Businesses are prioritising investment in cybersecurity despite the overall IT budget cuts amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a Kaspersky report on ‘Investment adjustment: aligning IT budgets with changing security priorities’.
The share of cybersecurity in IT spending has grown from 23 per cent in 2019 to 26 per cent in 2020 for small and medium businesses (SMBs). For enterprises, cybersecurity’s share in spending has increased to 29 per cent in 2020 from 26 per cent last year.
“Cybersecurity remains a priority for investment among businesses. This is despite overall IT budgets decreasing in both segments amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and cybersecurity cuts affecting the most economically hit SMBs,” the report said.
“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,” it further said.
Further, 71 per cent of organisations expect their cybersecurity budget to grow in the next three years. This includes 11 per cent of enterprises and 12 per cent of respondents in SMBs, on average.
However, 10 per cent of organisations said they are going to spend less on IT security. The main reason for the decreased spending on security in the enterprise was said to be a deliberate decision by the top management to reduce spending, seeing no point in investing “so much money in cybersecurity in the future.”
Among SMBs, the reason to reduce spend in this area was due primarily to the need to cut overall company expenses and optimise budgets.
“Small and medium organisations were hit hardest by the lockdown: more than half the small companies globally reported a decline in sales or experienced cash flow constraints. It is clear that those affected needed to optimise their expenses to survive,” the report said, adding that despite these concerns, cybersecurity will still remain a priority.
“2020 has put many companies in situations where they needed to respond, so they wisely concentrated all their resources and efforts on staying afloat,” said Alexander Moiseev, Chief Business Officer at Kaspersky.
“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 defences – by turning to free security solutions available on the market and by introducing security awareness programmes across the organisation. Those are small steps that can make a difference, especially for SMBs,” Moiseev further said.
The report is based on a survey of more than 5,000 IT and cybersecurity practitioners.