The frequency and severity of data breaches over the last few years, combined with security incidents threatening well-known brands, has brought cybersecurity to the forefront of many board meetings. Data is being generated at an unprecedented rate and the value of data is increasing, which means that the potential attack surface grows year on year.
Many organizations have taken steps to address this problem by increasing their cybersecurity budgets. However, some CISOs still struggle to justify extra spend on cybersecurity with the rest of the board.
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With that in mind, we’ve created this blog for those organizations and those CISOs looking to justify a larger spend on cybersecurity solutions to help prevent severe data breaches. Once you’ve got the cybersecurity budget you need, we’ll also look at the best ways you can spend it.
Audit Your Data and Define its Value
One way to let the board know the reason behind wanting a bigger cybersecurity budget is to show them the current levels of risk around your data. For this, you’ll need to audit your environment to see exactly what sensitive data you have and where it is stored.
Present Your Data Security in Terms of Risk
Once you know where your data is, determine who has access to it, what changes are being made to it and the current level of risk associated with it. You should present risk in terms of the monetary effect a data breach could have on the revenue and brand of the business. If you need help with this, Lepide offer a free data risk assessment service.
Have a Plan to Address Risk
You should know exactly how much you need to address the risk to your data and where best to spend it. There are innumerable ways to spend a cybersecurity budget, but the following four are the most recommended:
- Data Security Platforms
Look for a Data Security Platform that helps you identify where sensitive data is, see why it is sensitive, see who has access to it, see what changes are being made to it and determine whether the surrounding environment is secure. A good Data Security Platform will help you identify anomalous user behavior and address potential insider threats.
- Prioritize Your Spend
The main bulk of your cybersecurity budget and attention should be focussed on your most sensitive data. This is data that contains personally identifiable information, secret company information or anything else that could threaten the business if leaked.
- Know Where Your Weaknesses Are
You should know what the biggest threats to your data security are and they should be the first things you look to address. For example, do you have a large number of inactive users, open shares or over-privileged users? Those users with access to your most sensitive data are the ones you need to pay close attention to. If your weaknesses come down to lack of security awareness in the organization then allocate a portion of the budget to cybersecurity awareness training.
- Analyze Your Performance
Part of being able to justify whether a cybersecurity budget was well spent relies on being able to track your results. It can be difficult in the cybersecurity space as people tend to assume nothing needs fixing unless a data breach incident occurs. Through detailed change auditing using a Data Security Platform, you will be able to show how you detected and reacted to anomalous or unwanted changes in your environment before they manifested themselves in the form of costly data breaches.