How to Improve Cybersecurity on a Budget

Cybersecurity is an area that many businesses do not invest enough in. Many companies only allocate a small percentage of their IT budget to cybersecurity, sometimes without implementing a comprehensive plan for how the money will be spent.

By reducing vulnerabilities and improving overall security, any company can better protect itself from cyber-attacks.

However, budget constraints often mean it is difficult for businesses to improve their cybersecurity. Knowing how to improve cybersecurity on a budget can be extremely beneficial for businesses, especially smaller ones that lack the same resources a major enterprise might have.

What Is the Cost of a Data Breach?

The cost of a data breach is higher than ever—meaning if you were thinking of making cybersecurity improvements, now is the time. According to IBM, the average global cost of a data breach is $4.35 million. This is a 13% increase over the last two years. Much of these costs can be attributed to the cost of remediating the breach—up to and including remuneration to those affected by it.

In addition to the direct monetary costs of a data breach, there are other, more indirect costs to consider like reputational damage. This can impact a business’ future performance by harming profitability in the long term.

How to Improve Cybersecurity on a Budget

Managing cybersecurity for small businesses doesn’t have to be budget-breaking. Here are some cybersecurity tips that will show improvements for your team without needing to license anything too expensive:

1. Hold Regular Cybersecurity Training

The last thing you want is for a well-meaning employee to click on a link they weren’t supposed to, costing your company a large sum of money. So, it’s important to educate employees on different types of phishing scams and ransomware attacks.

Technology is rapidly changing, as are the methods attackers use. Make sure your training highlights newer methods of attack and new technologies that your business uses. Keeping your team educated on what cyber-attacks look like can help prevent large-scale issues. 

Include cybersecurity training as part of your onboarding process to start new hires off on the right foot. Then, host training at regular intervals—at least on a yearly basis—to prevent data breaches.

2. Have a Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Plan

A business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan can help your team know exactly what to do in the event of unplanned IT downtime. A BCDR can minimize your unplanned IT downtime, which also minimizes how much it’ll cost you.

A good BCDR plan includes change management procedures, employee contact information, and standard operating procedures. It’s important that everyone knows exactly who is responsible for each stage of disaster recovery and when the plan should be implemented.

3. Adopt the NIST Framework

Standard cybersecurity models like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) framework establish a clear set of standards for your organization. The NIST framework covers: 

  • Cybersecurity management
  • Protecting data
  • Detecting security incidents
  • Responding to said incidents
  • Recovering from breaches

The framework breaks up cybersecurity management into four distinct tiers in your organization: partial implementation, risk-informed, repeatable processes, and adaptive cybersecurity management. The NIST defines each tier to make it easier to see where there may be room to improve your law firm’s data protection.

4. Work Proactively, Not Reactively

Taking a proactive approach to your cybersecurity can help you save money in the long run. Adopt cybersecurity tools and frameworks in advance, not after you need them. You can start with free or inexpensive tools to get started since some layer of protection is better than nothing.

Get started with tools like VPN, data encryption, and antivirus software. Then build your disaster recovery plans so your team knows exactly what to do in the event of an emergency.

Why Outsourcing Cybersecurity Makes Sense

Government agencies, small businesses, large corporations, and anyone with a computer network will all continue to place a high value on cybersecurity solutions. Fortunately, outsourcing cybersecurity services does not mean that you have to consolidate your data into one center or give it over to a third party. With secure solutions available from many providers, you can take advantage of localized services without giving up control of your data.

When it boils down to it, if you’re looking to improve your company’s security on a budget, outsourcing can be a great option. Working with a third-party IT managed service provider saves you money in the long run. Rather than having to pay for staffing an internal IT team and spending money on unpredictable repairs, you pay a fixed monthly or annual fee.

Every business is a target, no matter the size, so outsourcing cybersecurity isn’t just a smart financial decision—it’s also a great security decision. IT managed service providers work 24/7 so you don’t have to.

Outsource Your IT Team Today

At Converged Technology Group, we specialize in offering fully managed IT services to small and medium-sized businesses in the New York and Long Island areas. Our team offers support 24/7, 365 days per year, and streamlines your business processes and any existing IT environments you have.

We offer a wide variety of fully-integrated solutions that will help your business thrive while staying safe and secure. If you already have an IT team, we can integrate with them to provide extra support and help reduce their workload if they’re feeling overwhelmed. Schedule a consultation or call us at (631) 468-5728.

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