Challenges and Pitfalls of DIY Cybersecurity

Organizations want their networks and data to be safe. Most fall under one or more regulatory or industry compliance frameworks that mandate some degree of cybersecurity. When push comes to shove, though, it is challenging to build and maintain effective cybersecurity. According to a recent report from Forrester, it can also be expensive.

Do-It-Yourself Cybersecurity

Is it possible to build and manage your own cybersecurity program? Sure. Technically. However, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.

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Consider what’s involved in effective cybersecurity. First, you need to have all of the right tools and processes in place. Wait. That can’t be first. First, you need to have someone with the right cybersecurity knowledge and experience to understand what the right tools and processes are. Once you have that, you can do assess your environment and consider the relative risk that your network, applications and data are exposed to so you can determine the right mix of tools necessary for effective protection.

Simple, right?

Now you have a “shopping list” to work from, and you can start the process of researching available point solutions to select the best tools for your situation. Make sure you consider how—or if—each of the platforms and devices you select will integrate and work together.

After you spend the money to buy the point solutions you choose, you need to get those tools deployed, implemented. If they aren’t properly configured, you risk either being too permissive and allowing suspicious or malicious activity to slip through undetected or being too restrictive and overwhelming your IT security team with unnecessary alerts and false positives.

Once it is all up and running, you’re all done. Nope. That’s not true. Once it’s all up and running you need to have continuous threat intelligence to stay aware of emerging threats and attack trends, and skilled cybersecurity professionals to monitor around the clock to identify and respond to security incidents.

That last part is particularly difficult, though. There is a severe shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals, which makes it challenging to find and hire someone in the first place. If you’re lucky enough to find that individual, they are likely to be expensive and difficult to retain because those skills are in high demand and other organizations will gladly steal that person away.

There you go, though. Now you have a DIY cybersecurity program. Congratulations.

Next, you have to start over and continue doing this entire process repeatedly because technology is constantly evolving, and the threat landscape is continuously adapting and expanding.

Total Economic Impact of Peace of Mind

That all seems very exhausting, to be honest. What if you could have more effective cybersecurity with significantly less effort? What if the better cybersecurity with less effort was also dramatically more cost effective at the same time?

The Forrester report, which was commissioned by Alert Logic, examines eight existing Alert Logic customers and compiles the results to analyze the benefits of a products plus services approach for a composite “Organization”. The customers interviewed by Forrester agreed that DIY cybersecurity is costly and requires extensive ongoing investment to maintain the necessary resources and expertise.

The report explains, “Forrester’s interviews with eight existing customers and subsequent financial analysis found that the composite Organization experienced benefits of $1,107,431 over three years versus costs of $207,771, adding up to a net present value (NPV) of $899,659 and an ROI of 433%.”

It comes down to a simple question. Would you rather spend time researching and selecting cybersecurity point solution products, and effort to properly implement and maintain them, and money for the personnel to monitor and manage it all, or would you rather have better cybersecurity that is more cost effective?

Ultimately, organizations don’t really want cybersecurity. They want peace of mind. It’s hard to put a price tag on peace of mind. However, in this case, Forrester has done the math and found that peace of mind is significantly more cost effective than DIY cybersecurity.

Check out the report for yourself to learn more: The Total Economic Impact of Alert Logic SIEMless Threat Management.

About the Author

Tony Bradley

Tony Bradley is Senior Manager of Content Marketing for Alert Logic. Tony worked in the trenches as a network administrator and security consultant before shifting to the marketing and writing side of things. He is an 11-time Microsoft MVP in security and cloud and has been a CISSP-ISSAP since 2002. Tony has authored or co-authored a dozen books on IT and IT security topics, and is a prolific contributor to online media sites such as Forbes and He has established a reputation for effective content marketing, and building and engaging a community and social media audience.

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