Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

It is never an “easy” day for cybersecurity teams. On the one hand, they face potential concerns related to an economic downturn, especially tech start-ups. And on the other, organizations of all sizes are experiencing significant cybersecurity skills shortages, coupled with cybersecurity budget cuts, despite more malicious cyber activity than ever before, including state-sponsored attacks against businesses. . The good news is that history shows that cybersecurity teams are highly unlikely to be cut back during a recession. Otherwise, it’s not all bad news. There are opportunities for security leaders to readjust and put all the right pieces in place to make cybersecurity teams more efficient.

Organizations are experiencing cybersecurity budget cuts despite more malicious activity than ever

Next, we’ll discuss how CISOs and security operations leaders can better manage their cybersecurity budget while leading more productive teams through the use of cutting-edge connected technology, strategic budgeting, and more effective internal security training.

1. Grow your cybersecurity team from within

Just as a major league football team nurtures young talent through its youth system, the best CISOs grow their own talent by training interns or employees from other parts of the company. Security Operations Center (SOC) analysts often move into cybersecurity from another part of the IT department, and today the search need not be tied even to the CIO’s organization. From an economic point of view, it is an innovative way to staff your SOC for a reasonable price: and the fact is, with the shortage of qualified personnel, you may not even be able to find external staff. An internal development program also encourages loyalty and retention. The initial investment in training will pay off when young people become cybersecurity professionals and do not bring bad habits with them.

2. Delegate key tasks to technology

While investing in your team’s talent is an effective and strategic use of your cybersecurity budget, sometimes you just need help faster. Some of today’s major skills shortage issues may be exacerbated by automation technology, such as machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). Automation combined with a platform with XDR capabilities (the automated collection and correlation of activity data across multiple layers of security) effectively breaks down equipment and technology silos. This approach also helps free up highly paid and hard-to-find SOC analysts from having to manually track every security incident. Freed from time-consuming “obvious” tasks that a machine can do more efficiently, analysts can spend more time on critical thinking. For example, if data is moving suspiciously across a company’s supply chain software network, ML alone may not be enough to uncover the root cause. The intent is for your best people to conduct deep investigations with the help of technology so that they can more effectively identify the root cause of the problem. They won’t be able to do that if they have to manually analyze the attack chain of the last compromised email.

3. Act strategically and seek budget in unusual places

And now for the elephant in the china shop: your cybersecurity budget. Experienced SOC analysts require a six-figure salary. But that is logical, since there is a great shortage of precisely this type of person. However, there may be a solution. Many organizations may have pockets of budget floating around in IT departments that CISOs can use for technology deployment, training, and hiring. Look for pantry items: It’s more common than you think for purchasing departments to continue to pay maintenance fees for items the company no longer uses. A CISO could take inventory of contracts that are no longer used and claim that budget as their own. And not only in security. Another way to find budget is to look for volume discounts. For example, multiple business units, not just IT, may purchase their own software licenses from the same vendor. The expense is spread across all units and may be eligible for a volume discount. A CISO could renegotiate volume discounts and claim those savings as a cybersecurity budget. Business units may even be paying for a product that is already covered by an enterprise license.

4. Use tools that work better together Look for tools that work better together.

Siled products inevitably lead to visibility gaps and disconnected alerts that are ignored by team members suffering from alert fatigue. CISOs will get more out of their cybersecurity budget by leveraging a unified cybersecurity platform, where their endpoint, cloud, email, network, and mobile security tools continuously share information and offer security teams SOC complete visibility into all your cyber assets and vulnerabilities. A true platform is a “better together” proposition that is more than a volume discount game, but a “better together” technology where telemetry, reporting, and response are done better than they would be through a collection of point products that are not integrated at all. Next Steps With the increasing number of cyberattacks, an expanding digital attack surface, a global skills shortage, and an uncertain economy, CISOs must take a more unified approach to cyber risk. A unified cybersecurity platform is a state-of-the-art way for IT teams to respond faster to threats without being overwhelmed by administrative tasks that are best left to machines. This platform-oriented strategy, coupled with smart cybersecurity funding and a willingness to grow talent internally, will help CISOs stay ahead of today’s relentless cyberattackers. In the last recession there were no cuts in security budgets because the attackers themselves were more motivated due to the crisis, and there was a change in the role of CISOs to be less in the trenches and more often in the room. together. Given that boards are aware of their cybersecurity responsibilities, they are unlikely to put their companies at risk.
By Greg Young, VP Cybersecurity and CorpDev at Trend Micro

By Alvaro Rivers

Award-winning student. Incurable social media fanatic. Music scholar. Beer maven. Writer.