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How Much Should My Business Spend On Cybersecurity?

Managed IT Services coupled with cybersecurity are crucial in today's business environment to proactively manage and maintain IT infrastructure, ensuring optimal performance and reliability.
What factors contribute to pricing?

This isn't 2014 anymore! How much should my business spend on cybersecurity?...

Managed IT Services coupled with cybersecurity are crucial in today's business environment to

proactively manage and maintain IT infrastructure, ensuring optimal performance and reliability.

With the increasing number of cyber threats and attacks targeting businesses of all sizes, robust cybersecurity measures are essential to protect sensitive data and safeguard against potential breaches.

Integrating cybersecurity into managed IT services provides a comprehensive approach to IT management, enhancing business continuity, resilience, and overall security posture.

Let's take a look at one way that criminals seek to exploit your weaknesses for their gain.  You have a 70% chance of falling victim to a BEC Scam this week.

BEC scams are queued up and when deployed hackers steal your data, halt your operations, and will destroy your reputation. All it takes is one click and your business has a 60% chance of going under due to the costs associated with a Cyber Attack.  You recognize the threat of cyberattacks to your business but are unsure of the next steps or necessary services. So the question is….

How can you make an informed decision on investing in cybersecurity to minimize risk and securely operate your business?

This article will give you some insight into how you should be budgeting for cybersecurity to defend your small business. You'll learn key factors to consider that influence cost so you can make an informed decision without overspending.

66 % of small businesses experieced a cyber attack
Small Businesses deserve big protection

source: Cisco

Why Cybersecurity Matters for Small Businesses

The only reason you don’t hear about more small businesses being hit with Cyber Attacks is because they are not salacious enough to make the news. But you should consider the losses that large corporations face and scale them to compare. How would your small business recoup from a $20,000-$50,000 loss?

Being reactive will cost you more in the long run!

The devastating effects of a cyber attack are not only financial.  Employee and customer confidence can be shaken and will damage your hard-earned reputation.  Companies like ATT, Cigna, Boeing, etc. have endless resources and will survive, but will you?

What about the legal obligations you face in the midst of an attack?  Are you aware of your state and industry legal obligation in reporting an incident? Without proper cybersecurity measures in place, your business may be facing more than just a fine.  You may be held legally responsible for not taking the proper steps to securing your customers and employees private identifiable information.(PII)


Factors That Contribute To How Much Cybersecurity Costs

The cost presented by your MSP isn't arbitrary; it's based on key factors that help determine your company's cybersecurity budget. An understanding of the basics will empower you in preparing and determining your budgeting needs.

Industry and Business Size

The Data you handle matters and if you are in an essential or critical infrastructure industry then you are going to be held to a higher standard than other businesses. This means that you do have certain security measures that are required to operate.

At this time there are bills in the works that will broaden the definition and scope of reporting incidents and complying with regulations.  Small businesses are included in the new bills to come.  Be aware of these changes that affect your industry.

Current Security Posture

  • Solid Foundation: Having a strong foundation will save you money.  If you have current hardware, up to date software solutions, enterprise level firewall and EDR in place is considered a foundation for robust security measures to build on.

  • Shaky at Best: Starting from scratch will mean that initial setup costs will be higher.  This would be a great time to perform a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment to determine your most urgent needs and allows you to work from facts on building up to a healthy IT environment.

The purpose of Managed IT services is to provide maintenance of your infrastructure and does not include proactive security measures. Includes some of these services. At $50 you may receive just one of these and at $150 you may receive most
Managed IT Services

Desired Security Solution

Entry-level IT Support:

Price Range: $50-$150 per user

The purpose of Managed IT services is to provide maintenance of your infrastructure and does not include proactive security measures. Includes some of these services. At $50 you may receive just one of these and at $150 you may receive most.

Network Monitoring and Management:

  • 24/7 monitoring of network devices and infrastructure to detect and resolve issues proactively, ensuring optimal network performance and reliability.

Remote IT Support:

  • Remote troubleshooting and support for end-user devices, software, and applications to resolve issues quickly and minimize downtime.

Server Management:

  • Monitoring, maintenance, and management of servers to ensure they are running efficiently, securely, and reliably.

Patch Management:

  • Regular updates and patching of software, operating systems, and applications to address security vulnerabilities, enhance performance, and ensure compliance with software licensing agreements.

Endpoint Management:

  • Management and security of end-user devices, such as desktops, laptops, mobile devices, and peripherals, to ensure they are secure, up-to-date, and operating efficiently.

Essential Cybersecurity Services:

Price Range: $250-$500 per user

The purpose of these services is to go beyond basic IT support to actively strengthen and protect your business when threatened.  These services are separate from you managed IT environment.

Email Security Solutions:

  • Implementation and management of email security solutions, including spam filtering, phishing protection, malware detection, and email encryption to protect against email-based threats and ensure the security and integrity of corporate communications.

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM):

  • Implementation and management of SIEM solutions to collect, analyze, and correlate security event data from various sources across the organization's IT infrastructure to identify and respond to security incidents and threats.

Security Awareness Training:

  • Providing security awareness training and education programs for employees to raise awareness about cybersecurity best practices, phishing attacks, social engineering tactics, and other common cyber threats to reduce human error and improve overall cybersecurity hygiene.

Identity and Access Management (IAM):

  • Implementation and management of IAM solutions to control and manage user access to the organization's systems, applications, and data, enforce least privilege access policies, and enhance security by ensuring only authorized users can access sensitive resources.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):

  • Implementation and management of MFA solutions to add an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide multiple forms of verification before granting access to corporate systems and data.

Risk Assessment, Incident Reporting, Data Protection, Regular Audits
Key Compliance Requirements of SEC Cybersecurity Rules

Additional Security Measures Available: How Much Should My Business Spend On Cybersecurity?

Various regulatory agencies around the world require industries to implement cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive data, infrastructure, and systems. Some industries have strong cybersecurity recommendations due to the sensitive nature of their industry. There are currently new regulations being discussed and finalized so it is important to stay informed. 

Here's a list of some of the key regulatory agencies and frameworks that mandate cybersecurity requirements and/or strongly encourage their industries to act responsibly:

Cybersecurity Measures and/or Compliance Risk Assessments:


  • Financial Services, Healthcare, Government and Public Sector, Energy and Utilities, Retail and E-commerce, Legal and Professional Services, Technology and Web Development.

  • Compliance Risk Assessments:  Some industries like the above are required to perform these assessments to show compliance to operate.

  • Secure VoIP Phone Systems: Range: $20-$50 per employee/month.

  • Cloud Server Management and Data Storage:  Typically for larger companies with unique requirements.

  • On-site Support: If not included in your contract, can range from $200-$400 per hour.


How Do I Budget For Cybersecurity Needs?

If you do not have a budget for IT this will be very hard to realize but it is necessary to build up to a level of security to meet your business needs. 

IT maturity, growth goals, and urgent IT needs are factors that affect the methods below. Here are three ways you can prepare a Budget for your business IT needs:

Percentage of Revenue Approach

Consider industry benchmarks and your specific needs. In a data sensitive industry, the average starting point is 6% of annual revenue.

The standard for any small business with no current budget or managed IT set in place is 3% of annual revenue. Adjustments should be considered annually based on your current risk, company size, and needs. Percentages may be broken down internally into items such as Software, Hardware, and Cybersecurity.

Cost Per-Employee

This method may be most helpful to businesses that are just starting to implement IT services.  It should be used to build up to a desired outcome of a fully managed and secured IT infrastructure. 

Determine a specific dollar amount you find your business needs to be secure. Then divide this amount by the number of employees.  Is this number sufficient to implement the essential measures to protect your business?

Cyber Security Risk Assessments as a Service

The most effective way to determine what cybersecurity measures your business needs is to perform a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment from a reputable IT Provider.  This assessment will pinpoint your vulnerabilities and lay a path to prioritizing essential security measures.  

Some IT providers may provide a basic assessment for free or at a low cost.  Paid Cybersecurity Risk Assessments typically start at $1,500 and increase based on the complexity of your business.

There are great benefits to a paid assessment:

  • Gain valuable insight.  This assessment will provide a detailed picture of your current security posture and identify immediate and long term threats and weaknesses.

  • Knowledge to create a long-term plan.  This understanding allows you to work with an IT professional to craft a proactive long-term plan for securing your future.

  • Priorities.  Knowing your vulnerabilities and areas of high risk allows for informed decision making on where to focus your initial efforts and budgeting appropriately.

  • Trust but Verify.  You can be confident in knowing that your IT provider is putting forth a plan to actually address issues that relate to your current situation.

Take That First Step

Action is required on your part to open up the line of communication.  Contact Ciprian IT to begin your journey on being proactive in securing your business instead of being reactive in the face of a cyber incident.

We provide business owners with a Cyber Strategy Session to explore all the ways we can help reduce risk and secure future growth.

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