Give Data Protection Priority in Your Cybersecurity Budget

Jamie Chong


Are you asking yourself how much of your IT budget to devote to cybersecurity? Stop. By lumping in data-protection efforts with everyday IT needs such as software administration, you could be setting up your company to be a prime target for security breaches.

Data protection and cybersecurity can no longer be considered secondary line items in your standard IT budget. The magnitude and sophistication of today’s threat landscape—not to mention the scope of effort required to navigate data protection and privacy in response to CCPA and GDPR—demand a new approach.

It’s time to prioritize a separate, dedicated cybersecurity budget that funds the protection of your intellectual property and your company’s, clients’ and users’ sensitive data and personally identifiable information (PII). 

Cybersecurity Is Top Priority

Once upon a time, cybersecurity was simply one aspect of dealing with data. It made sense that the task would fall under the IT budgetary umbrella. But times have changed:

To stem these losses, companies are devoting more resources to dedicated cybersecurity efforts. Gartner notes that overall spending on security grew 10.5% last year, and it expects that trend to continue.

Meanwhile, IT budgets focus on other priorities:

  • Shifting infrastructure and software to the cloud
  • Improving data analytics
  • Managing user support

Much of IT’s emphasis is on streamlining and trimming resources, rather than strategically building a robust comprehensive security ecosystem. And security is no longer a matter of simply installing the right software and firewalls to protect a perimeter around a collection of on-premises hardware and software. Between the growth of the cloud ecosystem, the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT), and a global workforce that tends to use a variety of apps and devices—not all of them with your knowledge—that “perimeter” no longer exists. 

Information Security Compliance: Integration Is Key

Information security experts expect budgets in 2020 to continue shifting away from software and toward an integrated security ecosystem. Gartner predicts that security services alone will make up the bulk of cybersecurity budgets, with infrastructure protection and network security equipment rounding out the remainder.

Why the push toward integration? For one thing, complying with global data privacy and protection regulations has become increasingly complex. From identity and access management to data loss prevention, compliance is easily a full-time job. For another thing, data is increasingly stored, moved, and managed across a variety of platforms, apps and devices. Cloud security alone is expected to grow more than 40% over the next five years. Cybersecurity measures must be able to protect data wherever it is, whether in storage, in use or in motion.

Yet it’s difficult and expensive to staff and support all these security and compliance efforts internally. This is especially true for smaller organizations, but ignoring the issue isn’t an option: Keeper reported that 67% of smaller and midsize organizations experienced a cyberattack over the past year. 

What would an integrated data security program look like for you? Contact InteliSecure for a no-risk assessment and find out.


Managed Data Protection Services Gain Traction

To meet these complex demands, organizations are turning to managed data protection services to keep critical information assets safe and to help ensure compliance. There are several potential benefits to this arrangement:

  • Cost reduction. Yes, cybersecurity costs are on the rise. But using a managed data protection service can help you develop a reasonable cybersecurity budget by avoiding expensive breaches or noncompliance fines. And planning for a service fee can be simpler than trying to account for the cost of recruiting, training, retention, resource management and other costs related to building an in-house data security staff.
  • Improved efficiency. Creating a centralized, integrated, holistic data protection program—especially as part of an effort to move to a proactive, digitally mature stance—is more efficient than a piecemeal approach. Managed services can optimize that integration and provide a “single pane of glass” view of your data protection efforts. That visibility, along with resources and tools to create custom reports that eliminate noise and focus on the issues that matter to executives or auditors, can boost performance and efficiency—and do so for much less than the cost of maintaining the necessary resources in-house.
  • Risk reduction. Managed services have the capacity to cast a wide net of proactive protection. Beyond addressing compliance issues and improving visibility across platforms, you gain the resources to protect critical assets from insider risks through user behavior analytics and best practices.

A managed data protection services provider can serve as a steady point of contact that helps you navigate available cybersecurity products and services, monitor changes in your environment, answer questions, solve any issues that arise, and recommend changes to products and programs.

Investing in Data Protection: What to Look For

How do you choose which services to invest in? Which tools and tactics will best support your vision for 2020 or move you toward a mature digital security stance?

First, make sure that the service and provider have a complete and in-depth understanding of how to secure data in the cloud, whatever your level of cloud implementation. Many cloud-based data protection tools fall short, simply because cloud development and technology are now so dynamic and fast-changing. The last thing you want is to be a test subject for a service provider’s newest cloud product.

Look for services and tools that can secure data in a way that aligns with the way we work and share data today. For example, many users use personal laptops or phones to log in to Office 365 online for access to email and other data. That activity isn’t automatically tracked unless the user’s device is connected to the corporate network.

Most important, the right managed data protection services partner will work with you to create a culture of security—continually focusing on your particular security posture, providing recommendations for continuous improvement and adaptation, and supporting interdepartmental communication and cooperation.

You can also increase the effectiveness of the data protection services you choose by being transparent about—

  • The devices and apps your users are utilizing
  • Corporate and user expectations about data protection, privacy, compliance and access
  • Which regulations you need to comply with and which critical assets you need to protect
  • Your current infrastructure configuration and existing security measures
  • Which vulnerabilities you suspect and whether you expect to meet resistance once security measures begin to be put into place

Remember, even the best data protection partner has one source of knowledge about your needs: You.

Need help putting the calculations together?

Of course, determining just how to determine your data-protection budget—and the ROI you can expect—can be tricky. Contact us for a no-risk assessment and help making the case for your dedicated, strategic data-protection program.