At the beginning of 2023, CISOs were optimistic about the prospect of higher budgets for cyber security, anticipating continued investments in risk reduction. However, given unforeseen macroeconomic events, including a global economic downturn, some CISOs are now preparing for potential slow downs in budgetary approvals and security spending.
As a CISO, navigating the ebb and flow of this changing tide requires agility and the operationalization of robust, proactive and sophisticated tactics. We’re here to help — Get expert insights into how you can implement a prudent, cost-conscious approach while maximizing the value of available resources.
Achieving more with less
Achieving better results with fewer resources is undoubtedly challenging, but employing the following practices can significantly simplify your navigation through this situation:
1. Asset identification. Conduct asset inventory assessments, collaborate with stakeholders, and use automated discovery tools in order to determine where to focus upcoming cyber security efforts. Ultimately, asset identification leads to stronger asset management, which results in a stronger cyber security posture.
2. Reduce redundancies. Conduct a thorough investigation of the existing security toolset within your organization. Identify and map out overlapping functionalities, redundant features, and tools that are no longer necessary. Seek out opportunities to consolidate some of your tools into a single comprehensive solution that can perform multiple tasks while reducing complexity and management overhead.
3. Automate. Automation can serve as a powerful ally for CISOs. It’s one of the best ways to make spending stretch. Automation tools can lead to significant cost savings through operational efficiency improvements, enhanced threat prevention, detection and response capabilities, and by limiting risk exposure. While automation is extremely useful, security professionals need to ensure that it’s implemented in a thoughtful and controlled manner.
4. Strategic partnerships. CISOs need to develop strategic partnerships with information sharing communities, industry peers and vendors. These groups can offer shared access to resources, expertise and support, minimizing your costs.
5. Align goals with CFO. In the contemporary threat and business landscape, CISOs need to align security priorities with organizational objectives. Converse with your CFO about making security spending stretch even further, large-scale business value-adds, security improvements, efficiencies and support of overall risk management. In building a positive rapport with your CFO, future security investment discussions will become easier.
6. Innovate. While it may sound like the opposite of what you should pursue in tough times, innovation across many different areas can lead to cost reductions. As noted earlier, tool consolidation and automation can reduce expenses. Other means of innovation, from pursuing pay-as-you-go cloud-based security to leveraging artificial intelligence for detection purposes, can also decrease costs.
Adoption of these strategies can enable CISOs to effectively maximize the impact of cyber security efforts while navigating uncertain economic times. As a CISO, ensure that you focus on areas that offer the most significant returns on investment and align security initiatives with your organization’s overall business objectives.