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Is Cybersecurity an Investment or Expense?

December 14, 2016 / Jennifer Geisler

The debate has raged on for years. Old-school financial purists argue that security is not an investment that provides income, and therefore, is an expense. Forward-thinking security practitioners view cybersecurity purchases as investments that can generate significant cost savings to the bottom line of the business, and therefore should be measured by return on investment (ROI).
So who’s right? Is Ebenezer Scrooge being too rigid in defining value gain or is Charles Ponzi using wishful thinking and fuzzy math in calculating ROI? My point of view is simple: whether earned or saved, money is money. As such, cybersecurity is definitely an investment. No one would argue that factory automation isn’t an investment, so why would anyone view security automation differently? After all, orchestrating workflows among various security tools eliminates manual processes and human-error-prone tasks. It frees IT staff to focus on adding value. Equally important, this type of auto...