#HowTo: Maximize Security ROI Amid an Economic Downturn

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Amid the current economic downturn, organizations across all industries are taking steps to conserve their security budget. However, even as budgets tighten, cyber-criminals continue to find new and more sophisticated ways to breach organizations, costing them time and money. According to a recent IBM report, data breach costs rose from $4.24m to $4.35m in 2021, the highest average total cost ever.   

Companies shouldn’t downplay the investment in protecting their company. Still, the reality is that costs for employees, facilities, instruction and materials quickly pile up, and it can be difficult to justify these expenditures. While security leaders understand the importance of their security investments, they need to prove the efficacy and return on investment (ROI) of security investments to C-suite executives and board members. Therefore, security leaders need to look for ways to drive efficiencies that improve metrics and reduce unnecessary costs in the short and long term.   

To keep up with today’s ever-changing threat landscape, security teams should incorporate automation to improve accessibility, scalability and the ability to securely integrate data from any source. This will allow teams of any size to increase the effectiveness and ROI of their overall security program without the need to hire more people. Here are the ways automation can maximize security ROI:   

Improve Security Metrics   

Metrics like dwell time, mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR) can provide more data to help security teams make better decisions and show the board and other stakeholders the value of the strategy.   

With MTTD, security teams can measure how long it takes to identify a possible security threat. This metric is vital for understanding how effective your company’s security operations are and how quickly your team can recognize threats. On the other hand, MTTR helps measure the amount of time it takes the organization to respond to a threat or incident after it has been discovered. The longer the response time, the higher the probability of a compromise, which could result in a damaging and costly data breach. Dwell time represents the amount of time an attacker has unrestricted access to a system, from the moment they enter until they are removed. Therefore, the ability to promptly measure the threat level associated with the indicator of compromise is essential to minimize the damage and the duration of dwell time.  

As the stakes of cyber-attacks increase, the C-suite and the board expect to see the progress of these metrics, which is why leveraging automation into your technology stack will help reduce dwell time and improve and achieve your MTTD and MTTR goals. Nowadays, security leaders are also being held more accountable for being breached. Many organizations have difficulty responding promptly and accurately to breaches due to the lack of procedures and technologies. Security automation can help organizations stay ahead of the curve within complex security environments.  

Minimize Risk and Analyst Burnout  

Today’s security teams are frequently slowed down by manual processes that are better left to machines, which would allow teams to proactively threat hunt and concentrate on tasks that require more critical thinking. Another issue is that despite the abundance of excellent security solutions available, not all automatically interact with other tools and systems or exchange information in a useful form that provides contextual data. However, automation enables security teams to access all data by merging different technologies into one centralized point of authority. On average, organizations have nearly 76 different security tools integrated into their technology stacks, which is why automation is needed to streamline the alert process and help maximize the performance of your current tools while enhancing teamwork and increasing visibility.  

The security workforce talent gap also adds to these problems. Teams struggle to make the most use of their limited resources because they are overworked and often lack the necessary time or resources. Amid the chaos, incident responses are falling short, and breaches are largely missed due to alert fatigue. On top of that, having 24/7 manual responses is expensive and can cause security analysts to be burnt out. Organizations are reducing necessary headcount and potentially improving analyst work-life balance by completely automating responses for what is internally deemed as low-level threats.   

Security automation can ease these challenges by managing the countless security threats organizations encounter. It also streamlines alert monitoring and dramatically cuts down on reaction times, allowing security teams to address every alert and reduce risk exposure. Additionally, this enables companies to have smaller teams to successfully manage the platform, ensuring that you can save money in other areas, offset hiring expenses, and increase ROI.  

By using automation, security teams can demonstrate program value to leadership, reduce costs and bring transformational change to the business.   

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