The year 2023 is around the corner. Even though it's currently the festive season, you might still wonder how to prep for the next year, security-wise. Even if you're more focused on turkey and pie for now, you should also find some time and mental space to plan your cybersecurity budget, so you're better prepared to usher in the new year and the challenges it presents.

Not all security budgets are the same. Maybe you're lucky and you'll see a generous figure that allows you to bring in consultants with the best advice. Or, perhaps you'll be able to invest in attack simulations that can put your security controls to the test. However modest or large your budget is, here are some essentials to consider before allocating monetary resources.

Dedicate a percentage of your budget to network security

You aren't safe if your network is vulnerable.When your workforce numbers change, so does the number of endpoints your organization requires. Your real-time monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities need to change too. Maybe you haven't invested in behavioral analytics and anomaly modeling, which can teach you how users are interacting with your network. Planning to upgrade your network security, and assigning a portion of the budget to that will help you thwart threats in 2023.

Invest in endpoint protection

Endpoint devices are key components of your network and are increasingly being exploited. This is why you need to focus on upgrading your endpoint protection. These investments in endpoint security should include firewall and antivirus upgrades. You should also invest in a unified SIEM solution that can read telemetry from across your endpoint devices for real-time monitoring.

Allocate a budget for data storage

Your organization's data is a risk magnet, and is the main reason you need to invest in security. Research, price comparisons and some decision-making are involved in figuring out how much of your data is going to be stored in the cloud and on-premises. These incur different costs.

Set aside funds for disaster recovery

If you've been in business long enough, you know that no matter how hard you try, your security plan isn't going to be foolproof. It's imperative to have a backup fund that is only used for a security incident.

Invest in employee training for security awareness

Your security strategy is only successful if the users on your network are aware of security procedures, and know what actions can compromise the network. While security training might not involve excessive expenditures, its good to earmark a percentage of your budget for them. Some organizations have started investing in microtraining options to enhance employee security awareness. These are dynamic training methods that provide feedback to a user who has just performed an activity that is considered suspicious. This feedback can be provided through a short video or a screen pop-up. Microtraining provides employees with learning based on specific risky situations so they become more aware of their specific behaviors that could compromise security in the organization.

What to watch for while planning your budget

Risks that arise out of geopolitical tensions: State sponsored cyberattacks have been on the rise and the Russia-Ukraine war is proof. Attackers have been hired to infect critical infrastructure with malware. If your organization deals with government-related critical utilities, you need to ensure you have security controls in place to prevent a geo-political attack.

Increasing cyber insurance costs: Since many organizations are aware that they will eventually suffer from a breach, they've begun to invest in cyber insurance. Cyber insurance premiums are increasing as policies become more complex and comprehensive. Rates are often determined based on the effectiveness of your security measures, so one way to reduce premium costs is to ensure you have better controls in place.

The costs of compliance: The costs to adhere to compliance mandates often increase as they change. However, if organizations focus on implementing and maintaining effective security strategies with fine-tuned security controls, compliance to most mandates is automatic. In the long run, even if you invest more to adhere to regulatory measures, this offsets the costs you might incur from penalties and reputational damage.

Keep these points in mind as you strategize your security expenditures, regardless of the size of your budget. You probably heard the oven timer go off. You can set aside cybersecurity for a while because its turkey time!

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