4 min read  | Cyber safety

How should a small business plan its cybersecurity budget?

While there is no rule of thumb about what percentage of revenue or how much of your cybersecurity budget should be spent, the overall spending on security can vary greatly across each business, let alone each industry, depending on the sophistication of your IT systems and your operations. 

Small businesses and startups, however, may not have the same resources to spend on cybersecurity as a large enterprise. That doesn’t mean they should overlook a cyber defence plan altogether.

In this post, we explore a few essential components that need to be accounted for in your cybersecurity budget if you’re a small business or startup that’s trying to keep costs low and keep security high. 

Budget for endpoint protection

Endpoint protection involves protecting the perimeters of your network or entry points of end-user devices like desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. The focus, here, is to prevent these resources from being exploited by malicious actors and targeted attacks. 

When you’re choosing these solutions, invest your money intelligently in software that comes with features including antivirus protection, firewalls, centralised controls, and remote monitoring capabilities.

Set aside funds for network security

It’s impossible to protect the integrity, confidentiality and accessibility of computer networks and data that are central to your business without setting aside a portion of your cybersecurity budget for network security. 

Network security involves the use of different types of technology, devices, and processes that facilitate real-time monitoring, anti-malware, network mapping, and network troubleshooting capabilities.

Allocate a portion of your budget for secure data storage

Even the smallest business will acquire and store sensitive data—processes that need to be backed by the right data security practices and tools. Ultimately, it is this data that’s valuable to hackers.

When you allocate a portion of your cybersecurity budget for secure data storage, you need to choose between cloud-based storage or on-premise software that possess various features like version control, document management, archiving, and editing. 

Considering the needs and specifics of your operations, choosing the right system will determine the success of your data management processes.

Allocate funds for security awareness and employee training 

It’s a fact that most data breaches are caused by human error

No matter how sophisticated your tools are or even how big your cybersecurity budget is, if your teams are not informed and don’t follow best practices, you’re not going to enjoy your money’s worth.

Creating security awareness among employees about best practices is crucial. Security awareness sheds light on various security policies and best practices including identifying phishing emails, maintaining data integrity and data confidentiality and more.

Security awareness training also helps you ensure a cybersecurity-friendly culture. This makes the right security practices the bread and butter of your operations. 

Budget for disaster recovery

The downtime following a cyberattack can be disastrous for small businesses given the costs inherent to it. 

Planning and budgeting for disaster recovery help small businesses switch to their backup systems and data in case of an emergency and reduce downtime. This involves keeping a copy of all critical systems and data and using them to resume operations after disaster strikes. 

A fully-fledged recovery system will include scalable data storage, will support multiple data formats, will offer data protection, and will provide failover testing. 

Plan your cybersecurity budget intelligently to improve your security posture

Cybersecurity for small businesses is a priority because an increasing number of cyberattacks target SMEs due to their relative lack of security mechanisms. This is understandable because small businesses tend to get lost in a storm of compliance requirements and security tools. 

That being said, and regardless of whether you are a small business or a startup, planning your cybersecurity budget is essential. A well-planned budget will help you enjoy the right levels of security without burning a hole in your pocket.

For security support and guidance on how to plan and manage a security budget, get in touch with our team at Triskele Labs today.