In our previous blog entries, we examined the costs of personnel and technology when it comes to cybersecurity. In today’s entry, we’ll go over the final cost consideration in our series, namely maintenance.
Maintenance can, at times, be overlooked when discussing budgeting for cybersecurity. It’s the little things we do not always remember that we need to do until after the initial purchase. For instance, when you buy a car, your expenses do not stop after signing papers and handing over the payment. There’s insurance, gas, oil changes, changing tires when the treads wear out, etc. In much the same way, there are maintenance costs involved in cybersecurity. And what do those entail?
- Management and Scalability
It is rare to find two corporate networks that are completely identical. It takes time to configure a solution to fit a network’s needs, and to continue working on it as network needs change. A prime example is if your company expanded; your cybersecurity solution would need to scale with that growth. Another case in point would be if a company decided to transition some of its workforce to work remotely, as opposed to on premise; in which case, you would need to set-up VPNs for secure communication.
- Monitoring and Updates
We are in the midst of a dynamic threat landscape. Between the increased rate of threat generation and the automation of those threats, yesterday’s static solutions are already outdated. Ideally, you want to look for solutions that include 24x7x365 monitoring and automatic updates, working to safeguard your network against the newest malware, Trojans, viruses, you name it.
The best way to illustrate the importance of up-to-date security is to look at Network Box USA’s PUSH Technology. To ensure that their networks are protected against the latest threats, we PUSH out updates in true real-time to our clients’ solutions, worldwide. In the past 90 days alone, we’ve PUSHed out over 1 million updates.
Clearly, the cost of maintenance will vary depending upon the cybersecurity solution you choose to implement. And there is certainly a myriad of options available in the marketplace today, which only makes narrowing down a vendor that much more daunting. So, where do you start?
Take a step back and review your requirements. What are you protecting (i.e. confidential information, client contact details, etc.)? Are there compliance standards you must take into consideration? Can you afford to hire dedicated IT security personnel, or is outsourcing your only viable option?
Ask probing questions when evaluating a vendor and/or offering. Don’t be afraid to put the vendor on the spot. How are they ensuring that you’re protected against the latest threats? Are they truly monitoring your network 24×7? What happens when you receive an intrusion alert? (Some vendors only alert you, while others will take action.)
Request client references. This can get a bit tricky, as most organizations, for security reasons, are either not willing to talk about their solution, or are legally unable to. However, since talking to a client is the most reliable way to evaluate a vendor, try. They are less likely to sugarcoat their experiences and will give you an honest evaluation from an actual end user perspective.
For more tips on selecting a cybersecurity solution, download the white paper, Evaluating IT Security Options.
Cybersecurity costs will differ for each organization based on many variables including network needs, the organization’s size, etc. Even so, cost considerations remain very similar across the board. Companies need trained cybersecurity personnel to manage and maintain their solutions, along with the proper technology to protect networks against cybercrime.
These key cost considerations are not necessarily separate entities. Partners (or vendors) that offer managed cybersecurity services, for instance, will consolidate personnel, technology, and maintenance into a single monthly or annual subscription.
Ultimately, when drafting cybersecurity budgets, it is important to remember that cybersecurity is an ongoing process; not only are you investing in a solution, you are investing in a long-term strategy.