The CISO's Three-Point Checklist for Maximizing Cybersecurity ROI

Business meeting discussion in the office with graphs having a discussion about financials and cybersecurity ROI

In this blog, we present the CISO’s Checklist for Maximizing Cybersecurity ROI, providing essential criteria to navigate this complex terrain effectively. Explore how aligning security strategies with business objectives, adopting continuous threat exposure management, and harnessing the power of automation can fortify cybersecurity in an ever-evolving threat landscape.

The sheer number of vendors, and solutions available in today’s cybersecurity market can leave even the most seasoned CISOs and security leaders grappling with the decision about where to invest their resources. But in an era where cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated and prevalent, and the market conditions are causing budgets to tighten, making the right choices to maximize their cybersecurity return on investment (ROI) is not just advisable; it’s imperative.

This year’s Gartner® Hype Cycle for Security Operations featured 24 technologies alone—a mere glimpse of the thousands of different options available to CISOs today. It’s not enough to merely have security measures in place; they must be the right measures, tailored to your organization’s specific needs and risk profile.

Three Essential Criteria for your 2024 SecOps Roadmap

According to IBM’s 2023 Cost of a Data Breach Report, more than half (51%) of organizations plan to increase their security investments due to a breach, seeking incident response (IR) planning and testing, employee training, and threat detection and response tools. Let’s explore the three key criteria that every security team should consider when evaluating potential SecOps tools and services:

  1. Aligns with overall goals and long-term business objective.

In today’s dynamic and interconnected business landscape, security is not a cost center or a technical requirement; it’s a strategic enabler. Security and risk leaders play a pivotal role in safeguarding the organization’s assets, reputation, and continuity. To do so effectively and maximize ROI, their strategies must align seamlessly with the core mission and goals of the business.

Failure to align security and risk management with business objectives can have several adverse consequences:

  • Resource Misallocation: When security initiatives are not aligned with the broader business context, resources may be misallocated. This misalignment can lead to overspending in some areas while neglecting critical security gaps elsewhere.
  • Missed Opportunities: Without integration into the business strategy, security leaders may miss opportunities to proactively address emerging risks or contribute to revenue-generating initiatives, hindering the ability to capitalize on market trends.
  • Fragmented Efforts: A lack of alignment with the wider organization, particularly IT and DevOps, can result in disjointed security efforts that lack synergy. This fragmentation can lead to inefficiencies and gaps in the security posture, thereby increasing overall risk.
  1. Supports Continuous Threat Exposure Management (CTEM).

Threat actors will continue to evolve their tactics in 2024 and beyond. To stay ahead, security leaders should invest in security hygiene and posture solutions that proactively defend against potential attacks and minimize the impact of security incidents, rather than invest solely in detection and response capabilities.

According to Gartner®, by 2026, organizations prioritizing their security investments based on a continuous exposure management (CTEM) program will be three times less likely to suffer from a breach. Adopting a CTEM approach is important because it ensures that security and risk initiatives are prepared to withstand the evolving threat landscape by enabling:

  • Effective Prioritization: Prioritizing security and risk initiatives based on their potential impact allows organizations to allocate resources effectively. This means addressing the most critical risks first, reducing the likelihood of costly security incidents, and optimizing the use of available resources.
  • Cost-Efficiency: By focusing on the most significant risks, organizations avoid spending resources on less critical areas, thus maximizing cost-efficiency. This approach helps ensure that security investments generate substantial ROI by mitigating risks that could result in significant financial losses.
  • Demonstrating Value: A risk-based approach not only safeguards the organization but also demonstrates the tangible value of the security function. Security leaders can clearly articulate how their initiatives directly contribute to the organization’s success and resilience.
  1. Taps into the power of automation.

Automation is a game-changer for cybersecurity, and its impact extends across various dimensions of security operations. The benefits of automation directly contribute to maximizing the ROI of cybersecurity investments in several ways:

  • Reduced Cost and Labor: Automation reduces the need for extensive manual labor in security operations. With automation handling routine tasks, organizations can achieve more with fewer resources. This cost reduction translates into a more efficient use of budget, allowing for strategic investments in advanced security technologies.
  • Minimized Potential Losses: Automation’s ability to detect and respond to threats in real-time significantly reduces the potential financial losses associated with security incidents. In fact, organizations that use security AI and automation extensively save an average of $1.76M versus those that do not (IBM, Cost of a Data Breach 2023).
  • Strengthened Security Posture: By streamlining processes, improving accuracy, and enhancing response times, automation contributes to a stronger overall security posture. A robust security posture not only reduces the likelihood of security incidents but also minimizes their impact when they do occur. Thereby, enhancing the organization’s resilience and minimizes potential financial repercussions.

In the complex cybersecurity landscape, the decisions made today will profoundly impact the organization’s cyber resilience tomorrow. Armed with this knowledge, teams will be better equipped to cut through the noise, choose solutions that align with the organization’s unique needs, and ultimately fortify its cybersecurity posture in a world where the stakes have never been higher.

Unlocking Cybersecurity Excellence: Align, Adapt, and Automate with Noetic Cyber

Now, let’s consider the Noetic platform, which was developed to empower security leaders with the cyber asset intelligence they need to navigate the complex cybersecurity landscape with confidence.

Align: Demonstrate the value of security

Our platform provides comprehensive, contextual insights that not only empowers teams to enhance their overall security posture, but also demonstrates the tangible value of the security function as it actively contributes to the company’s mission, success, and resilience.

Adapt: Effectively prioritize threats and exposures

Nearly half (47%) of security professionals agree the inability to prioritize effectively is the primary reason behind their growing vulnerability backlog. Given that cyber incidents can a direct impact on stakeholder value, CISOs are under more pressure than ever to prevent incidents from occurring in the first place. Noetic’s CAASM solution is an essential building block to adopting a new approach to attack surface and exposure management.

Automate: Optimize efficiency and productivity

The average IT asset inventory takes 80+ hours to complete. With Noetic, users experience immediate cost and labor savings with a 360-degree view of their environment that’s automatically created using a cleansed, curated version of the data from your existing tools and sources. From there, teams can introduce advanced capabilities from our full-featured automation engine at their own pace.

Join an upcoming live demonstration to see how Noetic checks these boxes (and many more).