By Eric Sugar, President, ProServe IT
One of the worst obstacles a growing company can face is a cyberattack. A data breach can have catastrophic consequences, including the downfall of the company. Although there are plenty of cybersecurity solutions on the market, business leaders often have trouble deciding which one is best for their company’s needs.
The best way to think of the return on investment for cybersecurity spending is like a bell curve. When a business invests very little money in cybersecurity, they are unlikely to experience its benefits. On the other hand, if a company spends more on cybersecurity than they need, much of its money will go to waste on features they don’t need or use. Most companies would be best served by a mid-tier cybersecurity package that contains all the necessary features without being excessively costly.
Determining how extensive of a cybersecurity solution your company needs
In a company’s early stages, four or five intentional settings can cover all the basics and provide the necessary level of protection. Tools such as MFA and conditional access often come baked into common platforms, such as Microsoft 365 Business Premium or Enterprise, and are the minimum required for most companies to keep their data safe. However, as a company grows, it may be more of a target for bad actors hoping to make money at its expense.
The cybersecurity risk of a business — and therefore the necessary size of its cybersecurity budget — is primarily determined by the company’s size and industry. Since scammers and fraudsters are looking to make money, they tend to target larger businesses that deal with many transactions daily. As such, a business like a restaurant will have much simpler cybersecurity needs than a large financial firm.
Ultimately, businesses should remember that their company’s most significant point of vulnerability is not the system itself, but their employees. Security measures are only as good as the people who use them. Even if a business invests in a high-quality cybersecurity suite, its features will be virtually irrelevant if its employees don’t know how or when to use them appropriately.
One of the biggest cybersecurity challenges companies face today is that cyberattacks are becoming much more complex. Unfortunately, cybersecurity technology tends to be more reactive than proactive, responding to flaws and threats as they arise. As the technology used by fraudsters becomes more advanced, it subsequently becomes easier for imperceptive employees to unwittingly fall victim to a scam. Employees must learn how to identify and distinguish potential cybersecurity threats.
Finding a balance between protection, cost-effectiveness, and usability
As such, investing in cybersecurity training is just as important as investing in a robust cybersecurity suite. Many information breaches are the result of employee negligence or lack of foresight. Spending time to train and educate employees on how to protect their information creates a great first line of defense for the company’s assets.
However, excessive cybersecurity measures could also have a detrimental effect on the workplace. Using cybersecurity features that are overly complex for the needs of the company could make an employee’s job more difficult, forcing them to jump through hoops to complete every task. At a certain point, employees might become disillusioned with the security measures and find ways around them — potentially leaving data even more vulnerable than if a simpler feature had been employed.
One way businesses can meet their cybersecurity needs without posing much inconvenience to their employees is by outsourcing their cybersecurity management. In addition to offering highly trained and specialized professionals whose job is to manage cybersecurity, this solution can be cost-effective for most companies. For the cost of having two full-time professionals on staff, companies can outsource to a team with resources that would be equivalent to having an in-house staff of 6-7 cybersecurity experts. Until a company reaches a stage in its growth where it has 5,000 or more employees, outsourcing is generally an ideal, practical, and financially savvy solution.
Many business leaders do not understand the complex and changing landscape of cybersecurity. Because of this lack of awareness, their companies are left vulnerable to various cyberattacks and don’t know how to implement cybersecurity measures to protect their data. An investment in cybersecurity training and an outsourced cybersecurity management team can provide the necessary protection for most small to mid-sized businesses.
Eric Sugar is an experienced President with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. He is skilled in Cloud Technology, Professional Services, Management, Software as a Service (SaaS), and Multi-channel Marketing. He holds a BA in Economics and Math from the University of Toronto at Mississauga – Erindale College.
Eric has been the President of ProServeIT since the company’s inception in 2002. With over 25 years of experience in the IT industry, he is passionate about leveraging technology to create positive impacts for people and organizations. He takes a people-centric approach to his work, whether it’s removing roadblocks for his employees, educating customers on the benefits of technology, or teaching leaders about the importance of cybersecurity.