With cyber-threats evolving at an exponential rate, CISOs need to identify how they can use their allocated cybersecurity budget to its extent to maximize it.
With the beginning of a new year, many organizations are taking steps to allocate their budgets, including cybersecurity. But, with the surge in the number of cyber-attacks and their increasingly complex nature, even organizations that have already boosted their cybersecurity budgets for 2022 need to rethink their cybersecurity budgets. CISOs need to maximize their allocated budget to ensure it lasts all year and improve their overall cybersecurity.
CISOs should keep in mind that their ultimate goal is to not invest in more tools to track the increasing number of vulnerabilities, but that cybersecurity is focused on protecting the assets that are most relevant to overall business operations. However, since there will always be some risk, here are a few ways for CISOs to manage them while optimizing their allocated budget.
Have a comprehensive view
The sign of an effective cybersecurity team is based on a combination of human talent, work processes and the right tools. Therefore, when CISOs spend their money for a particular cybersecurity project, they should ensure that they consider all of these three elements.
If the team does not possess the required skills to utilize or manage new technologies to find vulnerabilities or prevent attacks, the investment in those solutions will not yield any desired result. Simultaneously, hiring new employees for the cybersecurity team should only be done after taking stock of how they will affect both the process of securing assets and the use of any technological tools.
Having a comprehensive understanding of talent, processes and tools at the same time when devoting allocated budget on each project will also allow for organic growth of the cybersecurity department and its effectiveness within the organization. Not only that but this steady growth and enhancement in performance will also lead to higher cybersecurity budget allocations in the future that is essential to keep up with new threats and types of attacks.
Think like an attacker
CISOs should understand what factors inside their networks and data make them attractive and vulnerable to attackers to use their budgets as best as possible. They should understand if the malicious actors are likely to capitalize on digital connections to customers or suppliers that are generally higher-value targets. Additionally, they should know whether the ownership of sensitive or valuable customer data makes them susceptible to ransomware attacks that have been steadily rising at a faster pace. Furthermore, CISOs should review what types of attackers are likely to target them.
Having a full understanding of what types of assets are most appealing to attackers will enable CISOs to use their budgets to safeguard against certain types of assets and avenues of attacks that will allow them to hire a team with required expertise.
Knowing what is likely to motivate attackers will empower organizations to maximize their approved budgets to safeguard against the most relevant assets instead of wasting resources at general cybersecurity.
Understand the importance of a flexible team and resources
With cyber-threats always changing and evolving, it is critical that cybersecurity professionals have an adaptive mindset and are always ready to change their methods, strategies and tools of operations. Meaning CISOs should re-evaluate each quarter how they use their budget. They re-evaluation should not just be around threats but also how they affect business operations.
As cyber threats evolve, CISOs should ask themselves not what new tools they should buy but what part of their business is most susceptible to new threats and how they can shift resources from one area to another.
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