Digital business is everywhere now — and with it, a disturbing realization: In a world where everything has become increasingly connected, the main focus of any particular business's security has also necessarily become more all-encompassing. No more is a lock and key all that needs to be in place to keep your company safe — you need cybersecurity, you need dedicated measures of protection against things like leaked passwords, predatory emails, viruses, and different types of ransomware.

But when you're looking to justify the investment, sometimes the idea of cybersecurity looks daunting — partially because there is a budget that needs to be allotted to that in particular. If you have been neglecting that budget, not yet investing in your business's continued safety, read on. What you find below might just help you make your choice for good.

What Cybersecurity Addresses

When you look at the term "cybersecurity", what's the first thing you think of? Firewalls? Anti-virus programs? A decent password manager? Chances are, you're familiar with cybersecurity to a degree — even if you don't realize how far-reaching the term is. But much can be addressed by the right tools in place.

For example, there’s the need for modern threat detection: various threat types are detected simply by implementing cybersecurity tools in your company's protection, including old-fashioned virus attacks and signatureless cyber threats, like the newest types of ransomware. Any threat such as malware that doesn't have a known signature can be considered a signatureless attack — but while traditional anti-virus and anti-malware programs require the signature of a threat to recognize and protect against it, newer essential protection includes signatureless detection. This means that with the right tool in place, you can preemptively recognize attacks and malicious behavior based on algorithms built to determine a threat without a signature present.

But detection isn’t all that cybersecurity tools can help with. You also have to consider that, past detection, the biggest step to be taken in any cybersecurity protection plan is the response, or what you do once you’ve found the potential threat. In some tools, of course, the response is as antiquated as the detection protocol, with actions only being taken reactively, rather than proactively, against threats that have been identified on the system.

However, in a modern cybersecurity solution, one that you have to budget for, there are perks — including being able to receive alerts before a possible threat has a chance to act. From network isolation tactics to filtering out risky URLs and emails before they’re even clicked, cybersecurity tools of today prove more valuable than ever before, offering automatic or guided responses to the threats they find on your network or well before they even reach you.

What You Risk By Not Budgeting For Cybersecurity

So if cybersecurity encompasses both detection of and response to potential threats, what does that mean for the risks of going without? In many cases, there’s no substitute: anti-virus programs only go so far on their own, as do firewalls, or other prevalent traditional methods of cybersecurity — especially those for which there’s no cost associated.

After all, they’re offering the most basic level of protection, a level that cyber attackers have learned to circumvent with newer viruses, types of ransomware, or even more sophisticated phishing tactics (with email being the most common cyber attack route against targeted businesses). By neglecting your cybersecurity budget, you risk a breach that can have far-reaching effects.

To elaborate on these far-reaching effects, many businesses now implement an IoT, an Internet of Things, within their network and even outside it. With everything from the company computers to the wireless printer, all the way down to your Bluetooth headset and the devices that monitor your production cycle, your Internet of Things is a set of connections that’s too intimate and too diverse to be left unprotected.

With the right cybersecurity tool in place, you can monitor and protect all these various endpoints and other connected devices from threats designed to spread like wildfire. In an age where everyone is increasingly doing more and more business from their mobile devices, this ubiquity of protection (and ubiquity of threats) is all the more important to discuss.

This ubiquity and complete interconnection are essential in many businesses today, but it doesn’t just compromise business function when breached. There are assets to consider, and two of the most important have been the goal all along for any cyber attacker: your data and your money.

There are plenty of phishing emails that, with one misguided click, can send sensitive info of yours into the wrong hands. There are viruses and malware that when inside a network, compromise data by either destroying it or by making it available to someone outside — and for anyone with client information on hand, that’s a scary thought indeed.

Your data, your information, and the information your clients and employees trust you with are invaluable, and to risk it reaching someone else is something businesses simply can’t afford to do. And speaking of what you can afford, between breaches of payment data and the use of ransomware, there are numerous attacks that go straight for your money instead. If that’s the case, then between your data and your money, you really have to consider budgeting for cybersecurity. It’ll be worthwhile to avoid all these potential losses later on — and to not feel the need to worry so much in the meantime.