Why Companies Shouldn’t Cut IT Security Budgets after COVID-19

covid19relief

While most countries look for safe ways to re-open their economy, we’re just starting to understand just how far down the rabbit hole we actually are.

For instance, according to infosecurity-magazine.com in an effort to cope with the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 41% of global businesses have cut cybersecurity budgets.

This combines nicely with the fact that ill-intended actors have ramped up their attacks against companies. According to recent surveys, cybercriminal activity has surged with a 667% increase in COVID-19-themed phishing attacks in just a month!

However, it’s not just phishing we need to worry about. Cyber attackers are a resourceful bunch, with various methods up their sleeves. And, while many will remain in the petty theft area of cybersecurity (phishing and malware), some actors will get bolder and use other threats against a world that’s already shaking.

Companies Need to Invest in IT Security [Top 3 Reasons Why]

The economy is crashing down around us. Health systems are overloaded at a global scale and people are afraid to go back to work. So, to say that the situation is a bit grim would be an understatement.

We know many companies will have to find ways to cut costs, but IT security is not one of them!

Here’s why:

#1: COVID-19 Tailored Threats

Most hackers target companies that were forced to dive into the remote workforce without an ounce of preparedness, which opened the door wide for cybersecurity threats. Even more, the threats are tailored to play on people’s fears and anxiety, which means many people will have their guard down.

So, even if you managed to train your employees with regards to these threats, chances are that someone will click on an ill-intentioned link. When this happens, you will want to have the right security infrastructure to protect or recover your data.

#2: IT Security Required By Law

Under the mandatory data breach notification scheme, Australian companies are required to be proactive when it comes to IT security. Otherwise, in the case of a data breach that occurred because of poor security measures, companies risk getting fined and denting their reputation with customers.

Also, Australian companies that work with European customers (or process their data) operate under GDPR rules a well.

Quick tip: To help businesses with this task, the Australian government offers these essential eight security recommendations so make sure to check them out.

#3: High Financial Risks

In today’s day and age, when everything happens online, businesses (regardless of size) register financial loss if their systems don’t work at optimal capabilities. A cyber attack can freeze activity from a few hours to a few days and can damage your reputation with both customers and partners.

Keep IT Security Up to Date & Reduce Costs

Solutions are always available to us, we just need to look for them.

So, if your company is currently considering cutting costs with IT Security, we recommend going through the steps below first. You may identify several cost-saving solutions that don’t require risking exposure to the wild west of cyber threats currently lurking around your systems.

Review Costs With IT Support

How much are you really spending on IT support? And, are there ways to get a lower price without giving up this service?

In our experience, clients are able to save money by going onto packages that include unlimited support and security options. These packages are more affordable in comparison to paying per each issue that needs fixing.

Also, you should run a comparison of services. Find out the prices of other Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and see if you can get the same service at a lower cost. For instance, MSP’s that work with larger businesses charge a premium which might not be very cost-effective for smaller businesses.

When it comes to costs and services, it’s best to find a provider that offers services tailored to your business’s size and specific needs.

Update Your It Security Technology

You may be using IT security technology that doesn’t fit your needs. We see this happen quite often, especially in companies that scaled their size and infrastructure but didn’t update their security technology. Instead, they built on the existing security system, which is not effective and drains a lot of money.

For instance, if you purchase endpoint security for all the computers, you can cut costs by eliminating the office firewall. This is especially important if your employees work from home, where there’s no office firewall to protect their devices. And, this move will make your office more flexible as people will be able to work remotely more often (once the pandemic is over).

Choose the Right Storage Application

What technology are you using to store sensitive data?

If you’re using on-premise servers, these can be rather expensive to maintain and support. Also, some companies like to manage their own cloud infrastructure on platforms like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud. While this is a viable solution, the costs for management and “rent” can be rather high.

Our recommendation is to find a secure cloud solution tailored to your needs. As such, you should search for a cloud application that offers a pay-per-user plan that can be increased or decreased as needed.

Cut Down Services

We often come across businesses that are using multiple paid cloud services without being aware of potential savings.

For instance, a business may be using G Suite to manage their emails. But they’re also using Dropbox to share files and Zoom for their meetings. This adds up at the end of the month, especially if the company is mid-sized or large.

So, to cut costs but still remain safe, our hypothetical company could transfer their Dropbox content and activities to G Suite Google Drive. Also, they can use Google Hangouts instead of Zoom to save costs.

Besides being the more accomodating solution, G Suite is also a safe platform, with plenty of methods to help you manage employees and keep data away from prying eyes.

Monitor Internet Usage

While it may seem anticlimactic, given that businesses need access to reliable and fast internet connections to function, there are cost-saving opportunities in closely monitoring internet usage. This becomes even more important during lockdown times when people work from home.

We wrote a detailed article on how companies can reduce costs with internet usage, so make sure to check it out.

Wrap Up

If you’ve never been affected, it’s easy to dismiss cybersecurity threats (especially for small and medium-sized businesses). However, the risks are there and get closer every day. Overall, it is not worth endangering your company or hurting your reputation when there are other ways to cut costs!