I’m in London today for the Information Security 2015 conference, and like RSA, it is big and overwhelming. If you recall, this last RSA in San Francisco had approximately 800 vendors! And every one of them is using the same terms to describe products that are incredibly different. If I were a consumer in this marketplace, I wouldn’t know where to start or what to consider.
I have two analogies to share with you around being a consumer in this information security market. The first is that it’s like needing a new home, but instead of going to a real estate agent, you show up at Home Depot and you are told that everything you need is here to build your home. The other analogy is that you need transportation like Uber to get to a destination and instead you are given a bunch of car parts. You get the picture. There are tons of disparate parts and pieces and it’s hard to know how to make them add up to the solution you really need. Security vendors are doing customers a disservice and this is why they turn largely to value added resellers (VARs) or services companies for solutions.
My advice here is to begin your purchases with infrastructure that will provide information about the state of your network and inform your future security buying decisions. Favor products that will answer questions like:
- How should I further segment my network?
- How does my business behave between the hours of x and y?
- What does system X look like when it is performing normally?
If you get to know your network, or should I say if you get to know your businesses behavior, you will then be able to secure your network appropriately. You will be able to spend your money based on informed decisions and not just guess work. If you do not choose to proceed in this manner then your spending will be controlled by responding to security incidents that are unplanned, unbudgeted and don’t really address the needs of your business.
Securing your network is about people, process and technology. As we add more technology to our business, and as our world becomes more connected, we have no choice but to move in this direction of providing a broader solution to our customers in order to remain competitive. The best strategy for securing your network is to start with technology you can build on – technology that enables you to take better advantage of people and process to more effectively secure your network. Starting here will allow you to prioritize security purchases so that you are armed with the information required to make each subsequent purchase work for you.
TK Keanini, CTO Lancope