What should you invest in cybersecurity?
What is the cost of cyber security for small to mid-sized organizations? This is the question that many CEOs, owners, and managers of small businesses ask.
But we are asking you to think about this is a different manner. Instead, the question should be; How much should we “invest” in cyber security?
Because cyber security has become a mission-critical part of your organization’s future.
Even though small businesses may not feel like they are high-profile targets for hackers, this demographic is often a priority for cybercriminals because they are seen as easy prey.
Large enterprises and government agencies tend to have higher security measures, making them more difficult to breach. However, hacking into smaller companies allows criminals to quickly and easily access sensitive information with fewer roadblocks.
Small businesses are a huge target for cybercriminals
Small businesses offer the greatest of both worlds. They have access to crucial information like employee and customer data, bank account numbers, financial access, and broader networks, which cybercriminals desire. Furthermore, because most small businesses lack adequate funds set aside for cybersecurity, they are ideal prey for scammers since they lack sophisticated security infrastructure and procedures.
By creating comprehensive cyber security solutions and defenses, larger companies and smaller businesses protect themselves from potential attacks while increasing their resilience. But what is the cost of cyber security solutions for SMBs?
Cybersecurity threats are ever-evolving
Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, so the costs are always changing. And these cybersecurity services are not a one-time expense. Security and risk are ongoing journeys that require constant vigilance and updates.
The price tag for comprehensive cybersecurity can seem daunting, but when you consider the potentially devastating consequences of a data breach, the cost is well worth it.
Prevention, detection, and response
Cybersecurity solutions can be divided into three categories: prevention, detection, and response. Each class offers a different level of protection and requires extra investment.
Prevention measures are designed to stop attacks before they happen. These solutions typically include firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and malware protection. Prevention solutions can be costly, but they are worth the investment because they can stop attacks before compromising sensitive data.
Detection solutions are designed to identify attacks that have already occurred. These solutions typically include intrusion detection systems, honeypots, and file integrity monitoring. Detection solutions can be costly, but they are worth the investment because they can help you quickly identify and contain a cyber-attack.
Response solutions are designed to help you recover from an attack that has already occurred. These solutions typically include incident response plans, backup and recovery plans, and security awareness resources. Response solutions can be costly, but they are worth the investment because they can help you minimize the damage caused by an attack and get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.
Cybersecurity needs to be viewed as an investment
Cybersecurity is an important investment for any business, but the cost can be prohibitive for small and medium-sized enterprises. Fortunately, there are several ways to offset the cost of a potential cyber attack.
One way is to take advantage of government incentives and programs. For example, the U.S. Business Administration offers a Cybersecurity Disaster Recovery Assistance program, funding small businesses to help prevent security breaches. The Department of Homeland Security also provides a cybersecurity grant program, which grants small businesses investing in cybersecurity equipment and professional services.
Cybersecurity services are an important investment for any business, but they don’t have to be costly.
Why Invest in cybersecurity?
A data breach, on average, according to research at the Ponemon Institute, costs small business owners $2.98 million per event. Of course, the company size will affect the total cost, but it will still be a large amount of money regardless. Also, remember that 60% of small businesses go bankrupt within half a year after suffering from data breaches or cyberattacks.
Cyber Attacks cost more than just money $$$
Cyber attacks are expensive in various ways beyond simply the short-term costs. In addition, you must consider company-wide downtime, lost productivity, damage to your company’s reputation, and lost business opportunities.
Also, don’t forget there are fines from the attack itself or cybersecurity measures implemented as a consequence, legal fees associated with any lawsuits that may arise, ransom payments if your systems are taken over, and many other factors.
The continued direct and indirect costs of cybersecurity long after an initial attack can put your business’s financial security and future at risk. That’s why small businesses must invest in proactive cybersecurity services.
Cybersecurity takes continual investment
Cybersecurity programs are not a one-time investment. Instead, they are an ongoing expense that must be factored into a business’s budget. The cost of a cybersecurity program will vary depending on the industry, the company size and type, and the specific cybersecurity needs of the company. But there are a few general categories of expenses to keep in mind when budgeting for cybersecurity.
There are a number of upfront costs associated with implementing a cybersecurity program. These initial cybersecurity costs can include the following:
- Products and software
- Training for employees and clients
- Cybersecurity consulting services
- Cyber insurance
Once you’ve implemented basic cybersecurity measures, you’ll need to maintain them. This ongoing expense can include the cost of the following:
- Cybersecurity product updates
- Hardware upgrades
- Cybersecurity training for new employees
- Security consulting services
- Cyber resilience programs
- Cyber insurance premiums
Cyber Attacks are becoming very sophisticated
Cyberattacks are becoming more common and more sophisticated. Small businesses can’t afford to take risks with their cybersecurity. Investing in proactive cybersecurity measures is the best way to protect your business from the high cost of a data breach.
How Much Should Cybersecurity Cost a Small or Mid-sized Business?
There is no one-size-fits-all method for calculating cybersecurity costs. That’s because there are a variety of variables to consider when computing the cost of cybersecurity, including your industry, size, compliance and regulatory requirements, existing IT solutions, the complexity of your IT infrastructure, and the sensitivity of the data you collect. Costs might be much greater for large businesses.
SMBs typically spend around 10% of their annual budget on cybersecurity
The amount of money that many businesses spend on cyber security services varies but usually falls around 10% of the yearly IT budget. Companies spend $250,000 on cybersecurity solutions and training with annual IT budgets of $2.5M. Each full-time employee costs a company $2,500 – $2,800 for solid cyber security protection.
SMB costs for cybersecurity services
IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING CYBERSECURITY COSTS: Costs for cybersecurity for SMBs are outlined individually below, but in today’s world, it is best to now purchase these cybersecurity solutions one by one. Years ago, organizations could buy a firewall and antivirus software and add to their cybersecurity defenses piece-by-piece. But this is a dangerous practice in today’s world.
Cybersecurity providers offer comprehensive cybersecurity platforms that are reasonably priced and provide protection against the biggest threats. These platforms offer the best protections for SMBss and are priced to give the business the best value.
Given below are some costs of cyber security solutions for SMBss:
Firewalls sit on the perimeter of your network and serve as the first defense from the external world. Cyber threats would be permitted straight into your network if not for firewalls. Firewalls come in various sizes, so choose one that is appropriate for the number of users and the type of traffic your business depends on (email, telephony, technology stack, streaming services, e-commerce …).
It is best to purchase firewalls on a monthly subscription since there are continual changes and modifications to thwart newly discovered threats. You will also ALWAYS want to buy the software subscription with the firewall, as this is where important changes are made to keep the firewall up-to-date and secure.
You can expect to spend $75/month for a smaller firewall (up to 15 users). The larger firewalls might be $500-$600/month and will allow throughput for hundreds of users.
Intrusion Detection System (IDS)
An IDS can help identify malicious traffic from within a network. These systems work by constantly monitoring your network traffic and comparing it against known patterns of malicious activity. If an IDS detects suspicious activity, it can quickly identify the infected node and separate it from the rest of the network. I will then take action to block the attack or notify you so that you can take appropriate measures.
IDS systems’ prices vary depending on your network’s size, the technology used, and the features you need, but you can expect to pay around $1,200 per unit on the low end, with costs running up to $30,000 or more on the high end.
NOTE: As with firewalls, these services can (and should) be purchased through a monthly subscription – which is best since the systems require continual updates to protect against the newest threats.
Email security protocols also affect the cost of cybersecurity and can help protect your organization from email-based attacks like phishing, viruses, and spam. These solutions typically use a combination of filtering techniques to identify and block malicious emails before they reach your inbox.
Cyber attackers often use deceptive messages (phishing attacks) to trick victims into providing sensitive information, opening attachments, or clicking links that allow them to install malware on their devices. By investing in email security, businesses can protect themselves from ransomware, spyware, trojans, social engineering attacks, and other malicious software threats.
Email security costs depend on the number of employees and endpoints (computers) that need protection.
Most businesses will spend $3 to $6 monthly per user on an email protection service with basic security features. So, for example, a company with 250 employees would need to budget around $1,125 each month just for email protection services.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
2FA provides protection as you authenticate to log into your network. User names and unique passwords can be discovered through many measures. Still, two-factor Authentication prevents attackers from logging in through additional verification techniques using: a mobile device, a text message to a cell phone, or authentication codes delivered through authentication apps.
The cost of two-factor Authentication generally ranges between $5 and $10 per user per month.
A vulnerability assessment can protect your business by identifying and addressing security vulnerabilities within a company’s infrastructure. This includes on-premise and cloud networks. As a result, businesses can drastically improve their cyber security posture by identifying risks before hackers do.
A service provider will do a vulnerability assessment for $1,500 – $6,000 for a network with 1-3 servers and $5,000 – $10,000 for a network with 5-8 servers.
Endpoint detection and response
Endpoints are everywhere. Every endpoint—laptops to cellphones and tablets—in your company might be a potential entry point for an attacker to breach your network. That is why endpoint management is so important in cybersecurity.
EDR solutions can identify unusual behavior, stop it, and investigate whether anything harmful (or accidental but hazardous) is occurring by monitoring your endpoints.
Cybersecurity service provider charges for endpoint detection and response services range from $5 to $8 per user monthly.
Web application assessment
Companies can use web application assessments to test their web applications to identify security vulnerabilities and understand how users and attackers could abuse or misuse the web applications. Verifying required security controls will prevent such attacks.
The cost of a web application assessment will depend on the size and scope of the web environment, but on average, you can expect to pay around $4,000. However, suppose your web application has multiple pages and many unique forms. In that case, it will take a cybersecurity provider longer to perform the assessment and might cost closer to $8,000.
The cost of cybersecurity is a question many small organizations are grappling with. Small businesses may be reluctant to invest in cyber security, thinking that the risk of a security breach is too low or that their limited resources won’t allow them to implement robust security protocols.
However, the cost of not implementing cybersecurity measures can be devastating. Therefore, a robust and ever-evolving security program is a must-have in today’s crazy world.
If you would like to learn more about cyber security, check out our learning center:
Cyber Security Learning Center
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