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Enhancing Your Cybersecurity Posture Without Breaking The Bank | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


Apu Pavithran is the founder and CEO of Hexnode, an award-winning unified endpoint management platform.

“Permacrisis” is defined as an extended period of instability and insecurity. It’s a harsh but accurate way to sum up the events of 2022. The geopolitical conflicts, the slowing economic growth and the rising prices all point toward an inevitable truth: The world is heading toward another global recession. Consequently, for businesses to survive, they need to cut corners and reduce their expenses. Sadly, for SMBs, cybersecurity has always been on the lower end of their spectrum of boardroom priorities, and the forthcoming recession will most likely make no change on this front. However, with the number of attacks against SMBs increasing daily, cybersecurity can no longer take a backseat. Recession or not.

Maintaining a secure business network doesn’t require a lumpsum investment or a whole team of cybersecurity specialists. But, of course, any great security architecture will still accompany a certain amount of risk. Nevertheless, employing the right procedures can lessen the likelihood of such an attack while keeping your security budget in check.

How Much Should Companies Allocate For Cybersecurity

The world is investing more money in cybersecurity than ever in human history. By 2025, it is predicted that the global market for cybersecurity solutions and services will rise to $1.75 trillion.

While choosing your cybersecurity budget, a few variables call for thorough consideration. The size of your business and the industry, the compliance laws in effect, the sensitivity of the data and the requirements of your stakeholders and clients are essential areas to be considered before allocating resources. In most cases, the amount spent on cybersecurity can range between 5% to almost 25% of a firm’s annual IT budget. But, again, the level of security you obtain boils down not to the amount spent but rather how it is spent.

Your First Line Of Defense

Whether you are a well-known industry titan or a budding startup, your employees are always your first line of protection. They handle hundreds of thousands of potential gateways into your network and should be appropriately instructed in cyber-hygienic practices. Awareness about malicious phishing emails, setting strong passwords and using a VPN when using public Wi-Fi are some basic yet cogent cybersecurity practices. The majority of today’s firms implement a cybersecurity training program. Typically, such a session is only offered when a new employee joins the team. Given the rapid evolution of the cyber security landscape, personnel training workshops must be held periodically. This will ensure that your employees are updated on the latest trends that attackers follow and will be better equipped to handle an attack when such a situation materializes.

Time To Update

Similar to how employees must be frequently educated, your devices and security solutions must be updated frequently. When new threats emerge or when new vulnerabilities are discovered, most OS manufacturers release patches and updates designed to combat them. So, until and unless the patch is applied to your device, it remains susceptible. For example, in the early months of 2022, Apple announced that a vulnerability affecting iOS, iPadOS and macOS was being actively exploited to take complete control of a victim’s device. The tech giant immediately released a security patch that mitigates the attack and combats the vulnerability. Unfortunately, many devices that were not updated became prey to threat actors taking advantage of the vulnerability. As cyber criminals come up with new methods to steal data and access our systems, patching is a simple yet effective tool to improve an organization’s security posture.

The Right Combo Of Tools

Unlike the “one ring,” there is no one solution to rule over all the threats in the realm of cybersecurity. A proper security posture requires multiple solutions covering all the bases. However, being on a budget forces us to choose which solutions among the thousands make the cut. The ultimate aim should always not be to buy up all the tools you can get within the confines of your budget. The most optimum approach comes from choosing the right set of tools based on careful evaluations of one’s needs and the existing security measures. A few tools that I would recommend being vital to any business are—unified endpoint management (UEM) solutions, extended detection and response (XDR) solutions, zero-trust network access (ZTNA), remote browser isolation (RBI), firewall as a service (FWaaS), software-defined WAN, etc.

Once again, which of these solutions would fit your organization depends on your requirements, the regulations you require to uphold and your modus operandi. Additionally, most solutions I mentioned further help businesses move toward a zero-trust architecture. Zero-trust doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive, but instead can be accomplished by focusing on establishing its one tenant—“always verify, never trust.”

Furthermore, when choosing solutions, it would be wiser to choose those which have established integrations between them. This would provide more seamless and centralized access, significantly decreasing the burden on your IT admins and saving you from hiring bigger teams.

Closing Thoughts

For businesses, cybersecurity has evolved into a “need to have,” and your company’s budget should allocate more money for it. Yet, it’s crucial to remember that cybersecurity protection doesn’t depend solely on financial resources. It requires leadership, IT, and staff members to prioritize and be committed to it. As the world braces for the upcoming recession, businesses should accommodate the budget cuts bound to happen and render the choicest architecture conceivable to secure their network, devices and data.


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