wasting budget

Tips from ESG: How to spend your cybersecurity budget

From the evidence in news reports regarding CIO priorities, it’s safe to say that cybersecurity is a primary investment for organizations in 2016. According to a recent study by IT market research firm ESG, 92 percent of midmarket organizations are increasing their security spending in 2016, making security the year’s top business initiative. Beyond cybersecurity initiatives, organizations are also focusing on cost reduction and real-time data analytics.

If you work in IT or data security, this trend means a budget increase might be well underway at your company. Here’s what an increased focus on cybersecurity could mean for your team:

Financial, manufacturing, healthcare industries are leading the way 

According to the report, the manufacturing and financial industries are expected to make the biggest investments in cybersecurity this year, with the healthcare industry rounding out the top three.

A look at recent events points to the need for increased spending in these industries. Earlier this year, a Bangladesh Bank official’s computer was hacked and $81 million was stolen. Beyond this theft, a breach aimed at a bank or other financial institution could expose millions of Social Security numbers, addresses and other instances of personal data.

Cloud security investments are changing the landscape

With $92 million at stake, which areas of data security are getting the biggest pieces of the pie? ESG reports that most organizations are focusing on ramping up cloud security in 2016. Security concerns were previously the top factor holding businesses back from cloud adoption; in response, businesses are now tackling security head on from the very beginning of their cloud strategies.

As your organization makes (or extends) its leap to the cloud, be sure your team can answer high-level security questions, such as:

  • How secure is the data we’re storing in the cloud?
  • What can we do to audit and protect our on-premises data?
  • Can our cloud provider ensure the data it handles is secure?

Data-aware auditing is unlocking cybersecurity investment potential

Some organizations think that cybersecurity initiatives are expensive, time-consuming investments, but they don’t need to be. Before embarking on a cybersecurity plan that focuses on the perimeter or endpoints of your data, invest in tools that can help you comb through and audit the contents and location of your stored information. Doing so enables data-aware solutions to alert IT managers about ongoing or previous data breaches, while helping to identify gaps in current security programs to avoid future exposures.

In 2015, there were more than 200 reported data breaches – and it’s likely that even more went unnoticed. To ensure your company doesn’t add to the growing list of total breaches in the industry, be strategic about the security tools and initiatives in which your team invests time and money. Being aware of trends, reactions and predictions about security solutions already on the market is a critical step in developing and implementing a comprehensive, reliable security program that will keep your organization and your customer’s information safe.

Read our checklist: Do you know how you should be spending your IT security budget?

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Cheryle Cushion

Cheryle Cushion

Cheryle has more than 20 years of experience in developing corporate marketing strategies and executing integrated marketing programs that drive strong customer engagement via direct and indirect sales channels. She has held various marketing leadership roles in several successful companies including Infinio Systems, Raptor Systems, Interliant, Seahorse BioScience, Dell and most notably EqualLogic which was purchased by Dell in 2008 for $1.4B.