Cybersecurity and ROI: measuring the value of your IT security

ROI — return on investment — is one of the most reliable finance metrics for measuring a business’ financial success because it paints a picture of how well a particular investment paid off in dollar terms. It’s considered the bedrock of business, as it helps answer questions on how to maximize production, trim costs, and increase profits.

However, this metric often becomes blurred when it comes to cybersecurity efforts because the benefits of having a robust IT security system cannot be readily converted to a dollar measure.

Can you measure ROI on cybersecurity efforts?

The short answer is “yes”, although it is not as straightforward as it would be for typical business investments such as capital assets or property, plant, and equipment (PPE). The financial gains of cybersecurity measures — especially those provided by an outsourced IT service — are more difficult to measure because the most apparent financial figure attached to their use would typically only be an expense account. Cybersecurity does not bring in dollar profits. It does, however, protect a company’s ability to bring in revenues.

An effective way of putting a nominal value on cybersecurity benefits would be by measuring a) attacks that were mitigated, and b) attacks that might have happened but were prevented by a cybersecurity system. Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) VP and CISO Christopher Porter made their organization an example at a 2017 MIT Sloan symposium. They projected an annual cost savings of $20 for every account protected. With a million customers, their savings amounted to around $20 million, thanks to their cybersecurity system that successfully protected all the accounts.

Porter also stated that companies should figure out how much it would cost them should their customers' accounts be compromised. Estimating legal fees, potential damages, and other litigation costs will help the company determine how much money the cybersecurity system will potentially save.

Many large businesses consider this to be a herculean task especially when you factor in the volume of attacks they tend to receive and the fact that they typically use complex cybersecurity systems. On the other hand, SMBs will likely have an easier time putting a number on their savings and ROI, since they typically use a consolidated IT system that includes cybersecurity services.

How a dependable IT service can make a difference

Having a transparent and accountable IT provider is important now more than ever. Ideally, IT providers should be able to furnish you with security reports that detail internal activities that may lead to a compromised system, active attacks, and threat outbreaks. Your cybersecurity technicians should always be actively assessing how well the system is holding up.

From a pragmatic perspective, you should consider your cybersecurity solution to be successful if nothing problematic happens to your systems. Treat your cybersecurity provider as a safety net - an expense that you must incur if you wish to keep your systems fully secure. By looking at your IT system from a contingency viewpoint, its true importance to your business will become clear.

Arnet Technologies sets itself apart from the competition by guaranteeing a holistic IT solution that promises clarity and transparency right from the start. We perform comprehensive cybersecurity audits to ensure that nothing is overlooked, and provide thorough reports as necessary. Our services include spam and phishing protection, backup and disaster recovery, on-release patches and security updates, and dark web monitoring to keep track of what cybercriminals are selling. Whatever you need, we have it for you. Contact us for a quote today.

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