Raghuram Gorur, program director – Alliance and Marketing for Infrastructure Management & Security Services at Happiest Minds, says it is a decision that every enterprise must make; and yet it is not an easy one – how do I choose the best security vendor for my business?
The stakes are high indeed when it comes to enterprise security. A single breach can have a plethora of effect on a company, resulting in financial and reputational damage. The hard fact is that enterprise security is something we cannot afford to get wrong, and the right partner can make all the difference in ensuring the safety of your business. But, with so many players in the marketplace and an array of security offerings, it is a tough call. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind while choosing a security service provider.
Tip #1: Responsiveness
This is the first factor that you can determine with mini ‘Request for Proposals’ (RFP) to a list of vendors outlining your key security requirements and budget criterions. Create a shortlist based on the responses and follow-up with a detailed RFP and ensure that all your requirements are addressed accordingly before finalizing the vendor.
Tip #2: Range of Services
The vendor’s ability to provide an in-depth breadth of services that cater to the security needs across various companies is a key consideration in selecting one for your business. These can range from specific services like firewalls, private virtual networks and threat and vulnerability management to more advanced solutions like SIEM, identity access management and cloud security.
Tip #3: Vendor Neutrality
The vendor should provide a broad spectrum of best-in-breed security products and technologies from various security service providers. This translates to making decisions that best support your infrastructure and security requirements, rather than just selling you more products.
Tip #4: Accountability
It is important that vendors accessing the firm’s network should be required to sign contracts and other such agreements that ensure compliance with organizational security policies. The Statement Of Work (SOW) should protect both the customer and the vendor while also mandating the latter’s accountability and responsibility over security delivery.
Tip #5: Cross-check References
Prior to finalizing your vendor choice, be sure to ask for customer references and double check with them about the service quality and ability to constantly fulfill commitments.
Tip #6: Longevity and Financial Viability
Choose a partner wisely – especially one that has been around the market for a while. It can be tempting to go to a new start up with promising technologies but in the long run, it is better to entrust your sensitive data to a provider with a proven track record of providing quality enterprise security solutions to a range of companies across industries. Also, keep an eye on providers who are profitable and have the ability to invest in future technologies.
Tip #7 – Expertise
Certifications and industry credentials are good way of checking out the vendor’s level and depth of expertise – be it in general knowledge security areas or specialized areas. Ideally, a vendor should have a good mix of both skills and subject matter experts.
Tip #8: Advanced facilities
A good security service provider will have high quality security operation centers (SOCs) backed with full redundancy and disaster recovery capabilities.
Tip #9: Round the clock intelligence
In today’s always-connected world, many businesses need to be available at all hours. A global security team ensures 24*7coverage, monitoring and quick response irrespective of location. This real-time intelligence ensures quick threat detection and remediation.
Tip #10: Transparency and Auditing
Trust is a major deciding factor and it is necessary for the vendor to provide an audit trail of performance and all activities undertaken. Additionally there should be processes and procedures in place that can be validated by a third-party auditor.
Managing third party security can be daunting for most of us in today’s ever-growing complex landscape, a challenge that can stump even the best of companies. But, it needs to be done and keeping the above mentioned tips in mind can guarantee the right choice of a partner.
By Raghuram Gorur, program director – Alliance and Marketing for Infrastructure Management & Security Services at Happiest Minds