Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

CSI/FBI: Small Firms Pay Big For Security

The per-user cost of security is much higher in small enterprises than in large ones, according to the forthcoming annual survey from the Computer Security Institute and the FBI

When it comes to the costs of security implementation, smaller companies don't get a break.

That's one of the findings in the 2006 Computer Security Institute/FBI annual security survey, which is scheduled for release on July 12. And while it's a simple statistic, it may go a long way toward explaining why small companies often fall behind in deploying the latest security technology.

According to the new data, companies with revenues of less than $10 million annually invest approximately $746 per employee per year on security, while companies that make $1 billion or more spend just $58 per employee. Companies with annual revenues in the $100 million to $1 billion range spend even less, about $34 per employee.

"The average information security expenditure and investment per employee decreases as the organization gets larger," the study says. Training, in particular, shows the greatest economies of scale: It costs companies of $1 billion or more just $18 per year to train their employees in IT security; that same training costs $318 per year in companies of under $10 million.

The data might be something of a vindication for smaller companies, which have come under fire recently for moving too slowly in the deployment of security tools and standards such as the Payment Card Industry's Data Security Standard. (See Retailers Lag on Security Standard.) Experts historically have blamed the problem on a lack of knowledge and skilled resources, but the CSI/FBI data suggests that some small companies may simply be unable to afford the price of training and software required to meet security standards.

In fact, many enterprises are making increasingly stark judgments on whether to invest heavily in security, the report says. Some 47 percent of respondents now are allocating less than 3 percent of their total IT budget to security, which compares to 35 percent in last year's survey, according to the study. By contrast, 34 percent are now allocating more than 5 percent of their budgets to security --up from 27 percent last year.

CSI and the FBI are scheduled to release the survey July 12.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

Organizations mentioned in this article:

  • Computer Security Institute (CSI)

    Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    News
    Inside the Ransomware Campaigns Targeting Exchange Servers
    Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/2/2021
    Commentary
    Beyond MITRE ATT&CK: The Case for a New Cyber Kill Chain
    Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Omdia,  3/30/2021
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Video
    Cartoon
    Current Issue
    2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
    We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
    Flash Poll
    How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
    How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
    Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    CVE-2021-3493
    PUBLISHED: 2021-04-17
    The overlayfs implementation in the linux kernel did not properly validate with respect to user namespaces the setting of file capabilities on files in an underlying file system. Due to the combination of unprivileged user namespaces along with a patch carried in the Ubuntu kernel to allow unprivile...
    CVE-2021-3492
    PUBLISHED: 2021-04-17
    Shiftfs, an out-of-tree stacking file system included in Ubuntu Linux kernels, did not properly handle faults occurring during copy_from_user() correctly. These could lead to either a double-free situation or memory not being freed at all. An attacker could use this to cause a denial of service (ker...
    CVE-2020-2509
    PUBLISHED: 2021-04-17
    A command injection vulnerability has been reported to affect QTS and QuTS hero. If exploited, this vulnerability allows attackers to execute arbitrary commands in a compromised application. We have already fixed this vulnerability in the following versions: QTS 4.5.2.1566 Build 20210202 and later Q...
    CVE-2020-36195
    PUBLISHED: 2021-04-17
    An SQL injection vulnerability has been reported to affect QNAP NAS running Multimedia Console or the Media Streaming add-on. If exploited, the vulnerability allows remote attackers to obtain application information. QNAP has already fixed this vulnerability in the following versions of Multimedia C...
    CVE-2021-29445
    PUBLISHED: 2021-04-16
    jose-node-esm-runtime is an npm package which provides a number of cryptographic functions. In versions prior to 3.11.4 the AES_CBC_HMAC_SHA2 Algorithm (A128CBC-HS256, A192CBC-HS384, A256CBC-HS512) decryption would always execute both HMAC tag verification and CBC decryption, if either failed `JWEDe...