What does ROI look like in Cybersecurity?

In business terms ROI (Return on investment) is the simplest way to ensure that what you spend your hard-earned money on is bringing you back a return and isn’t wasteful. It is a way to ensure that expenditure is purposeful within any business setting.

You may be wondering why we are defining business terms. Well, it directly relates to the mindset and decisions of implementing and integrating cyber security. ROI within cyber security typically involves measuring the financial benefits of security investments against the costs of those investments. In general, ROI is calculated as the financial gain or benefit resulting from an investment, divided by the cost of the investment.

Cybersecurity, by nature, can be difficult to measure, as when it is working perfectly there are no financial losses for example. Also, a key decision maker may not understand the direct impact of not having a fortified cybersecurity protocol could cost if a breach were to happen.

Why is it hard to measure cybersecurity ROI?

The problem with measuring return on investment (ROI) within cyber security is that it can be difficult to accurately quantify the benefits of security investments in financial terms. Here are a few reasons why –

 

It is difficult to measure the cost of a cyber-attack

Due to this not being straightforward, it can be difficult to quantify for example to calculate the financial impact of an attack. Costs such as remediation, lost revenue, and damage to reputation are all difficult to truly quantify for an organisation until it happens. This potential cost is then an awkward figure to place the cost of implementing cyber security against.

 

Lack of standardised metrics

There are no standardised metrics to measure the effectiveness of security investments. It can be challenging to determine which security investments are effective and which are not. This can be especially frustrating when it comes down to really understanding costs against your investment within your cyber security.

 

Difficulty in quantifying the benefits of preventative “measures”

Preventative measures such as employee training, security awareness programs, and vulnerability assessments can be difficult to measure in terms of their financial impact. Making them difficult to understand when ROI is brought to the table.

 

With all of these “what if's” it can be daunting to try to understand the direct ROI of your cyber security investments unless you understand what metrics you can use within your organisation.

 

Which metrics should we pay attention to?

These metrics rely on the output of data from cyber security systems that allow you to make it understandable.

 

The data that can be used allows you to directly see the impact of your cyber security system in preventing a costly breach. Some of those types of data are the number of removed vulnerabilities, the mean time to detect (MTTD) and the mean time to respond (MTTR), the number of alerts. All of these outputs give you tangible data to see how your cyber security systems are working, and in essence what your money is being spent on.

 

Each piece of data showcasing an alert and how the system managed it is showing you that it saved you from a financial impact from a breach or attack. When these metrics are considered, it is easier to quantify the ROI of your cyber security investment.

 

How can we decode cybersecurity ROI? 

As with anything within the cyber security world it can be difficult to truly understand what is really going on. It changes dramatically, and often, and we also need to be ready for the next trend or threat that shows up on the horizon.

 

At Core to Cloud, we work with our clients to truly simplify their cyber security to ensure that they have the correct systems and processes in place to keep their core assets and data safe. Each solution we create is bespoke giving you the correct level of security and also the correct level of output for your organisation to truly understand your cyber security landscape.

 

When we remove silos of misinformation surrounding cyber security and create transparent systems and alerts it becomes easier to understand the necessity of the investment within your cyber security. ROI no longer becomes the true focus of the investment.

 

Interested to find out how we can help? Our team at Core to Cloud have the expertise and processes to help you to decode your cyber security needs and costs. Together we can remove the mystery surrounding your cyber security and help you to truly measure your investment within this area of your business.

 

We understand that metrics allow you to make informed decisions and to make decisions that matter within your business, your cyber security is no different.

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