February 24, 2021

How to Reduce Cyber Risk While Increasing ROI

Cybersecurity ROI (return on investment) has become a common topic in the security world. Many firms ask how cyber risk can be reduced while maximizing ROI. Security spending is increasingly a focus of IT departments everywhere as security threats continue to advance and grow more common. But, how can a firm measure cybersecurity improvements? Unlike other investments, cybersecurity is more about loss prevention than increased earnings. The monetary value of preventing denial of service attacks, malware, phishing scams, and countless other types of threats is difficult to quantify given the wide-ranging scale these attacks can take. Cyberattacks can jeopardize a company’s services as well as their reputation. Possessing client information can open them up to lawsuits if negligence was involved. 

Even more challenging is the fact that if a cybersecurity system and security team works well and does its job then…drumroll please…nothing happens. The best security teams are distinguished by a notable absence, not by a tangible and measurable presence of something (like sales, profit, etc). These factors make quantifying the ROI of cybersecurity challenging. However, by employing security best practices, firms can still increase ROI through preventing massive losses and deploying the right technology and strategies while reducing their cyber risk. 

How Does Cybersecurity Impact ROI?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercrime increased by a staggering 75%. In this environment of increased threats, strong cybersecurity combined with educated and cautious employees is the best way to protect your company from cybercrime. Given the huge increase in cybercrime and the extraordinarily high cost when it’s successful, cybersecurity is receiving more focus and scrutiny from company leaders. Here are some real ways that you can improve your ROI with cybersecurity:

Do an Assessment of Your System

Only by having an expert, trusted security team analyze your system will you know your current strengths and weaknesses. Many security systems are spending too much money on outdated firewall systems and not enough on AI and machine learning according to Accenture’s annual Cost of Cybercrime report. One of the best ROI for cybersecurity is to confirm you are spending money every month on systems that will offer the most protection. 

Have AI Detect Anomalies  

One of the big complaints about cybersecurity is that it becomes an impediment to doing basic work like sending information and conducting research. However, instead of relying on blanket encryption programs and restrictive internet functions, artificial intelligence can be used to detect threats without impeding the end user. According to one survey, automation technology was “only deployed by 28 percent of organizations, yet provided the third highest cost savings for security technologies overall at $2.2 million.” At Cetrom, as part of our enterprise level security we use artificial intelligence (AI) based products built to stop breaches. This AI software learns user habits and daily activities so that it can identify when an anomaly may be present within a user’s environment, but doesn’t slow down their day-to-day work. 

Educate and Train Employees

This is one of the simplest and most cost-effective security measures you can take to increase your ROI. Many destructive cyberattacks start by user error, such as opening a harmful email or attachment, inserting an infected flash drive, or allowing their passwords to be compromised. Employee training programs are comparatively inexpensive but have a great ROI when they’re effective. To help protect employees from making password mistakes, a multi-factor authentication system is an extremely effective tool that can be utilized for a relatively low cost. 

Deploy Anti-spam and Anti-virus Protection and Detection

Ninety-one percent of cyberattacks occur via email. Anti-spam and anti-virus prevention and detection can help stop threats before they have a chance to show themselves. For companies that share a lot of client data in email, these systems can ensure that client data is protected. Due to the high prevalence of scams that come through viruses and spam, spending money and energy on this aspect of your cybersecurity plan will yield outsized results. 

Factor in the Cost of Cybercrime 

A cyberattack can cost an organization millions of dollars in direct damages plus countless more in lost business, delays, and potential legal fees. An attack also risks ruining the company’s trusted brand name. Like a natural disaster or car accident, it’s always better to plan for the worst and hope for the best. 

Consider Moving Your CPA Firm to Cloud-based Services 

Cloud computing services and cybersecurity offers a great ROI because there aren’t any initial or recurring hardware investments, in-person maintenance, downtime costs while maintaining or fixing the system, licensing fees, and energy costs. On-site equipment is expensive and requires frequent replacement and upgrading. At Cetrom, our experts are available to solve your problems 24/7/365 so you never need to lose money while your system is down. Cloud services are very safe and there are many benefits to making the transition for your CPA firm.

Hire the Right IT Provider 

Due to high demand and rare skill set, hiring an expert IT staff can be very expensive. If your cybersecurity company is an outside contractor, you can increase your ROI by employing a company that can assist in other critical IT matters. With Cetrom, our cloud IT experts are always available to help solve any problems with your cloud-based services. We specialize in accounting and CPA firms, so we have a great sense for what those firms need and the best way to protect them. 

Bottom Line 

With the huge costs associated with cybercrime it’s understandable why most firms prioritize cybersecurity. Even though it can be difficult to measure, there are ways to both increase cybersecurity ROI and effectiveness. The bottom line is that by doing a system assessment, using AI and machine learning, training employees, investing in good anti-virus/anti-spam technology, using a cloud service, and choosing the right cybersecurity company you will ensure your firm is on the right track to increasing its cybersecurity ROI.

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