping software updated, suspicious links, and multi-factor authentication.
Involve the whole workforce in keeping your company safe. This should help minimize damage and disruption to your business and make everyone more accountable for IT security.
It’s important to focus your IT team’s time and effort on the tasks that really matter. Find the tasks that take up the most time and investigate whether these processes can be automated. You might think that cybersecurity automation is expensive, however, once you compare the cost of automated cybersecurity tasks with that of the labor required to do everything manually, it should be a no-brainer.
For example, automating the identification and inventory process for your complete IT infrastructure is entirely possible through the use of IT Asset Management software. a key feature of this solution. EThe effective management of IT assets plays a vital role in bolstering IT security efforts since safeguarding the unknown is challenging. Through routine automated scans, you can consistently maintain an accurate and current record of all devices linked to your network, thereby providing a more robust IT environment support for your various IT endeavors.
In an ever-evolving landscape of IT security challenges, the imperative to safeguard sensitive data and digital assets is undeniable. Navigating this landscape calls for strategic resource allocation, by smartly recruiting, upskilling, outsourcing, and making judicious technology investments, companies can fortify their defenses without financial strain. These strategies pave the way for enhanced cybersecurity, marked by resilience and security without having to blow your IT budget.
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Karen Lambrechts, Content & Thought Leadership Manager, Lansweeper.