Cyber threats often hide in plain sight, often eluding detection. They are growing, evolving, and always ready to entrap an unprepared target.
You’re aware that your business can receive help from cyber security solutions, but what exactly is cyber security? Why spend on cyber security solutions, and are they worth the cost?
This article can provide the clarity you need to decide about investing in cyber security.
Overview of Cyber Security Solutions
Cyber security solutions can be confusing. What do they cover? How much should they cost? Let’s start with some basics.
What is Cyber Security?
Cyber security is the practice of protecting your computer hardware, software, and data against cyber threats. Thus, a cyber security solution is any service or tool used for providing such protection.
What are cyber threats, cyber risks, and cyber-attacks?
The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) defines a cyber threat as “any circumstance or event with the potential to harm systems or information.” Some common types of threats are:
- Business email compromise
- Data breaches
- Identity theft
- System and network attacks
A cyber risk is an area that can be exploited by a “cyber actor” or a “bad actor”. When they actively leverage the cyber risk, it becomes a cyber-attack.
The cost of cyber-attacks and the harm they cause
An attack can damage your business in terms of:
- Direct financial losses
- Legal and regulatory consequences
- Reputational damage
- Customer trust and loyalty
- Operational disruptions and downtime
- Additional business expenses
- Impacts on employees
Of course, the harm from cyber-attacks has a price tag.
- Cyber-crime cost $6-trillion USD in damages worldwide in 2021. This is projected to reach $10.5-trillion USD by 2025.
- In Australia, the annual cost of cyber-crime is $29-billion.
- The average cost of a cyber-attack to an Australian business is $276,323.
That is why you need cyber security solutions: so you can avoid a cyber-attack – and the price that goes with it.
What Cyber Security Solutions can protect your business?
Various measures can reduce your risk from cyber threats. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has identified eight cyber threat mitigation measures, collectively known as The Essential Eight:
- Application Control prevents unauthorised software (not in your whitelist) from running on your systems.
- Patching Applications keeps your apps updated with the latest security patches, fixing vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by anyone.
- Configuring Microsoft Office Macro Settings helps protect against malicious macros that can be embedded in Office documents.
- User Application Hardening increases protection by disabling unnecessary features and settings and applying security best practices.
- Restriction of Administrative Privileges limits the number of people with administrative privileges on your systems.
- Patching Operating Systems stabilises and secures your operating systems vs exploitation of vulnerabilities.
- Multi-Factor Authentication requires additional layers of log-in security, preventing illegal use of your accounts.
- Regular Backups ensures you have a copy of your data in case of a loss, breach, or corrupted, resulting in shorter downtime/disruption.
In general, The Essential Eight makes it more difficult for attackers to gain access to your systems, steal your data, or disrupt your operations. But how do you implement them?
Cyber Security Solution Providers
IT consultants and service providers can help you plan and implement a cyber security strategy consistent with The Essential Eight. They should be able to provide your business with:
- A complete audit
- Network security
- Cloud security
- Endpoint security
- Helpdesk support
- Cyber awareness training
Now, every item on any provider’s menu will entail a cost, but nowhere near the price of a cyber incident.
The cost of cyber security services can vary widely, depending on:
- Your industry
- The size of your business
- The types of threats your business faces
- The strength of your IT system
- The current level of cyber protection
- The type and level of protection needed
How would you know if you are paying the right amount or getting a fair price quotation?
Is your cyber security worth its price?
You can use the risk assessment framework to get a fair answer to the question.
1. Identify and quantify risks
- What are the risks that can happen to your organisation? (What cyber threats can possibly happen to your business?)
- For each threat, what is the likelihood that it can happen at any time?
You can have risk probability table like this:
|CYBER THREAT||% PROBABILITY IT WILL HAPPEN|
2. Determine downtime cost
- How much revenue does your business generate each day? (This is how much you will lose for each day of downtime.)
3. Add up the costs
- What other costs will need to be covered in case a risk (threat) happens?
- Recovery costs
- Damage to reputation
- Insurance premium increase
- Legal costs
- Non-compliance penalties
- Estimate the amount for each cost item.
- Add everything up.
- There is a 10% chance that a ransomware attack will hit your business.
- Your business generates $20,000 per day.
- If the average downtime due to ransomware is 21 days, you would lose $420,000 in revenue.
- Plus, you must pay $280,000:
- $120,000 to recover from the attack
- $60,000 for damage to your reputation
- $30,000 in increased insurance premiums
- $45,000 in legal expenses
- $25,000 in fines
- The total cost of the attack would be $700,000.
- If the cost of your cyber security services is $10,000 per year, and the likelihood of a ransomware attack could go down to 1%, it seems worth it.
How to make Cyber Security Solutions worth it
Aside from “Is it worth it?”, you can also approach the matter from the perspective of “How can we make it worth the price?” Here are some suggestions to get the most from your cyber security spending:
1. Ask the right questions.
Before making any final decision about cyber security solutions, it would be good to answer questions like:
- What is our risk appetite? What level of risk can we tolerate?
- What cyber security maturity level should we aim for?
- Are we implementing cyber security measures just for compliance or for risk reduction?
- Will our staff be able to manage the security solutions we will adopt?
2. Do a thorough audit.
A complete audit is essential so you will be spending on solutions that matter to your business, not on solutions that you don’t need.
3. Invest in a long-term strategy.
Focus on a balance of current protection and continuing prevention. Avoid viewing cyber security as just a way to comply with regulations. Also, there will always be new threats that your business will face, keep an eye on the latest cyber security trends and solutions.
4. Monitor for overspending and misspending.
A huge budget for cyber security solutions does not always mean your business is safer. Make sure you are getting your money’s worth and that there are no overlapping solutions.
5. Leverage cyber security for business growth.
Inform your customers about your cyber protection strategies. Utilise it to attract new business. Be fully committed to building a cyber aware culture in your organisation and communicate your efforts to your target audience. A good cyber reputation can go a long way to help grow your business.
The real value of Cyber Security Solutions
The value of cyber safety is not just in the tangibles but in:
- Having a solid defence against cyber-attacks
- Keeping your intellectual property and trade secrets safe
- Streamlining business continuity and disaster recovery
- The peace of mind you get due to minimised risks
When you receive a quote from a cyber security services provider, remember: You want to shield your business from potentially destructive – and costly – cyber threats lurking in the web.
Ready to make an informed decision on cyber security solutions? Or do you want more details before taking the next step? Either way, Lucid IT’s cyber security specialists will be glad to assist you. Contact us at 1300 258 243 or email@example.com.