We all have a part of our brain that is referred to as the lizard brain, specifically it is called the amygdala. This is the oldest part of our brain. This is the emotional part of our brain that can actually sabotage our success in whatever we do. This is the part of the brain that rationalizes procrastination. It tells us it will be okay if we don't do something today, or ever.
When we have discussions with clients regarding their security I see this come out quite often. They will often list endless reasons why they haven't previously done anything about security. Why they let the system sit knowing it was insecure, why they didn't spend the money on an assessment, or why they have not taken a class on how to secure their infrastructure. And there we sit trying to discuss starting a remediation project at a cost greater than the testing and maintenance would have been.
I can empathize with this type of logic completely. I was walking through my house this weekend and I looked at the deck. The finish is wearing and parts of the wood are starting to warp. But do I want to tackle that project now or should I wait one more year? If I wait I would get one more year of wear before I refinish it. If I wait maybe I can get a better deal on the products I need to refinish it. What would it hurt?
We all run into this with projects at home and at work. We know we should do something but that darn lizard brain creeps up and prevents us from starting. We allow it to control starting perfectly reasonable projects we must complete. People can fight the feeling in other areas and not in others. But at the end of the day the price for not starting is more costly than the price of doing it now. A deck replacement is more expensive than a refinish. A breach is far more expensive than a test.