A security budget is essential to practically every business. Your security plan should be tailored to your business to address all the possible dangers you can be challenged with. In fact, many companies have a security operations program, revised and presented annually by the security management team. A comprehensive security plan must specify its goals, objectives, procedures to follow, the communication plan and considers ongoing improvement.In smaller businesses, a security plan may have varying levels of importance. Regardless of the size of your business, here are some effective tips to help your organizations security planning.

4 Tips for planning an Effective Security Budget

1. Assess Inventory and Current Assets: A good security budget begins by taking an inventory of what you own, critical areas of an organization’s assets such as company servers, customer information, tools, employees, property infrastructure assets etc. Identifying the number of risk events occurred that challenges the present plan and measures the results, so that the budget can be adjusted. Keep in mind there is no perfect plan, but the more you adjust, test, and evaluate the better the plan will be in the event of a crisis, thus giving security managers an edge in defining proper actions vs desired budget.

2. Procuring New Technology: Get creative with resources available, stay informed with the latest equipment, software, staff, training, advanced malware, cloud servers etc. Keep an open eye on hiring expertise that can bring greater benefits to your team and help with planning. Think outside of the box, in terms of ways you can improve services and reducing operating costs. Consider company growth and expansion by looking ahead at least 3-5 years.

3. Be cautious and not too Technically Driven: Evaluate what you have on hand as technology, if it works well and isn’t broken, then don’t change it. Of course, it’s nice to have the latest technologies, but will it help your case or hinder your presentation if challenged. Should you decide to purchase new technology, don’t rush, do your homework, double check your requirements and test it with your present environment. New technologies have shown they can bring complex problems and become inefficient to run. Spend wisely!

4. Evaluate the Efficiency of the Program: You just finished writing out a great security program and you are ready to make a presentation. STOP! Security managers need to measure the effectiveness of the plan to assess the entirety and completeness of their organization’s security program. You should reach out to experts in the field to revise and test the plan with you, and help you strengthen some areas. This step is significant, so that you could decide if revisions are needed and if they require more budget.

How to enhance your Security Budget (Other considerations)

Security costs are on the rise due to increased security attacks and organizations are wondering why aren’t they getting their desired results. Perhaps some businesses are spending too much on Technology and not enough on intelligence or perhaps their security plan focuses too much in one area of the infrastructure and not in other areas such as data breaches and malware. 

#1 Begin with your Security Team. Make sure you have the best possible skilled security professionals’ people in the field, working with you and for the organization. Quality versus quantity. People that are not scared of thinking out of the box or mentioning how to do things more efficiently. Invest in People and think about how to keep them, retention!

#2 The right amount of people. Understaffing of security professionals is likely to create a situation where the organization will end up driving unsecured projects into production, unable to correctly respond to incidents, or properly sustain a healthy security program. This means that those who are there will be continuously jumping from one emergency to the next.

#3 Security Plan. Skip the bells and whistles, nice to have technologies. Purchase what is needed, and your team must be able to handle, maintain and test the technology needed to secure the organizations best interest. You want your plan to contain and spend on defense mechanism and incident response capabilities. It is inevitable that you are one day going to get hit hard, its how fast and well you can defend and respond that counts.

How to develop a Security Budget that your Senior Executives will buy Into

There is no shortage of information available building a Security Plan, but what about how to develop a security budget and present it to your executives? For many corporate Security managers that have tried, it can be a tough sell at times. 

Now let us be clear that essential improvements should be prioritized and leave the “nice to haves” out. Whether you are in I.T, finance, operations, or the chief security officer (CSO), you must be clear and precise when writing, planning, costing, and presenting a security plan with its budget. The best practice in our opinion is to lay down a 3-year plan, so that you can also show cost projected increases.

You must show value to the security plan, and how it will help limit the RISKS in the organization with the money that is invested into the security program by the organization, in terms they will understand.

The CSO (Chief Security Officer) and/or the CIO (Chief Technology Officer) of many organizations own and carry out the responsibility of having in place and maintaining the security plan for the organization. Although there are connections between I.T and security environments, both are part of rapid changing worlds in areas such as technologies and services like mobility and cloud computing. In public companies presenting to the board can be nerve-wracking, even for seasoned executives. Focus on who, why, what, where, when and how will significantly increase your chance of success.

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