How To Estimate the Cost of Cybersecurity for Your Enterprise?

If a cyberattack has never hit you, cybersecurity probably feels like a massive and unnecessary expense to you. But why wait till you suffer a significant breach before understanding the value of a multi-layered cybersecurity environment? Isn’t it better to learn from others’ mistakes? 

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According to IBM’s 2022 Cost of Data Breach Report, the average data breach cost has reached $4.35 million in 2022. Experts estimate that by 2025, cybercrimes will cost the world $10.5 trillion annually. Paying millions of dollars in ransom, or losing valuable data as the alternative, has become everyday news. In this threat landscape, a solid cybersecurity infrastructure is critical.

Cybersecurity is an investment, not an expense. Estimating the correct cost of cybersecurity for an enterprise is a significant decision-making challenge for SMEs. If you’re struggling with understanding cybersecurity pricing in the current market and related factors, you’ve clicked the correct link. 

How To Determine the Right Cost of Cybersecurity? 

As a general practice, CISOs allocate 6%- 10% of the total IT budget for cybersecurity as an ideal security budget. If you include compliance management and business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) within your security budget, the cybersecurity share can go up to 15% of the IT budget. 

Protect Your Organisation With Ace Managed Security Services

While this is a rough estimate obtained from general industry trends, cybersecurity budget allocation can vary depending on multiple factors. One organization’s needs and security environment will always be vastly different from another. 

Factors Impacting the Cost of Cybersecurity 

An imaginary world with fixed cybersecurity costs would make decisions much simpler for CISOs and IT budget planners. But in reality, there aren’t any standard costs that can apply to companies across industries and sizes. Multiple factors and dynamic trends impact the cost of cybersecurity. The major factors are: 

1. Industry-related factors 

Not every industry faces the same level of cybersecurity threats. Industries like BFSI, healthcare, retail, and education face a disproportionately high share of cyberattacks. If your organization falls within any of these high attack volume industries, the cost of cybersecurity for you will be significantly higher.  

Suggested reading: 3 Key Industries Benefiting from MSSP Support: BFSI, Healthcare & Retail 

2. Company size and number of employees 

Large companies will have a larger attack surface. In turn, they will have to spend more on cybersecurity as compared to smaller companies. The organization’s size determines network complexity, the number of endpoints and end users, the size of data that needs to be stored, and security log event generation.   

3. Compliance mandates 

Businesses that collect sensitive customer data, like personally identifiable information (PII), are more scrutinized by regulatory bodies. Industries and firms with stringent compliance mandates, like healthcare organizations or financial service providers, have a higher cost of cybersecurity as they need to invest in comprehensive monitoring and reporting solutions and additional layers of security.  

4. Existing security vulnerabilities  

Undergoing a vulnerability assessment is necessary for businesses aiming to improve their security posture. A thorough security assessment will shed light on existing vulnerabilities in the current security environment and highlight the tools, processes, and outdated software that need enhancement. Businesses with significant vulnerabilities and security loopholes will have a much higher cost of cybersecurity.   

For an in-depth vulnerability assessment of your network, visit 

5. Availability of Skilled Personnel 

The ongoing cybersecurity personnel shortage is one of the main factors behind the high costs. Hiring experienced professionals with the right skills will be the most significant challenge if you’re thinking about building an in-house cybersecurity system. The unprecedented demand for security experts makes hiring extraordinarily competitive and expensive.   

Managed Security Service Providers – The cost-effective approach to cybersecurity 

Ideating, implementing, managing, and monitoring an in-house cybersecurity environment is a complex, resource-intensive, and highly expensive endeavor. Most enterprises lack the internal capabilities required for such a large-scale project.  

Managed security services are a cost-efficient and hassle-free alternative to in-house cybersecurity deployment. Managed security service providers (MSSPs) have world-class cybersecurity expertise and are updated on the latest cyberattack trends. On top of that, they eliminate the expense of procuring, deploying, and managing sophisticated cybersecurity solutions and infrastructure.  

Suggested reading: 6 Benefits of Managed Security Services (MSS) That You Should Know

Cost of MSSPs

The cost of Managed Security Service Providers depends on various factors like the scope, depth, and complexity of the services or the number of users and endpoints within a network. The least comprehensive services can range from $75 to $99 per month, while the cost of more robust services can go up to $250 – $350 per user per month.

MSSP Pricing Models  

MSSP pricing also greatly depends on the provider’s pricing model. Let’s look at the prominent pricing models in the current market.   

1. Per-device pricing 

Also called per-unit pricing, this pricing model depends on the size of your basic IT infrastructure. The pricing isn’t flat, as the price for securing a laptop will be different from the price of securing a server.   

This model is preferred by small businesses. But as your business grows and you expand your network architecture, the pricing will drastically increase. 

2. Per-user pricing 

As is evident by the name, a per-user pricing model charges based on the number of employees within your network. This model is best suited for companies with a small workforce and a stable staff, mainly if a limited number of employees use several devices daily. It’s cheaper than the relatively higher per-device cost.   

3. Tier-based pricing 

In the tier-based pricing model (or bundled pricing), MSSPs create packages of security services, where the basic security packages are available at lower costs. In contrast, the more advanced security packages are more expensive. These packages generally combine cybersecurity solutions with management, monitoring, and support.  

4. Customizable pricing  

Customizable pricing models are the most popular, as the MSSP allows you to pick and choose the solutions and services you want per your unique needs. This model gives companies the most flexibility by allowing them to choose what they want while staying on budget.  

ACE Managed Security Services also offers customers customizable pricing and a pay-as-you-go model.

In A Nutshell

The answer to the pressing question of “how much does cybersecurity cost” is “it depends.

We wish we could give you a straight answer, but cybersecurity processes and requirements are too subjective. Every company operates within a different context and threat landscape. Factors like industry, company size, and current security structure will determine the cost of cybersecurity.

If you’re spending less than 4%-6% of your IT budget on cybersecurity, you are likely undervaluing the importance of cybersecurity for business growth and continuity. Ideally, allocate around 10% of your IT spending for cybersecurity.

Managed security service providers like ACE Managed Security Services provide comprehensive, multi-layered security solutions with a customizable pricing model. You only have to pay for what you need and use, nothing more!

You can book a zero-cost security consultation with ACE experts for a full report on your existing security vulnerabilities and find out the most cost-effective way to strengthen your network security.

About Nolan Foster

With 20+ years of expertise in building cloud-native services and security solutions, Nolan Foster spearheads Public Cloud and Managed Security Services at Ace Cloud Hosting. He is well versed in the dynamic trends of cloud computing and cybersecurity.
Foster offers expert consultations for empowering cloud infrastructure with customized solutions and comprehensive managed security.

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