5 Places to Focus Your Cybersecurity Budget in 2021

5 Places to Focus Your Cybersecurity Budget in 2021

As 2020 comes to a close, businesses are looking forward to 2021 with hope. When preparing to hit the ground running in the new year, it’s important to focus on cybersecurity to ensure you don’t lose any forward motion due to a breach.

According to the 2020 CIRA Cybersecurity Report by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, cybercrime is only getting worse. And it’s something that Canadian businesses need to keep at the forefront of their business technology planning.

In 2019, companies across Northern Ontario and the rest of the country generated some of the following statistics:

  • 25% of organizations had a breach of customer or company information
  • 38% of organizations didn’t know if they had a breach or not
  • 30% of companies saw a higher volume of cyberattacks during the pandemic

Business have a limited number of resources, so they often have to prioritize their technology and IT security expenditures. Where should you focus your money in 2021 to get the most benefit?

We’ve taken a look at a new McKinsey report that surveyed over 250 global security professionals to gain some insights into top budget priorities for cybersecurity in the new year.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) for Remote Teams

2020 has been the year of the remote workforce due to pandemic shut-down orders around the world. This has led to higher productivity in many cases, but also in higher security risk.

20% of surveyed companies reported having a data breach during the pandemic because of a remote worker.

A business VPN gives remote and mobile employees the ability to secure their communications by using an encrypted network. It’s as easy to use as downloading an app and turning on the VPN. This is one area that businesses are focusing budgets on in the coming year, because remote teams don’t look like they’re going anywhere even after the pandemic passes.

Endpoint Security

There used to be a time when all network endpoints were contained in a single building and they stayed put. But today’s business networks have multiple endpoints that are moving around continuously, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

Network endpoints also now extend to employee homes in the case of telecommuting, and the IoT revolution has brought a whole new level of vulnerability to company networks.

Endpoint device security includes the use of applications like Microsoft Intune or similar programs that allow you to track, monitor, and protect endpoints from a centralized location remotely.

Using endpoint device management, you can:

  • Remotely update devices to ensure security patches are applied
  • Control endpoint device access to company assets
  • Remotely lock or wipe a lost or stolen device
  • Monitor for any malicious activity or potential endpoint breach 

Identity & Access Management

Cloud migrations are just about complete for most Canadian businesses, this means most of their data is in a cloud application, requiring proper security to keep hackers out.

77% of cloud account breaches are due to compromised login credentials. If hackers gain access to a cloud account like Microsoft 365, they can typically access user email as well as company files in cloud storage.

One of the best ways to protect cloud accounts from being breached is to invest in identity and access management. This includes use of things like single sign-on (SSO) technology and advanced systems that give you the freedom to use location-based challenge questions, enable universal MFA, and keep user experience fluid. 

Managed Security Services

Protecting your small business from a cyberattack has become much more complicated over the last decade. This means that cybersecurity has become more time intensive if you’re a company trying to handle your IT yourself.

Optimization is the key to continuing to grow your business, and companies can often outsource certain activities for less than the cost of doing it themselves.

One of these is managed security services, which automate the process of network management, keep all your systems updated automatically, and allow to you focus on your business instead of worrying about the next ransomware attack.

Some of the typical protections that come with managed security include:

  • Patch/update management
  • Network monitoring
  • Managed antivirus/anti-malware
  • Managed backup/recovery
  • Web filtering
  • Email/phishing protections

Employee Cybersecurity Training

Your employees are on the front line when it comes to phishing emails and other social engineering attacks. Phishing is the #1 delivery vehicle for malware, and it depends on untrained employees clicking a dangerous link or opening a malicious file attachment.

Investing in ongoing employee cybersecurity training that keeps your team up to date on the latest threats and how to spot them, can significantly reduce your risk. It can also improve data privacy compliance by training staff on best practices for data security.

Get Help Developing a Strong Cybersecurity Posture in 2021

Haxxess can help your Northern Ontario business plan for the coming year with cost efficient network protections.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation! Call 705-222-8324 or reach out online.

stay in touch

Subscribe to our newsletter and we'll keep you informed about latest IT news.