Many companies in the U.S. are currently undergoing a rapid digital transformation that is helping them increase their productivity and efficiencies. However, this sometimes comes at a very high price above and beyond initial expenditures. This article will discuss 2019 and what the future holds for IT security.
As companies adopt new technologies, software, and hardware systems, this can exponentially increase the overall attack surface area. This can lead to devastating consequences as a single cyberattack can bring an entire company to its knees.
There are often hidden or undisclosed vulnerabilities in these new technologies that can provide multiple weak points for attackers to target. The companies that get hit the hardest are those who don’t have the budget for IT security spending.
Here’s 5 top areas where businesses in 2019 were spending the most money when it comes to IT security spending.
Better Internal Training
Internet security firm Kaspersky released a report that stated phishing attacks jumped up by 21% in Q2 of 2019. A phishing attack is where a hacker or cybercriminal will attempt to deceive an unsuspecting employee at a company to click on a malicious hyperlink which will in some cases infect the entire company network and give the attacker complete or partial control.
Companies can help thwart phishing and ransomware attacks by designating a dedicated compliance officer and instituting company-wide security training. Employees should also be made aware of social engineering scams, where attackers will call, and sweet-talk them into giving out sensitive passwords or other company data.
A digital security breach can happen in a fraction of a second. Zero-day attacks occur much more frequently than many companies realize. By the time a software or hardware vendor gets around to patching the previously unknown security risk, the damage has already been done.
This is why many companies in 2019 allocated a portion of their IT budget to dedicated threat intelligence services and companies. They kept a watchful eye on the security landscape and helped businesses adequately prepare for an attack long before it ever happens.
Technology and Tools
Companies who have in-house servers and data centers are spending money on operational expenses such as consultants, secured servers, DDOS protection, and the latest in secure hardware/software to combat various security threats.
There are many companies out there whose internal networks are running on antiquated software and hardware that haven’t been patched with the latest security updates in many years.
While the upfront cost of replacing older hardware and unsupported software may be expensive, it pales in comparison to the damage a single attacker can cause in a single attack.
Compliance and Audits
Even the most secure hardware and software can have vulnerabilities if they aren’t installed right or patched regularly.
SANS security released the results of a survey on IT security spending trends, which found that “compliance and audits” are at the very bottom of the list of annual expenditures.
This is rather odd because 80% of the respondents indicated that regulatory compliance was the most effective means to justify the funding of internal security programs.
Contracted services are becoming very popular due to the increased security they offer. The cloud services also allow companies to forgo having to buy and maintain expensive hardware and software licenses, along with the dedicated internal IT department required to run and maintain it.
Companies spend a lot of money, time, and expertise on upgrading and beefing up the security systems of their cloud-based services. This high level of security is often many times more than an internal IT department can provide.
What Does the Future Hold for IT Security?
The amount of budget allocated to IT security varies from company to company. There is, however, a commonality that all companies share: their internal and external systems are only safe and secure until the day they’re the victim of a malicious cyber attack.
As tech and IT continue to evolve at an exponential pace, and cybercriminals continue their online attacks, it’s safe to say that the IT security spending trends for 2020 will increase exponentially over the years.