Security

Cyber security leaders expect their SOC budgets to grow, KPMG finds

IT pros concerned increased spending may still not meet operational needs
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Image: Pexels

17 May 2024

While two fifths of cyber security leaders reported their security operations center was hit by a recent cyberattack that led to a security breach, the vast majority (85%) were still confident in their security operations center’s ability to prevent “increasingly sophisticated” attacks, according to the a survey by Big Four accounting and consulting firm KPMG.

The respondents – comprised of about 200 CISOs, CSOs and AI security officers at firms with at least $1 billion in revenue – also expected more resources to bolster their defense going forward.

Nearly nine in 10 anticipated their company’s SOC budgets and headcount will increase by under 20% over the next two years. Currently, the average annual SOC budget stands at $14.6 million, according to KPMG.  

 

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The anticipated boost in security budgets comes amid a growing number of cyber attacks against large organisations, according to Ryan Budnik, director of cyber threat management at KPMG.

CISOs are “acknowledging that there is an expanding footprint of devices and technologies and business that they need to cover and protect,” he said in an interview.

SOCs are front and center in handling cyber threats, acting as a one-stop shop to help organisations mitigate, prevent, contain, respond to and recover from cyber attacks, Budnik said.

While organisational structures differ, Budnik said SOCs typically reports to the CISO, who is often a peer of the CFO. The finance chief allocates the budget to the CISO, who would oversees the SOC operations, he said. 

More than two-thirds of respondents expected their SOC budget to increase over the next two years, but for most it’s a small uptick.

Of those, almost half expected a SOC budget increase of less than 10% and 2 in 5 expected their budgets to rise between 10-20%, KPMG found. Just 13% expected their budgets to increase by at least 20%.  

Only 1% of respondents anticipated their SOC budgets will decrease.

The study’s findings regarding how the security leaders spend SOC money show that the allocations of the SOC budget are spread fairly evenly across different aspects of the center’s activities, with 19% spread on prevention expenses to 16% spent on response and remediation. 

While companies have been talking about “shifting left,” Budnik said it was understandable that spending on response remains a focus. 

“When those incidents happen, everybody drops their pencils and everyone focuses on that,” Budnik said. “So typically that’s where the budget, I suspect, is being focused because when a breach is occurring everyone needs to focus on that, worrying about prevention at that point is less important.”

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