Cybersecurity spending continues to rise, encompassing a significant chunk of the tech investments made by firms. With the increasing investments, cybercrime risks are also multiplying at an alarming rate. Firms are struggling to mitigate these risks to ensure the desired ROI.

Many technologies are coming up every day, so firms have no shortage of options for new technologies to invest in, but there is no silver bullet solution to protect organizations from a cyber-attack. Developing a mature, well-planned cybersecurity program takes time and can be overwhelming. Organizations just starting to embark on the journey of technological transformation can be unsure of where to begin. Firms often question, “How much do we need to spend, and how do we measure the ROI involved?”

The current threat environment will hugely influence a firm’s investment strategy. Cybercrime has evolved into an organized multibillion-dollar industry. This service drives the global services economy, changing the game for criminals across the globe. Providers are not just functioning in the dark web — some sell services on commercial websites as well. Many of them model themselves after commercial IT service providers, collaborating with resellers, offering tiered pricing along with providing complete help desk support. Little tech expertise is required to become a very successful cybercriminal.

Experts from the cybercrime domain confirm that the good news is that most of these attacks are not targeted; they are mostly automated, opportunistic attacks. Attackers wish to have the maximum amount of money for the least amount of effort. For this reason, firms need to focus their cybersecurity investment on initiatives that could potentially increase the efforts for the attacker to decode the way to attack. At a minimum, every program should:

  • Remove administrative privileges
  • Patch critical vulnerabilities
  • Use strong passwords with multi-factor authentication systems

Once these controls are well in place, firms can continue to maximize their cybersecurity ROI by following the roadmap below:

Investigating to find active threats

Network infections can infiltrate infrastructure environments in less protected scenarios. This leaves firms with the questionable network activity that has the likelihood to be victimized by a data breach.

Organizations need to go beyond automated threat detection and proactively identify threats on their network regularly. Employing a well-planned and managed threat detection strategy with strong response service, allows firms to cost-effectively leverage all the cybersecurity advantages that an in-house threat hunting team delivers.

Develop an action plan

It is crucial to correctly comprehend the current operational state to prioritize the path forward. A great tool to help measure an organization’s cybersecurity readiness is the Cybersecurity Framework issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. This framework enables organizations to consolidate and put forward the best risk management practices to improve security and business resilience.

An action plan can be developed to cost-effectively and realistically move the organization forward on a path to cybersecurity maturity while maintaining a proper balance between productivity and operational effectiveness.

Build a foundation

Experts recommend firms to take a risk-based approach to develop a strategic plan that is correlated to the investment made in cybersecurity.

Firms need to develop an incident response plan to deliver an organized combat approach for handing incidents to uphold cyber-resiliency. They should design end-user security awareness training to all employees. It is of paramount importance to build a workforce that understands the fundamentals of cybersecurity so that they promote it and defend all information assets accordingly. It is also recommended to establish an effective cybersecurity review program for third-party service providers. To win this race of cybersecurity investments, firms need to identify system and device-specific vulnerabilities smartly.

Finally, they need to continuously track the success and refine investment strategies throughout the journey to optimize cybersecurity ROI.