If you’re a small or mid-sized business that’s wondering how you will afford to meet growing cybersecurity requirements, you’re not alone. Many small and mid-sized businesses struggle to budget for the necessary technology and resources to keep their data and their business safe because the tools are either far too expensive or require large purchase quantities that can’t be met. The expertise to install and use those tools can also be out of reach for many.
Industry experts refer to this situation as the “Cybersecurity Poverty Line” or as we like to call it, the “Cybersecurity Affordability Line.” Simply put, this line encompasses a number of factors that together serve as a threshold for what’s considered the lowest line of defense.
Breaking Down the Cybersecurity Poverty Line for Small & Midsized Businesses
The impact of the cybersecurity affordability line isn’t just limited to typical financial poverty but also information and capability poverty, which are still big hurdles to overcome even with an unlimited budget. Ask yourself, could your business still build, run, and support your cybersecurity program even if you had the money to buy all the technology you need? It’s important to recognize the impact that all three aspects of cybersecurity poverty have on small and mid-sized businesses as they try to improve their security posture to meet compliance requirements:
Financial Poverty: Do you have the money to do all the things you need to do?
Information Poverty: If you’re able to afford the things you need to do, do you know what technology to buy or what to do to effectively build, execute, and support your cybersecurity?
Capability Poverty: Even with the budget and expertise, could you get it done? Do you have the people and expertise internally to properly run your cybersecurity program and mature it over time?
The Cybersecurity Poverty Line Fuels Greater Poverty
The outstanding lack of affordable solutions on the market has far too many small and mid-sized businesses looking at cybersecurity solutions as a commodity and not necessarily something that produces financial benefit. In an increasingly digital business landscape, being able to prove cyber hygiene and security to your clients and customers can shift the cost of cybersecurity into the revenue column. Threat actors are getting smarter all the time, and customers are demanding better, more integrated, more convenient, and more optimized digital experiences. However, if outrageous price tags hold you back from being proactive about your cyber hygiene, opportunities to improve both your reputation and revenues are that much further in the distance.
Recognizing Affordability as an Industry Problem
When small and mid-sized businesses feel forced to choose between budget and effective cybersecurity solutions, everyone loses. Businesses who find themselves below the Cybersecurity Affordability Line are often left with inadequate protection, potentially leaving both their company and customer data vulnerable to attacks. When that same small or mid-sized business serves our national government, like those in the 16 critical infrastructures, poor cybersecurity puts both their business and our nation at risk. With the rise in nation-state cyber-attacks, it has never been more crucial for our industry to recognize the role that we play.
Ardalyst is willing to take the first step toward making cybersecurity available and affordable.
Across the Line: The Tesseract Pledge to Make Cybersecurity Achievable for All
Our “Across the Line” pledge looks to create opportunities for organizations of all sizes by committing to the development of quality products and services at prices that won’t force you to choose between comprehensive cybersecurity and your budget. Our pledge includes working with partners and vendors that share our passion for cost-effective solutions and stand with us as we move the affordability line closer for small and mid-sized businesses and do our part to get them Across the Line.
How Do I Get My Business Across the Line?
Moving across the cybersecurity poverty line means making an educated series of business and technology decisions. If you feel you don’t have the knowledge or resources to develop the employee education, technical processes, and software configurations necessary to achieve this on your own, Ardalyst can help. The goal of our Tesseract, compliance-focused, managed cybersecurity program has always been to give people a comprehensive cybersecurity program that’s affordable and supplies the right set of tools, policies, and processes to help businesses of all sizes defend against threats while meeting regulatory requirements like CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification) 2.0, NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) SP (Special Publication) 800-171, DFARS (Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations Supplement) 252.204-7019, and FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulation) 52.204.21.
Whatever your next step is, we’re happy to help you on your journey. If you’re ready to move your business across the line, we’d like to offer you a free consultation to learn more about your business and outline the next steps in getting compliant and securing your data. If your next step is to learn more, please visit us at www.ardalyst.com/Tesseract to learn more about the Tesseract program or visit our resources page at www.ardalyst.com/cybersecurity-resources/ for more information about regulatory compliance frameworks and how they affect your business.