Most organizations think of cybersecurity as an expense while jumping on the digital transformation bandwagon. But digital transformation, without stronger security, is a double-edged sword. Adopting newer cloud applications and technologies increases the attack surface – which in return requires a stronger cyber defense.
A weak security posture can turn out to be a very expensive affair in the event of an attack. An organization with a strong security posture potentially saves a lot of money which would be wasted in data recovery, loss of customer trust, reputation, getting back operations at feet, or even paying the hackers the ransom.
The average cost of a data breach in 2022 stood at $4.35 million. Couldn’t this money be saved, had the organization deployed an effective cyber defense? The same report by IBM stated that average costs saved by having an advanced security solution was $3.05 million.
This number emphasizes the fact that cybersecurity must be seen as a strategic and sustainable investment. More in line with the proverb, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
It often becomes difficult for companies to compare the costs of the cyber incidents with the costs of investment in the cybersecurity solution, especially in the absence of the incident. Therefore, some C-level executives may drag this conversation towards ROI (return on investment) or even draw a parallel with insurance - where it’s hard to conclude about ‘returns’ on solution or the product. What they need to realize is that the consequences of a cyberattack could be financially devastating (as we saw in the above statistics).
Attacks could also lead to legal turmoil and loss of reputation. In 2019, Delta Airlines sued its chatbot vendor for causing a data breach. The chatbot platform with weak security and password policy made it too easy for the hacker to access the payment card data of more than 825,000 Delta passengers. Delta sued (unsurprisingly) the vendor owing to their negligence.