It’s an everlasting challenge, despite the economic landscape. On the one hand, you have a neverending wave of cyber attackers with various techniques and approaches, such as phishing emails, identity theft, spoofing, credential stuffing, supply chain attacks, and so on. They may be from an overseas nation or inside your organization.
On the other hand, you run cybersecurity or at least have a say on it in your organization. And your resources are not as endless as the criminals’, and your headcount is not measured in the thousands.
These constraints mean that budget optimization is part of your daily routine. In times where each dollar matters, when headcount has to remain stable and new hires are not available, where can your investment in cybersecurity be more efficient?
Optimize Cybersecurity Budgets Through Security Awareness
The Human Risk Management approach to cybersecurity adds a layer of defense to the organization that in no way dismisses technological solutions or any other guards.
However, when security awareness is done correctly, it empowers employees to mitigate many threats before they reach the organization and provides actionable insights that strengthen the organization.
According to Verizon’s 2022 DBI, 82% of data breaches start with a human. That means a click on a phishing email, a misplaced credential, a mismanaged password, and so on.
If a security awareness program is concerned with more than compliance and educating users, the most immediate result is reducing the threat surface. They’ll recognize a phishing email more than occasionally, create stronger passwords, and be aware of their environment when working remotely at a table at their local Starbucks.
That alone reduces the impact on any cybersecurity team dealing with the fallout of these human risk occurrences, right?
Let’s move forward. The analytics, the data provided by a security awareness program, allows you to know the vulnerabilities in your workforce. Our adaptive learning solution, Ally, measures exposure to various cyber awareness topics across the organization’s individuals, departments, and branches.
With that knowledge, you may notice these groups are more vulnerable to password management. Or phishing. Or malicious websites. So, you can deliver targeted training and optimize your infrastructure budget to focus on solutions and platforms that address these vulnerabilities.
The two most immediate and essential benefits of Security Awareness to Cybersecurity budgets:
- An added defense layer, relieving some of the pressure on InfoSec teams
- Analytics supporting informed decisions on infrastructure
But how do we optimize Security Awareness budgets themselves?
Security Awareness Budget Optimization
When you invest in a Security Awareness program, you can also optimize your investment and preserve your budget and headcount. That way, you can reap the benefits described above and still maximize your ROI.
At Right-Hand, we design our solutions to deliver some budget-friendly resources.
Automated Security Awareness solutions allow security teams to onboard users and deploy training campaigns and content with minimal setup. We combine that automation with targeted training, meaning users receive content based on their role, geolocation, and previous training performance to create custom learning journeys using AI.
Admins and Security Managers optimize their time and still benefit from the programs.
The use of managed services in Security Awareness ensures that security teams maximize the usage and ROI of the solutions by expanding their teams with reporting, content, campaign, and other capabilities.
A recent article describes how we do Managed Services and the benefits for our customers.
One of the hidden costs of security awareness programs is wasting employees’ time with inadequate training. Every minute they spend that is used by addressing their vulnerabilities and reinforcing what they need to learn is money the organization loses.
With targeted training, with content tailored to their needs and delivered to their mobile phones or desktops at their convenience, the budgets of security awareness programs and the organization’s are optimized.
Curious about hidden costs in Security Awareness programs? Watch our June 2022 webinar recording with special guest Ira Winkler (Chief Security Architect, Walmart), author of “Security Awareness for Dummies.”
A Word About “Check the Box” Solutions
Some organizations approach Security Awarenesss as a compliance item, a requirement to meet to operate in their industry or to satisfy board demands.
The “check the box” approach is usually answered with “one size fits all” solutions that offer Security Awareness solutions with no flexibility, that address the workforce as a group and not as individuals, and are limited as to what they provide in visibility and benefits.
Some of the most concerning aspects of this approach are:
- Limited or no customization: branding is not customization. Content customization is necessary for organizations that want the content to stick and are looking for long-term knowledge retention and cultural alignment.
- No individual learning journeys: Employees must receive personalized training content catered to their vulnerabilities to mitigate human risk. If all employees receive the same content, you are bound to have most of the employees lacking the same knowledge.
- Limited analytics: if users are not receiving targeted training, your analytics are not granular enough to make informed decisions about the organization.
Regardless of where the economy stands, budget optimization will always be a topic, especially for cybersecurity.
It’s challenging to meet expectations in such a dynamic threat landscape, but Security Awareness is one of the best ways to support a healthy cybersecurity budget. When done right, this program can yield immediate results in your KPIs and support informed infrastructure decisions.
However, as we said, there are also considerations about doing Security Awareness correctly. Check-the-box solutions may end up being costly and ineffective, causing damage to budgets and reputations.
If you’re interested in knowing how we support organizations worldwide to do it and want to see the difference that platforms like Ally made for customers that moved from “check the box” solutions, request a free trial today.