The Economics of Security

Cyber security budgets are curious things. There is a constant balancing act between the ability to provide maximum protection and risk reduction against flat IT budgets and incremental personnel hiring. And most organizations expect that proportionately more money will be spent on security each year. Even if this budget shift is achieved, there is still a big question mark over whether the bigger spend is actually making us any safer. In a recent article in Infosecurity Magazine, Wendy Grossman addresses this phenomenon, coining it “seconomics,” and asks: does all the spending to defend really add up?

Our VP for the EMEA region, Ottavio Camponeschi, was interviewed for the article and gave his assessment of seconomics, revealing an important piece of the puzzle: complexity. Modern enterprise IT environments are a tangled web of security devices and access points. And as the security infrastructure grows, gaps inevitably start to emerge. You may end up with firewalls carrying rules and policies that are way out of date or ill-defined and therefore, not of much use.

With their perimeter defenses “failing,” companies spend more money looking to find the “silver bullet” that is going to keep attackers out for good. But more spending goes hand in hand with more technology. And as more technology is added to try and solve the issue at hand, the complexity of the network grows even further – it’s a cycle that is difficult to break.

The article concludes that spending does provide benefit, because outrunning the bad guys is “still a good thing.” However, at FireMon, we know the answer lies in better management of the security infrastructure you already have. If companies are going to spend more money, it should be focused on simplifying and smoothing workflows to make it easier to correlate and analyze different data streams.

After all, attackers are adaptive. Shouldn’t organizations be the same? And with that, be able to update rules and policies to enable the business without leaving a torrent of security holes open for attackers to take advantage of.

Have you maximized your existing infrastructure? If not, we can show you how.