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Inspiring Board Confidence Equals A Larger Security Budget

2020 budget

Budget negotiations can be difficult to navigate for security leaders, as there are many items required to ensure that security receives the resources that are needed to keep an organization safe. This is why connecting the dots between business and technology stakeholders is a valuable use of time for CISOs at the end of the year. This process helps demonstrate to the board, the results of spending decisions that they made throughout the year. A big part of this is exploring security risks associated with new technology if not properly implemented. The result should be more informed executives and board members, which deepens the security culture at an organization.


For the security leaders hoping to follow suit and highlight the importance of cybersecurity spending next year, here are some ways to demonstrate value and inspire decision-makers to approve a larger budget for security.


First Impressions Matter

When presenting budget ideas to a CEO or board of directors, it is important that you start with your best foot forward. As a security leader, this can be difficult if you make yourself the center of the presentation or event. It can be very valuable to work alongside your team or a consulting firm when presenting. This should be viewed as an experience and one that has impacts beyond just your role as the security leader.


Presenting a Captivating Program

This presentation must be exciting and relatable for your CEO and board. It is helpful to present in ways that they can interact with and offer ideas that are tangible for them. Utilize examples that incorporate specific customers or partners that they would be happy to interact with. Demonstrate correlations between your organization, the challenges you face within the specific industry you operate and make it easy for decision-makers to notice a through-line between security and your business.


If possible, try to break typical patterns that presentations fall into by making this an out of office event that is memorable and highly engaging. This is an experience that you are cultivating in order to demonstrate the serious risks that you are up against, so you want to make sure that everyone involved is curious and engaged with the ideas you are presenting. 


Demonstrate Instead of Describing

Actually, providing true demonstrations of how an organization’s technology can be taken advantage of by malicious actors can be quite powerful. Utilize real examples that recently occurred within your specific industry in order to highlight exactly what could happen to your business if you aren’t prepared. As an example, if you manufacture smart technology or connected devices, perhaps demonstrate how Amazon’s Ring was recently hacked, leading to claims that cameras were accessed by hackers.

This demonstration will help decision-makers visualize the real-world threats that exist. When board members realize that projects, they have been developing for years could be compromised, it will inspire them to take action to avoid the possibility of a cybersecurity breach.


Clarity & Sincerity

There will come a moment during your presentation when you as a security leader will need to step up and outline the work you and your team have been doing. This moment will come after you have already lead decision-makers to realizations through industry-specific examples, and engaging discussions. During this time, it is important that you remain sincere and direct in your requests. You should be clear in what you need in order to improve security and ensure that your organization doesn’t fall victim to similar attacks that were previously outlined.


Areas to Increase Spending

The goal of cybersecurity is to cultivate an organization that is strong and conscious of security at all levels. In order to achieve this, the priorities of your spending should be to elevate cybersecurity to the level that involves your board and executives and inspiring them to genuinely care about security.


With these priorities in mind, there are really two specific areas where spending should be increased after presenting to decision-makers, incident response and visibility and reporting. Incident response is rather expansive, as it includes response planning, communications, mitigation, analysis, and improvements. Visibility and reporting are primarily for executives so that they have a strong view of what’s in place and can see what results are being generated through investments.


Security leaders should understand the importance of utilizing the entire annual budget that is allocated to security and utilizing it in an effective manner. Through a strong presentation to executives and board members, perceptions can shift and security can feel inspiring. If you’d like to explore security spending as it relates to your organization specifically, and where improvements can be made and resources can be allocated, contact us below.

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