Budget constraints force cybersecurity teams to do more with less

49% of organizations have sufficient budget to fully meet their current cybersecurity needs, and 11% can, at best, protect only their most critical assets, according to a survey by the Neustar International Security Council.

budget constraints

Despite the rapidly changing threat landscape, 35% of information technology and security professionals responding to the survey said their organization’s cybersecurity budget would remain the same or decrease in 2023, and 44% of these individuals believe their business will be more exposed and at risk as a result.

When survey participants were asked to identify the most significant current risks to their organization’s IT security posture, “increased sophistication of attacks” emerged as the top concern (cited by 60% of respondents), followed by “increased activity of attackers” (54%), “budget constraints” and “larger attack surface from an increasingly borderless business operation” (both 35%).

While a large majority of respondents agree that C-suite and board-level decision-makers understand the current security threats their business is facing (83%), recognize the importance of having a multilayered defense strategy (81%), and make protecting the organization an integral part of business operations (80%), a significant share of participants (69%) are also concerned that current budget constraints are limiting the use of new strategies, technologies and implementation practices.

“IT and security teams have faced a lot of pressure in recent years as they’ve been tasked with spearheading major new digital initiatives – often in the face of persistent staffing shortages – while defending a growing attack surface from larger, more sophisticated attacks in an increasingly complex threat landscape,” said Carlos Morales, SVP of solutions at Neustar Security Services.

“With mounting budget pressures, IT and security teams are once again being asked to do more with less, which will likely accelerate the adoption of service-based offerings that allow enterprises to scale up resources based on demand flexibly. While cost may be the driver, technology leaders must carefully consider what value potential service-based offerings can deliver to ensure maximum impact to the organization and prioritize partners that can deliver best-of-breed technology, professional expertise and word-class service,” added Morales.

A sizable majority of survey participants (85%) reported that hybrid working has increased their organization’s reliance on third-party providers for outsourcing staff and resources, and 78% of these professionals believe this development has left their organization more exposed.

With regard to the types of exposure organizations face as a result of increased integration with third-party providers, respondents rated DDoS attacks as the greatest perceived threat (ranked highest by 22%), followed by system compromise (20%) and ransomware (18%).

Overall, participants rated ransomware as the top increasing threat vector (75%), followed by generalized phishing (74%), DDoS attacks (72%), and targeted hacking and social engineering via email (both 71%).

Respondents reported focusing most on increasing their ability to respond to DDoS attacks (54%), vendor or customer impersonation (54%), and targeted hacking (52%).

In line with previous survey findings, 87% of respondents reported that their organization has been receiving a DDoS attack at some point. 57% of enterprises outsource their DDoS mitigation, and most (60%) take between 60 seconds and 5 minutes to initiate mitigation.

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