After a year of dramatic data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other high-profile cyberattacks, cybersecurity has eclipsed compliance as the most significant legal risk facing today’s organizations. Accordingly, cybersecurity is a top agenda item for many executives in 2022, and cybersecurity spending is increasing across the board. But how can you effectively utilize your cybersecurity budget?

For small and midsize organizations like yours, however, budget constraints often remain the top cybersecurity challenge. Without the deep pockets and in-house cybersecurity resources that large enterprises enjoy, you have to prioritize investments based on the specific risks facing your organization, balancing immediate needs with long-term goals. In short, you have to stretch your organization’s cybersecurity budget as far as it will possibly go. 

It can be difficult to find the budget you need and allocate it effectively. There’s a nearly endless supply of cybersecurity solutions you could consider, some of which may be only marginally helpful at best. But if you are prioritizing cybersecurity in 2022, here are six cybersecurity investments that are truly worth considering.

Investment 1: Cybersecurity Competency

Bring in cybersecurity competency. The capabilities provided by a chief information security officer (CISO) should be your first investment. Your CISO should have the knowledge to establish a foundational cybersecurity program, confirm compliance, and adhere to regulatory guidance and industry best practices. That said, a full-time, in-house CISO is not always possible or practical. In those cases, outsourcing in the form of a virtual CISO is a cost-effective alternative.

Investment 2: Cyber Risk Assessments 

A cyber risk assessment is the starting point in developing your cybersecurity framework, and conducting a comprehensive risk assessment offers both immediate and long-term benefits. It enables risk-based prioritization and decision-making, ensuring the best use of your cybersecurity resources, and it can directly inform mitigation strategies and incident response planning. 

Investment 3: Managed Detection and Response 

Many small and midsize businesses lack the security expertise or budget to implement 24/7 monitoring and detection, and many lack the tools to monitor and detect malicious activity across their infrastructures. If this sounds like your organization, Managed Detection and Response could be the answer. It’s an affordable and highly effective way to get access to the same security operations center capabilities that protect today’s large enterprises, including 360-degree visibility into networks, logs, endpoints, and cloud infrastructure.

Investment 4: Incident Response Planning

There’s simply no way to prepare for and prevent every possible attack, which is why incident response planning is a crucial investment. Successful incident response planning can help your organization quickly detect and identify incidents, prevent and respond to business disruptions, and avoid millions in losses. An experienced cybersecurity partner can simplify the process, providing capabilities for threat containment and eradication as well as operational recovery. 

Investment 5: Attack Surface Reduction

You can quickly and dramatically reduce your attack surface by investing in a handful of tactical security solutions such as multifactor authentication (MFA), domain controller protection, mobile disk encryption, and next-generation antivirus software. You can also quickly assess and address your vulnerabilities at any point in time by investing in penetration testing, and you can proactively mitigate risks between pen tests with an ongoing vulnerability management program

Investment 6: Security Awareness Training 

Employees are the first line of defense, and when it comes to sophisticated social engineering, phishing, and ransomware attacks, sometimes they are the only line of defense. That’s why employee security awareness training is no longer a “nice to have” in the security budget — it’s now mission-critical. Effective user awareness training is an investment that is proven to help our clients prevent cybersecurity breaches and the downtime and costs associated with them. 

Learn more about proactive cybersecurity solutions

Today, you have to stretch your organization’s budget like never before, protecting your assets while adapting to an ever-changing cybersecurity landscape. Pondurance makes it possible.

To learn more about proactive cybersecurity solutions for your organization, including ballpark pricing and implementation timelines, download our new eBook Cyber Priorities: 6 Cybersecurity Investments You Should Consider in 2022.