Even today, email remains the preferred attack vector for cybercriminals looking to exploit enterprises. With over 90% of attacks starting with phishing email or other email-borne attacks, it’s clear to all cybersecurity experts that every organization needs a robust email security solution. But with so many different options on the market, the real question is which solution is best for you? In this blog we will review the importance of measuring ROI for email security, offer key elements to consider when calculating ROI, and let you calculate ROI for yourself, based on specific attributes relevant to your organization.

Worth the Risk?

When a CISO or any security decision maker considers the value of email security for their organization, they tend to have two main concerns. The first is effectively mitigating security vulnerabilities that can lead to major damages for their organization, while the second is finding a quality solution that works within their budget constraints. 

The problem is finding balance between the two without just relying on intuition or a sales pitch. With the resource deficit in security and IT personnel, testing multiple products may prove challenging. One option to simplify the process is using an interactive tool to help inform your decisions, and – in this case – a responsive Return on Investment (ROI) calculator. But what factors into a decision like this? Read on.

Decisions, Decisions

Using a tool to calculate ROI can help security decision makers streamline the buying process. By assessing the potential added value an email security solution could bring, security professionals can make informed decisions on which tools to select with insight and intent. Some ways that ROI calculation can assist the buying process include:

  1. Quantifying the value and importance of a security initiative
  2. Illustrating how security projects fit in with an organization’s broader strategic goals
  3. Lending credibility to ensure an informed selection process 
  4. Optimizing vendor selection and pricing

The Importance of ROI in Email Security 

Now that we have reviewed some of the reasons security decision makers use tools to measure ROI, let’s discuss the impact and importance of ROI calculation specifically for email security solutions. 

Comparison Points

Due to email’s prominence as a threat vector, it’s no surprise that there is fierce competition between vendors in the email security market. Navigating such a crowded space leads many security professionals to turn to feature lists as a viable means of evaluation. However,  comparing feature lists will not necessarily lead to the right choice between competing solutions. There are many other factors that need to be taken into consideration, such as performance, operations, and financial factors. Additionally, since organizations oftentimes do not need all the available features, these excess offerings may not deliver value to SOC professionals and their organizations, but rather only distract them from the viable considerations that need to be taken.

Point Solutions vs. Holistic Solutions

Organizations must understand the difference between point solutions and holistic solutions when it comes to email security. Calculating ROI forces an organization to consider not just the features of a solution, but also the scope of the product’s protection. Point solutions may focus on protection against specific attack types like phishing or BEC, while holistic solutions touting umbrella coverage may need to be more closely examined. ROI calculation may expose the fact that it might be harder to justify the cost of different point solutions, in comparison to one holistic solution, given that it properly and sufficiently protects against the different threats. 

Justifying the POC Process

Running a Proof of Concept (POC) for a vendor’s solution is a great option for actually being able to know if it delivers on its premise, but it is often difficult for security decision makers to justify the effort and resources needed to execute a POC, and organizations need to carefully select the top 2-3 solutions to examine. Calculating ROI can help quantify the difference between options before committing to a POC. 

Cost Calculations

Perhaps one of the most critical factors for a CISO is the bottom line cost, and it includes various factors such as the solution fee to the vendor, the cost of deployment, and the cost of ongoing resources required to maintain the solution ROI calculation can help security leaders understand the true cost of a solution, in order to make a decision.

The Bottom Line

Email continues to be one of the most dominant channels cyber attackers are using, and the need to protect from threats coming through it is only rising. With so many different email security solutions available, calculating ROI is critical to help you identify the best options for your organization. 

For more information, download our whitepaper, The Definitive Guide to Calculating ROI.

And if you want to try calculating ROI for yourself, check our new interactive ROI calculator here!