Keeping a close watch on the bottom line is imperative to the success of any business – any business owner or executive can tell you that for free. A company’s CIO, CTO, or CISO is in charge of ensuring maximum protection against potential security breaches while keeping costs to the minimum. That’s not as easy as it may sound because threats keep evolving, and there’s a new security headache every quarter. Today’s online hackers have become sophisticated, and therefore, no one can claim to be completely safe from an attack.
Every organization out there is investing in a multitude of defence mechanisms, applications, and systems which further complicates the situation. Advancing an enterprise cybersecurity defence system is a paradox since you are investing in something that’s yet to occur. This further complicates the matters and makes it very difficult to establish a quantifiable Return-On-Investment (ROI). However, the upfront and ongoing expenses required to adequately avert a threat are justified by the potential impact of a successful cyber attack.
Capturing the Return on Cybersecurity Investment
Any business, regardless of shape, size, or industry, needs to take the necessary steps in ensuring that its networks, as well as sensitive data, are safe from malicious attacks. Failure to protect company data and networks can lead to some unpleasant outcomes. As a business, all you need to do so peruse the headlines to see how much harm — both financial and reputational — a successful cyber attack can cause.
Despite the upsurge and the rising complexity of criminal online activity, many business leaders are still insisting on the provision of tangible, measurable results from their cybersecurity investments. They want a justification of the value of having an established, solid cybersecurity system. So, then, how do you calculate the ROI of this essential investment? Well, with the right strategy, it’s entirely possible to calculate and communicate these figures.
Make sure that you understand clearly the various costs and benefits associated with your cybersecurity system before you start assessing ROI. Common costs in cyber threat defence systems include:
- IT personnel.
- Incidence response software.
- Monitoring systems.
These expenses are easily quantifiable, but they need to be contrasted with the right data. If you contrast these costs with the wrong information, it will be almost impossible to bring on board even the most open-minded decision makers. Make sure that the expenditures are properly balanced.
The cost of a security compromise needs to be identified and captured as accurately as possible to balance the expenditure. This will help you measure the additional savings brought about by a new strategy. Some of the calculations may include:
- The number of daily incidents.
- Difference between addressed and unaddressed incidents.
- Incidents addressed via the use of current resources.
- Mean Time To Resolution (MTTR).
Use the figures you get from these calculations to pinpoint — at least approximately — the financial implication of potential attacks (annual) and use that number to obtain the amount of money saved by avoiding the attack. MTTR is also an important factor and you should focus on minimizing it after an attack. You can calculate annual savings by multiplying the annual cost of incidents by the reduced MTTR as a percentage. With that figure, it will be crystal clear how long it will take your business to recover the investment in cybersecurity.