October 20th, 2016 | by
3 min read

Cybersecurity: A Top Investment Area for 2017  

Studies conducted by DiscoverOrg, the industry’s leading sales intelligence platform, show that more than 20% of companies across multiple industries have IT budget remaining for 2016 that has yet to be allocated. As it is common practice for departments to use all of their annual budget (or risk a budget cut the following year), it is not surprising that half of these companies look to spend the rest of their department’s 2016 unallocated dollars on security. With the growing threat of security breaches and hacks plaguing most industries, cybersecurity is also going to be top of mind for companies in 2017. For sales and marketing teams at cybersecurity providers, this growing need provides a plethora of new business opportunity for the year to come.

Security—specifically cybersecurity—is a major concern for organizations of all sizes and across multiple industries. Chances are you’ve heard about some of the major hacks that have taken place in recent years, affecting huge corporations such as Target and Yahoo. As we see more and more of these hacks take place, organizations are focusing their efforts—and budget—on security investments. According to research conducted by DiscoverOrg, 63% of companies across all industries will be investing in security in 2017 indicating many organizations feel at risk.  In fact, our research shows that all industries are dealing with security threats and hackers, including education, healthcare, energy, and technology.

What this means for Cybersecurity Providers

Nowadays, organizations must be proactive in their approach to security and other investments that will help keep their data and customers safe. Hackers are getting smarter, stealing social security numbers and and credit card information in more sophisticated ways. As seen with the Target security breach, more than 70 million credit and debit card accounts were impacted. While it was first estimated to be ‘just’ 40 million, that number quickly ballooned, raising even more questions about how safe our personal information is today.

It is important to look at what information hackers are targeting and how certain industries are being affected in order to address your prospect’s pain points effectively and position your company’s product/service as the solution to ward off the potential threat. In taking the time to understand current security threats, organizations can craft more targeted messaging and in some cases, impact how a prospect’s IT budget should be allocated in the upcoming year, or even the final quarter of 2016.

Possible Security Threats on the Horizon

Cyber attacks, particularly against large corporations are becoming more and more common. Yahoo is perhaps the latest to be targeted, with an estimated one billion accounts stolen. Yahoo insiders have yet to say how they believe the hackers accessed their database, calling it an ‘active investigation’. Here is a look at a few other sectors that are rightfully concerned about security breaches and hacks:

  • Healthcare Industry – Hackers have been targeting the healthcare industry, requiring those within this sector to reevaluate how patient data is stored. Healthcare data which includes social security numbers, date of birth, billing info, etc., is extremely valuable to hackers, namely because they can sell it on the black market. The information is then used to open new lines of credit, purchase then resell pharmaceutical equipment, create fake IDs and more. The healthcare sector is also concerned about other types of scams, such as hackers using medical records to fraudulently bill private insurers and Medicare.
  • Energy Industry – A handful of international energy companies are banding together to tackle cybersecurity threats head on. The energy industry is seeing attempted attacks on a daily basis, causing them to step up security efforts in a major way. According to DNV GL, the energy industry’s certification body, the sector loses $12.8 million each year to cybercrimes.
  • Education Industry – According to a new report from Campus Technology, education has surpassed healthcare as the most targeted industry for ransomware and other security breaches. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that there are upwards of 4,000 ransomware attacks every single day, the majority of which are against educational organizations.

Hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and using more versatile tactics to get the information they want, requiring the cybersecurity community to continuously improve their products and services to counteract these attacks. As an example, Microsoft has created an AI unit that will focus on smarter software to combat cyberattacks. With this in mind, it is absolutely critical for organizations, particularly those who collect sensitive consumer data, to set aside an ample portion of their IT budget planning for security investment, providing you with the opportunity to become their solution.

Understanding the risks they face and tailoring your message to speak to their pain points will help you capitalize on unallocated 2016 dollars and could lend itself to assigning spend to your solution in 2017.


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