How to
Jonathan Crowe
Nov 2016

3 Convincing Ways to Ask for a Bigger Security Budget

Photo by Fabian Blank

Security budgets don't tend to magically increase on their own. Getting the funding you need is easier when you can position security as an investment, not just a cost. 

Unless your organization is actively dealing with a cyber attack or a data breach, chances are additional security spending isn’t something leadership is going to be falling over themselves to commit to. It's hard to blame them. For many execs, not only is security something that's outside their comfort zone, it's also outside their immediate priorites. 

Your boss may even be behind improving security in theory, but the fact is diverting money and resources to non-revenue generating projects is always going to be an uphill battle. It can be incredibly easy to keep putting it off. 

When it comes to getting buy-in and increasing urgency, your odds of securing budget will depend in large part on your ability to do the following three things:

1) Build the Business Case for Additional Security

The secret to a productive buy-in conversation is to focus on how security can improve the business (not the other way around). Remember, security is something that many executives see as cost on par with buying insurance. There's a limit to how excited they're going to get about it on its own. That means you need to work a little harder to connect the dots between security and how it impacts the business (and not just in a negative sense when there's a security incident). 

For example, try framing your initial budget discussions in terms of how you think things can be done more efficiently. Instead of jumping right in with a laundry list of new tools and solutions you need, point out the existing solutions and procedures currently in place that can be replaced or optimized.

Explain how your goal is to ensure more uptime for your company's salespeople by keeping their machines infection-free. Then break down how additional security will help you do that. Get specific with the dollar amounts you're estimating the company would have to spend and could save.  

Keep in mind: Your leadership team doesn’t always need to understand the technical details, but they do need to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. And they need to be on board with what you’re ultimately trying to achieve.


2) Have Answers to Anticipated Questions Ready

Nothing good has ever come from getting put on the spot by your boss and being caught unprepared. Prior to any buy-in discussions, be sure to think through the questions you’re likely to be asked (hint: they’re probably similar to the questions you got asked last time you tried to get sign-off on something). If you can show that you’ve proactively thought through objections and how to respond to them ahead of time that should earn you some points.

If you think it might be helpful, you can even create a "cheat sheet" with answers to likely questions that you can practice with and have in front of you during your discussion. Here's an example we created for addressing questions around investing in more endpoint security:

Endpoint-security-what-your-boss-needs-to-know.png

Click the image to download a PDF

 

3) Have Numbers and Stats to Back You Up

Nothing speaks to an executive like indisputable numbers and objective data. Before you ask for more budget, think through the quantifiable ways you're going to justify the cost.

Can you prove that additional security will help you offset other costs? Is there benchmark data you can use to compare your own security spending against companies similar in size and industry?

For example, one way some of our customers have been able to get more budget for security is by calculating how much their organizations were spending to get infected machines back up and running, then comparing that cost with the price of additional endpoint security. 

To help you run that calculation yourself we've created a Restoration Costs Calculator you can download here or by clicking the preview image below. Note: The calculator is an Excel file that will be automatically downloaded. 

Restoration Costs Calculator.png

 

Looking for more tips on getting the most out of your security budget?

Try these other blog posts on for size: 

Or download our guide: 

social-executivebudget

It's full of tips that can help IT pros present the need for additional security in business terms. Inside you'll find:

  • Relevant statistics that explain why investing in security is the right business decision to make
  • Real-world attack examples to help bring those stats closer to home
  • An interactive calculator to help organizations put a dollar amount on their current risk
  • A list of questions IT and security pros should be ready to answer from executives
  • Sample slides to help build and deliver a successful presentation to stakeholders

Download the guide here.

Jonathan Crowe

Jonathan Crowe

Jonathan covers the latest threats and cybersecurity trends from a practical perspective.

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