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Cybersecurity in 2024: 8 Strategies Against 2024's Budget Cuts

Published on Jan 26 2024

Cybersecurity in 2024Table of Content

    1. Introduction
    2. Adopt a Risk-Based Strategy
    3. Step Up Security Awareness Training
    4. Outsource Security Services with Automated Platforms
    5. Measure and Demonstrate ROI
    6. Regularly Update and Patch Systems
    7. Be Careful of Open-Source Tools
    8. Strengthen Third-Party Risk Management
    9. Optimize Security with an Extended Platform for Internal, External, and API Attack Surface Analysis
    10. How can Salience help in Fortifying Your Defenses and Coping with Cybersecurity Budget Cuts in 2024
    11. Conclusion 

Introduction 

As we progress through 2024, many organizations face a significant challenge: they need to keep their computer systems safe even though they have less money to spend. Finding the right balance between limited finances and the need to protect against cyber threats requires a wise approach. This article will explore eight effective strategies to help organizations handle smaller cybersecurity budgets without compromising their defense capabilities.

1. Adopt a Risk-Based Strategy:

  • Initiate a detailed risk assessment to identify critical assets and potential threats. 
  • Evaluate how likely these threats are and how much damage they could cause to decide which areas need quick action. 
  • Distribute resources efficiently to address the most critical threats promptly. 

Cybersecurity begins with understanding and prioritizing risks. A detailed risk assessment should be the first step in this process. This helps you identify the most critical assets, understand the potential threats they face, and evaluate the likelihood and impact of these threats. This evaluation enables you to understand which areas are most vulnerable and need immediate attention. By doing so, organizations can allocate their resources more effectively, ensuring that the most critical threats are addressed first.  

Salience xASM platform can significantly aid this process by providing proactive external, smart internal, and advanced API security solutions. Its advanced analytics and risk evaluation tools enable organizations to focus resources on the most pressing vulnerabilities. As well as it provides a risk remediation playbook, which dynamically recommends how to remediate and overcome weaknesses and vulnerabilities. 

For more in-depth information on the calculation of cyber risk scores, check out the following informative article: How is Cyber Risk Score Calculated?

2. Step Up Security Awareness Training:

  • Enhance employee training programs to mitigate human error risks. 
  • Regularly update staff on the latest cyber threats and prevention tactics. 
  • Foster a culture of security awareness across all organizational levels by encouraging everyone to prioritize security. 

Human error remains a significant vulnerability in cybersecurity. A study conducted jointly by Stanford University's Professor Jeff Hancock and security firm Tessian discovered that a significant 88% of data breaches occur due to employee errors. According to another study by the World Economic Forum, 95% of all cybersecurity issues can be traced to human error. 

Therefore, investing in comprehensive staff training is a cost-effective method to strengthen an organization's defense against cyber threats. Effective training programs should cover the following: 

  • Cybersecurity fundamentals. 
  • Awareness of common threats such as phishing and social engineering. 
  • Best data handling practices.
  • Password management practices. 

 An informed and vigilant workforce is a critical line of defense, potentially preventing costly security incidents.

3. Outsource Security Services with Automated Platforms:

  • Utilize automated tools for efficient threat detection and response. 
  • Reduce manual workload and improve response times with automation. 
  • Stay protected even when your in-house team is off duty by getting watchfulness in today's threat landscape, where attacks can happen at any time. 
  • Maintain regulatory compliance with industry standards and requirements, reducing the risk of costly penalties. 

Automated platforms bring a significant advantage to the table – they can handle vast amounts of data, analyze threats, and automate routine tasks like vulnerability scanning and patch management.  

IBM reports that organizations that extensively use security AI and automation realize an average savings of $1.76 million compared to those that do not. Automation not only enhances the speed and accuracy of threat detection and response but also reduces the workload on human resources. As a result, cybersecurity teams can focus on more strategic tasks, such as analyzing complex threat patterns and strengthening defense mechanisms. 

Salience xASM platform, with its AI and machine learning capabilities, can automate threat detection and response, reducing manual workload and improving response times, thereby enhancing overall cybersecurity efficiency. 

Read about the advantages and disadvantages of cybersecurity automation in the following article: Cybersecurity Automation: Pros & Cons.

4. Measure and Demonstrate ROI:

  • Identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that matter most to your organization's security posture.  
  • Establish baseline metrics for these KPIs before implementing cybersecurity measures. 
  • Calculate the total investment costs for your cybersecurity initiatives, encompassing everything from hardware and software purchases to training, staffing, and ongoing operational expenses.  
  • Consider both tangible and intangible advantages in your ROI calculation. Tangible benefits are those you can measure directly, while intangible benefits, like enhanced customer trust and brand reputation, are more challenging to quantify but are still significant contributors to ROI. 
  • Periodically report on cybersecurity ROI, typically quarterly or annually. 

 

Use the following formulas to calculate ROI and Net Benefit:  

ROI (%) = [(Net Benefit - Investment Cost) / Investment Cost] x 100

Net Benefit = Total Savings and Benefits - Investment Cost 

 

Calculating and demonstrating your cybersecurity return on investment (ROI) is crucial. By showing how cybersecurity investments protect against potential losses, you can justify your spending and potentially secure more budget in the future. 

Measuring and demonstrating cybersecurity Return on Investment (ROI) is critical to any organization's security strategy. It not only justifies the expenses associated with cybersecurity but also helps manage and cope with a cybersecurity budget. It provides a clear understanding of the value that security measures bring to the organization, fosters informed decision-making, and ensures that resources are distributed effectively to protect against evolving cyber threats.

5. Regularly Update and Patch Systems:

  • Ensure all software and systems are up-to-date with the latest patches. 
  • Automate patch management processes to strengthen your cybersecurity posture by reducing human error and ensuring timely updates. 
  • Perform regular system audits to identify and handle security gaps. 

Regularly updating and patching your systems is a low-cost yet highly effective cybersecurity measure. This process fixes vulnerabilities that attackers could exploit. Ensure that all software and systems are current to reduce the risk of breaches.

6. Be Careful of Open-Source Tools:

  • Start by researching and selecting open-source tools with a strong reputation for security and reliability. 
  • Examine the source code of open-source tools to identify potential vulnerabilities. Look for active development and regular code contributions, which indicate ongoing maintenance and security improvements. 
  • Pay close attention to the licensing terms of open-source software. Some licenses may require you to make your own code open-source if you use their software, which can impact your organization's security strategy and intellectual property. 
  • Utilize vulnerability scanning platforms to check if the open-source tool has any known security vulnerabilities. 
  • Ensure that you keep the open-source tools up to date with the latest releases and security patches. Establish a process for regularly monitoring and applying updates to minimize exposure to known vulnerabilities. 
  • Develop a backup and recovery plan to mitigate the impact of any security incidents that may arise from the use of open-source tools. Regularly backup critical data and configurations. 
  • Ensure that your use of open-source tools aligns with legal and compliance requirements. Review licensing agreements to avoid any legal liabilities. 
  • Periodically reassess the open-source tools you're using. Consider if there are more secure or cost-effective alternatives available. 

While open-source tools can be budget-friendly, they need careful handling to ensure safety and cost-effectiveness. Being cautious when using them in your cybersecurity strategy can boost security and cut expenses. 

7. Strengthen Third-Party Risk Management:

  • Begin by conducting comprehensive risk assessments of your third-party relationships. Identify the potential security vulnerabilities and threats associated with these partnerships.  
  • Before engaging with third parties, perform due diligence on their cybersecurity practices. Evaluate their security policies, procedures, and controls. Ensure that they meet your organization's cybersecurity standards and compliance requirements.
  • Include robust cybersecurity clauses and requirements in your contracts with third parties. Specify the security standards they must adhere to and outline the consequences of non-compliance. This contractual approach can shift some of the responsibility for cybersecurity onto the third party.
  • Implement ongoing monitoring of third-party activities. Regularly assess their security practices and ensure they continue to meet your cybersecurity standards throughout your relationship. 

Managing third-party risk is a critical aspect of fortifying cyber defenses, and it can be a cost-effective strategy, especially when budgets are constrained. The global average cost of a data breach involving third parties was $4.55 million in 2023. An effective third-party risk management strategy can dramatically reduce the risk of a data breach. 

To delve deeper into best practices for vendor risk assessment, this article provides valuable insights. 

Integrating the Salience xASM and Risk Quantification platform into your third-party risk management framework enables a comprehensive and accurate evaluation of the cybersecurity posture of your third-party vendors. Salience's capabilities facilitate not only the initial check but also the continuous monitoring and effective mitigation of any cybersecurity risks associated with these external partnerships.  

Try Salience for free ->

8. Optimize Security with an Extended Platform for Internal, External, and API Attack Surface Analysis:

  • Get complete visibility of your entire attack surface. This simplifies monitoring internal networks, external assets, and API endpoints, providing an extended security picture. 
  • Ensure uniform scanning and analysis methodologies across all facets of the attack surface, eliminating the need for multiple tools. This streamlines operations, reducing both complexity and costs. 
  • Get Risk Assessment Reporting and Compliance, which ensures organizations can easily showcase their commitment to security standards and regulatory requirements. 

In today's dynamic threat landscape, maximizing cybersecurity effectiveness demands an integrated platform that provides extensive attack surface management, covering internal, external, and API aspects. Embracing such a platform equips your organization with essential tools for identifying and mitigating diverse cyber threats. This enables a more thorough analysis of potential vulnerabilities and proactive defense against diverse cyber threats. 

How can Salience help in Fortifying Your Defenses and Coping with Cybersecurity Budget Cuts in 2024 

Salience is essential for strengthening your security posture and managing cybersecurity budget cuts in 2024 because it offers a wide range of benefits: 

  • Proactive Vulnerability Detection: Salience provides proactive detection of external vulnerabilities through continuous, advanced scanning. This ensures that potential weaknesses are identified and addressed before they can be exploited. 
  •  API Security: Continuous monitoring and security for your APIs are essential in safeguarding against unauthorized access and data breaches. Salience ensures that your APIs remain secure, preventing potential breaches that could compromise sensitive information. 
  • Custom-Tailored Hardening Tips: Salience offers personalized hardening tips to strengthen your system's defenses. These tailored recommendations enhance your security posture and resilience against cyber threats. 
  • Integrated Honeypots: Gain valuable threat intelligence without risking actual data with Salience's integrated honeypots. This feature allows you to understand potential attack vectors and strategies without exposing your critical systems. 
  • Continuous Pentesting: Salience facilitates continuous penetration testing, ensuring that your defenses remain robust and up-to-date. 
  • Risk Quantification: Salience helps you quantify risks effectively, allowing you to distribute resources for maximum return on investment (ROI). This ensures that your cybersecurity efforts are focused on addressing the most critical threats.
  • Compliance Insights:  Explore deep insights into compliance requirements and ensure that your organization adheres to industry-specific regulations. Salience's compliance features help you maintain a secure and compliant environment.
  • Unified Platform: Replace multiple cybersecurity tools with one unified platform, reducing complexity and costs. Salience streamlines your cybersecurity processes, making them more efficient and cost-effective.
  • Proactive Threat Mitigation: Proactively anticipate and neutralize cyber threats with Salience's advanced capabilities. Stay proactive by finding and addressing vulnerabilities before potential attackers have a chance to exploit them.
  • Machine Learning and Deep Learning: Leverage the power of machine learning and deep learning with Salience to optimize your cybersecurity processes. These technologies enhance threat detection and response, minimizing the risks of cyber issues. 

Salience extended attack surface management and risk quantification platform orchestrates external, internal, and API attack surface management and risk quantification within one platform, reducing costs by 55% compared to the use of separate products.  

Try Salience now for free -> 

Conclusion 

In conclusion, facing cybersecurity budget cuts in 2024 doesn't mean compromising your organization's digital safety. Safeguarding digital assets and maintaining strong cybersecurity in the face of budget constraints is not only possible but essential for organizations. The strategies outlined in this article provide a clear roadmap for achieving this goal. 

By prioritizing security efforts, investing in employee training, harnessing the power of automation, and demonstrating the return on investment, organizations can effectively manage their cybersecurity within budget limitations. Keeping systems up-to-date, carefully considering open-source tools, and managing third-party risks are additional steps to fortify defenses. 

Furthermore, adopting an integrated platform for an extended view of potential threats and using advanced cybersecurity tools like Salience can significantly enhance an organization's cybersecurity posture. The key takeaway is that resourcefulness, strategy, and vigilance are important in the face of budgetary challenges, ensuring that cybersecurity remains a top priority in 2024 and beyond. 

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