CISOs facing budget cuts and ever-increasing cyber risks will have already tried the following strategies, but a cyber refresher never hurts!

In the current economic climate, CISOs face mounting pressure to reduce cybersecurity spending on account of factors such as waning confidence in the economy, persistent inflation, and shifting priorities.

Although fiscal prudence can be challenging and may seemingly present unrealistic expectations, with resourcefulness and ingenuity, cybersecurity professionals can indeed achieve more with less. 

How can organizations create the best possible scenarios and outcomes in the course of juggling tough decisions, jettisoning security solutions with limited ROI, and conserving cybersecurity resources while maintaining morale and preparing for a worsening attack landscape?

Here are seven tips from the experts from Check Point Research to get started with:

    1. Make the most of existing solutions
      Many vendors offer consultation and educational resources to help security professionals fully understand and utilize the capabilities inherent in existing cybersecurity tools. There may be instances where expanded use of one tool could actually allow your organization to replace and eliminate another tool.
    2. Review cybersecurity labor sourcing
      Some organizations leverage third-party groups for specific cyber security work, but despite the obstacles it may prove less expensive to bring those specialties in-house. Conversely, your organization may have a handful of tasks that would be more cost effective for an managed service provider or managed security service provider to take care of. Consider running differential cost analyses.
    3. Consolidate cybersecurity
      In some instances, consolidating cybersecurity not only increases security effectiveness and reduces spend, but it can actually drive revenue. By consolidating cybersecurity, organizations can increase visibility. With expanded visibility and an increased number of actionable insights to work with, teams can respond to risk quickly and achieve more sustainable business performance over the long term.
    4. Augment cyber resilience measures
      Despite the maintenance of strong cybersecurity teams, organizations globally are continuing to experience highly disruptive cyber incidents. Continued investments in backup capabilities and other cyber disaster recovery measures can formidably save on spend in the event of a breach. Should you need to win some budget for this, explain the downside revenue risk of under-investing in this part of a cybersecurity plan.
    5. Automate where possible
      According to data breach cost estimates, large organizations that leverage fully deployed AI and automation could save millions of dollars per data breach as compared to similar-sized organizations that fail to use these tools.
    6. Implement Zero Trust
      This approach reduces the risk of cyber breaches, as it prevents cyberattackers from exploiting excessive permissions. In some cases, a implementation of a Zero Trust security strategy has been shown to deliver a 90% return on investment with a payback period of less than half of a year, by lower the probability of a data breach by as much as 50%.
    7. Think prevention-first
      Preventing a disaster is more cost effective than responding to one. The average cost of a data breach is US$4.35m, and enterprises in the healthcare and finance space often incur much higher costs than average. Quantification of prevention-first ROI must be based on how much loss organizations could avoid with a prevention-first approach. When crunching the numbers, a prevention-first oriented security program usually wins the case.

Cybersecurity is all about innovation. To that effect, budgetary limitations simply represent an opportunity to approach security in innovative, new ways in order to achieve stronger outcomes.