It’s more important than ever to know just how much your business currently spends (and should plan to spend) on cybersecurity, both of which can be addressed by understanding the goal of cybersecurity protections and how they affect your company’s defenses. Let’s consider how much you should spend on cybersecurity, as well as what protections that spending can afford.
We can’t provide a specific dollar amount, and that’s because no business is going to invest the same amount of money into cybersecurity. In a more general sense, small or medium-sized businesses should spend an average of 5% to 20% of their IT budget on cybersecurity. For reference, the average IT budget sits at around 4% of the overall budget.
For example, if ACME Co. had an annual budget of $1,000,000, their IT budget might be around $40,000, with anywhere from $2000 to $8000 of that being dedicated specifically to cybersecurity each year.
We know how businesses in the Gulf Coast community can get the most bang for their buck out of their cybersecurity investments. Here are three of the most important ways you can protect your business:
As much as it hurts to admit, one of the weakest links in your security infrastructure is always going to be your employees. You can configure security solutions to protect your business with powerful encryption and security standards, but you cannot so easily hardwire your employees to not use “PASSWORD123_” for their login credentials, and you also cannot prevent them outright from being tricked into handing over login credentials through phishing attacks.
What you can do, however, is train them on best practices so that the likelihood of them doing something silly as outlined above is significantly reduced. You should devote some of your budget toward training your staff and ensure that it is ongoing, regularly updated with new developments, and evaluated appropriately.
Similarly to evaluating your team’s understanding of security, you can perform a network security audit to evaluate the current state of your organization’s security efforts. You might discover software that requires an update, an account with far too broad account access, or a vulnerability you haven’t addressed. In any case, security audits help you know what you’re doing well and what you still need to resolve.
It helps to have, at a bare minimum, basic security tools that can help you eliminate the majority of threats your business could face. Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to overcome security systems, though, so the reality is that the bare minimum is only the starting point rather than an effective strategy.
Most security platforms today will offer a plethora of tools and services that can be used to dramatically improve your cybersecurity. Your business needs firewalls, antivirus systems, and ways to protect remote employees while they are out of the office and off the security of your in-house network. You’ll need access to encrypted data transfer protocols, access control solutions, and secure cloud storage, all of which pay for themselves when implemented properly.
Again, this is certainly not the limit to what your business needs; if anything, it should be treated as a starting point.
If you need help with implementing better security practices and solutions, Advantage IT Management is happy to assist you. To learn more, call us today at 251-662-9770.