Firms invest $14mn on cybersecurity, SMBs $275K on average in 2020

(IANS) Despite the overall IT budget cuts in the pandemic times, cybersecurity remains an investment priority and small and medium businesses (SMBs) allocated $275,000 to cybersecurity while enterprises invested $14 million on average this year, a new report said on Sunday.

The share of IT budget dedicated to IT security continues to grow year-on-year, even though the overall IT budget has fallen from $1.2 million in 2019 to $1.1 million in 2020 among SMBs, and from $74.1 million to $54.3 million for enterprises, according to the report by cyber security firm Kaspersky.

“This decrease may be due to the consequences of the global coronavirus pandemic, according to Gartner, whose experts also predicted that budgets would decrease earlier this year”.

The majority of companies are expecting these figures to grow in the next three years, by 11 per cent in enterprises and 12 per cent in SMBs, on average.

Nearly 71 per cent of organisations also expect their cybersecurity budget to grow further in the next three years.

“Even though budgets get revised, it doesn’t mean cybersecurity needs to go down on the priority list. We recommend that businesses, who have to spend less on cybersecurity in the coming years, get smart about it and use every available option to bolster their defenses,” said Alexander Moiseev, Chief Business Officer at Kaspersky.

However, one in 10 organisations said they are going to spend less on IT security.

The main reason for this across enterprises is the deliberate decision of top management, who sees no point in investing so much money in cybersecurity in the future (32 per cent).

External conditions and events can influence IT priorities for businesses.

As a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, organisations have had to adjust plans to meet changing business needs – from emergency digitalisation to cost optimisation, said the report based on a survey of more than 5,000 IT and cybersecurity practitioners.

Among SMBs, the reason to reduce spend in this area is primarily dictated by the need to cut overall company expenses and optimize budgets (29 per cent).

The SMBs were hit hardest by the lockdown — more than half of small companies globally reported a decline in sales or experienced cash flow constraints.

“It is clear that those affected have needed to optimise their expenses to survive. But while this impacts cyber-protection, it’s important for businesses to find a way to keep safe from cyber-risks in such a challenging time,” the report mentioned.

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