Three ways that cutting your cybersecurity spend will cost you

We’ve all been there: depressing end of quarter meetings with figures that, despite the window-dressing, aren’t as good as they should be.

For many businesses and organizations, times are tough. Although the dollar might be relatively strong at present, that’s certainly not the case for currencies globally. The value of the pound, the euro and the yen have all dropped dramatically, and the cost of living crisis dominates headlines worldwide.

Even if the US feels fairly well insulated at the moment, this global context causes headaches for Wall Street. The majority of S&P 500 companies do business across the world, and are impacted by the instability of global markets. Here in the US, the price of almost everything has risen, wages have stalled and Corporate America’s outlook would be best described as ‘cautious’.

It’s not the gloomiest of pictures – certainly not by 2020 or 2008 standards, anyway – but it’s one that C-suites executives are taking heed of by trimming budgets and looking to eradicate unnecessary costs. And who can blame them?

One area they shouldn’t consider cutting, however tough things get? Cybersecurity.

Of course we’re going to say that. But let us elaborate with three ways that reducing your spend on cybersecurity is a route to losing value, not building it.

Data breaches don’t come cheap

According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach to a US company is $4.24m in lost business and restoration costs. That figure is increasing annually and, just like any other ‘business’ when the economy heads south, cybercriminals become even more motivated to make money.

With the number and complexity of threats increasing and the cost of cybercrime rising, now isn’t the time to expose yourself to risk.

You have a legal obligation to protect data

To put it simply, protecting customer data is an obligation under law. It can’t simply be ignored because there’s suddenly less budget to share around the departments. Fall victim to a breach and you may well need to pay damages to your customers for compromising their personal details on top of those lost business costs.

Reputation isn’t just a Taylor Swift album

And speaking of damages, what about the damage to your reputation? It’s difficult to measure the extent of the impact a cyber attack can have on your clients’ and potential clients’ view of you, but most agree that the ‘lost business’ figure is only a drop in the ocean of potential costs.

How many customers and would-be customers will decline to put their faith – and their money – in you once you’ve fallen victim to an attack? Will you ever really know?

For many c-suites in the current climate, cutting costs is an imperative. But opening your organization up to risk by slashing cybersecurity measures shouldn’t be an option on the table.

Once cybercriminals find a way in, the outcome is the same – and it’s a costly one.

That sounds like a perfect storm in already challenging times.

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