5 Tips to Consider for Your IT Security Budget

Our Account Management Team here at Pegasus is ready to assist you with your 2024 IT and Cybersecurity budget planning. We’ve even produced a guide to help organizations remember what will be important to keep in mind as the new year approaches. We’ll share the key points every organization should consider here in this email, and please feel welcome to share this email with your friends and colleagues. We encourage you to contact your Account Manager as you work on your budget for 2024, so we can tailor these recommendations to you.

One thing to keep in mind: 40% of small businesses experience eight or more hours of downtime each time they have a cyber breach. We’re talking complete downtime before a partial restore can begin, and the time is multiplied by each employee, contractor, partner, and client you have. Smart budgeting for IT and cybersecurity helps preserve the reliability, speed, and uptime of your assets.

Here are five tips to consider as you begin your 2024 budget:

  • Retire end-of-life hardware and software.
  • Complete migrations to the cloud and ensure your data is backed up from its new location.
  • Be mindful of industry compliance and regulations coming your way. Do you need a penetration test, multifactor authentication, MDR, or SOC services to retain your clients or cyber liability insurance policy?
  • Prevent modern ransomware.
  • Replace old phone systems with a modern system that enables more efficient hybrid work and potentially saves money.

If your server was purchased before 2017, there’s a good chance it’s running Windows Server 2012. Windows Server 2012 went end-of-life in October 2023. Windows 7 went to end-of-life in January 2020. Windows 8 went end-of-life in January 2023. When software goes end-of-life, typically, it will continue to function as-is, however, it’s no longer protected from cyberattacks by patches and is no longer compatible with new releases of other software that interacts with it.

Does your hardware still support new software versions and updates? Are computers slow to start up or shut down? Do you have desktops older than five years and laptops older than three years? Are your hybrid/remote employees using the best hardware for their current work style?

If you’re using a cloud provider like Microsoft 365, have you completed migrating your data there and retired your legacy servers? Have you made arrangements to back up your cloud data?

New regulations, compliance, and standards requirements are coming all the time. Some apply to specific industries like manufacturing and healthcare. Even if you won’t face an audit in 2024, it’s important to plan your path to compliance now to beat the rush. We’re talking about CMMC, NIST 800-171, and more…

The majority of cyber liability insurance policies now require that you have Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and multifactor authentication (MFA). The latest cyber liability insurance trends indicate carriers could

require policyholders to have MDR and SOC services that manage EDR

24/7 by the end of 2024. Penetration testing that includes internal and external vulnerability scans is commonly required.

Modern ransomware isn’t detected by legacy antivirus software. The effective barrier we’ve seen lately is a combination of EDR and MDR monitored 24/7 by a SOC. This is delivered through our SNAP-Defense service.

If you’re not required to have MDR & SOC services, consider this: Many organizations have or are in the process of implementing these new defense layers. If you don’t have these layers in place, you’re an easier target for criminals. Cybercriminals are smart- they attack the easiest targets first, because it gives them the quickest return for the smallest investment. We urge you not to be the low-hanging fruit.

If you still have a legacy phone system with a PBX hanging in a closet, you’re missing lots of modern features, and you may be at risk of a significant service interruption if replacement parts can’t be acquired if the hardware in your office closet breaks. The phone lines feeding that PBX system can be an expensive monthly recurring cost. A cloud-based VoIP system could be a better, less expensive option.

Ready for a conversation about these topics or something else on your mind as you work on your 2024 budget? Feel welcome to contact us.