Total Cost of Ownership for Vulnerability Management

With any technology investment, budget is a core part of the decision criteria. IT security departments are expected to do more with less and still maintain a secure IT environment. However with IT security solutions, more so than with other IT purchases, cost considerations can have significant impact on a business’ overall risk of a serious security breach.

Factors contributing to the cost of vulnerability management

There are two key areas that should be factored into calculations of the total cost of ownership for a solution:

  1. Infrastructure: Cost of hardware, software and training for your current solution used for detecting and remediating vulnerabilities.
  2. IT employee productivity: Cost of employee time spent manually creating scripts, prioritizing vulnerabilities, remediating issues, and reporting. This can also include the time required for management oversight. 

Evaluate the total cost of ownership

In our experience, companies tend to focus on the infrastructure costs and almost completely disregard the expense (or opportunity cost) of productivity impact. For NopSec’s customers, we help reduce the infrastructure costs for hardware by offering Unified VRM as a software-as-a-service solution. This greatly reduces administrative tasks and infrastructure costs on the part of the customer.

The most significant cost savings are realized when it comes to employee productivity. For one of our customers, they were able to reduce the amount of time spent on manual tasks related to vulnerability management from weeks to hours each month! When you extrapolate productivity improvements across entire teams and managers, the cost savings add up quickly.

The other cost consideration that relates to the two items above is return on investment from existing IT security tools. Complexity of tool integrations can be an enormous drain on resources. When it comes to vulnerability management, the goal should always be remediation. So integration of vulnerability management solutions with existing patch management and ticketing systems can significantly reduce the time it take to fix an issue. This has widespread implications for not only the productivity of disparate teams within an organization, but also for the overall risk posture of the company.

Reactive is a flawed approach

IT departments are feeling pressure to increase information security effectiveness in the face of an alarming number of new vulnerabilities and compliance requirements. This situation is particularly acute in companies where the IT security team did not scale up at the same rate that the IT infrastructure grew. While it may seem that a reactive approach to cyber-security can save costs and provide more flexibility, nothing could be further from the truth.

Finding the right balance

One should not lose sight of the fact that the cost of any cyber-security solution may represent only a fraction of the cost of a security breach. It is a constant challenge to find the right balance between effectively addressing IT security and compliance concerns while keeping a low total cost of ownership. At NopSec we believe that a proactive approach to vulnerability management can contribute to huge cost savings.

 

To learn more about our approach to vulnerability management and how we can help your business to reduce total cost of ownership, please download the Best Practices Guide: Vulnerability Management. Best Practices Guide: Vulnerability Management.