Navigating the Challenges of Evaluating Security Technology

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Many organizations are striving to strengthen their security posture and are prioritizing security investments more than ever. It is encouraging to know that 78% of organizations plan to add security technology over the next 12 months. However, selecting the most suitable security technology does not come without its challenges.

In this blog post, we explore the common challenges organizations face when evaluating security technology and provide insights on navigating them effectively.

evaluating security technology

In a survey of 106 IT professionals, 78% said that their organization will be adding security technology over the next 12 months.

evaluating security technology

In a survey of 338 IT professionals, 41% said it takes their organization more than six months to evaluate and purchase new security technology.

1. Unsure Where to Invest

One of the key challenges of evaluating security technology is first understanding which types of solutions should be evaluated. From SIEMs and SOARS to Firewalls and Anti-Malware, it can quickly become overwhelming to determine where to invest to make the most impact. Many organizations do not have endless time, budget, and skills to tackle each area of security at once. 

A thorough assessment of current infrastructure, potential vulnerabilities, and regulatory compliance obligations can help to focus time and effort on evaluating solutions that will address the most critical problems. Media Sonar Digital Risk Assessments are a great tool for identifying where to start. They allow organizations to understand where critical assets are already exposed and vulnerable, making it easier to identify the types of risks that should be addressed first. 

2. Managing Stakeholder Involvement

evaluating security technology

Evaluating security technology is not a solitary task. The evaluation process often involves multiple departments, each with its own unique perspectives and priorities.  While it’s crucial to ensure the chosen technology aligns with the organization’s goals and meets the needs of all areas of the business – it can take a lot of time to coordinate with stakeholders, schedule meetings, and incorporate feedback.

Here are a few tips for managing stakeholder involvement to streamline the evaluation process:

  • Identify Key Stakeholders & Create a Cross-Functional Team: Begin by identifying the key stakeholders who have a vested interest in the security technology implementation. This may include IT personnel, executives, department heads, legal and compliance teams, and end-users. From here, you can comprise a cross-functional team with a representative from each stakeholder group. These representatives can ensure that all perspectives are considered, and the diverse needs and priorities are incorporated into the evaluation criteria. 
  • Clearly Define Roles and Responsibilities: Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder involved in the evaluation process. Assign a project lead who will be responsible for facilitating discussions, ensuring that tasks are delegated, and maintaining accountability. This will streamline the decision-making process by preventing confusion or overlap of responsibilities. 
  • Establish Clear Communication Channels: Effective communication is essential to manage stakeholder involvement. Establish clear channels for sharing information, updates, and progress. Regular meetings, email updates, and collaborative platforms can facilitate transparent communication and ensure stakeholders remain informed throughout the evaluation process.
  • Document and Review Decisions: Document the decisions made throughout the evaluation process, including the rationale behind them. This documentation serves as a reference point for stakeholders and helps maintain transparency. Regularly review and update these decisions to ensure they align with any changes in requirements or organizational priorities.

3. Overwhelming Options

evaluating security technology

The market is flooded with a multitude of tools and solutions, each claiming to address specific security needs. This overwhelming array of options can make decision-making daunting. As shown in the graph above,  62% of organizations limit their options to 3-4 before evaluating and deciding which solution to implement. But, even narrowing it down this far can be challenging. 

Organizations must establish clear and concise evaluation criteria upfront to focus on evaluating components with the greatest significance. Once the criteria is set, research and pre-screening of potential security technologies can be conducted to eliminate unsuitable options early on. This process should include a mix of gauging customer satisfaction (reviews and customer references) as well as reviewing documentation created by the vendor (technical specifications, implementation guides, and case studies). 

4. Aligning Decision Making with Security Expertise

Implementing and managing a diverse security tech stack requires specialized skills and expertise. However, finding and retaining cybersecurity professionals with the skills required to make complex solutions work are expensive and hard to come by. 

While it’s tempting to opt for the most feature-rich solutions, it’s essential to strike a balance between functionality and complexity to ease adoption and maximize the value of the security tech stack. Organizations should choose the technology they can manage based on their available resources and skills. Focusing on evaluating providers that offer expertise and support alongside their solution is also an excellent way to bridge resource shortages.

Media Sonar Digital Risk Assessments help organizations facing expertise and resource gaps. Our analysts summarize and score risks for an organization’s digital assets and identify remediation recommendations to reduce exposures.

cybersecurity skills gap

In a survey of 570 IT professionals, 85% said that their organization is somewhat or highly impacted by the cybersecurity skills gap.

evaluating security technology

In a survey of 224 IT professionals, 90% said that their organization’s skills gap somewhat or highly impacts the types of security technology they evaluate. 

Conclusion

Choosing the right security tech stack is one of the most complex and timely tasks organizations face in their cybersecurity journey. A thorough analysis is necessary to reduce frequent replacements, avoid burning resources, and ensure long-term security and business needs are met. Organizations that take steps to navigate the decision-making process more effectively will be able to develop a well-thought-out security tech stack that aligns with key objectives and empowers organizations to build robust defenses against evolving threats and safeguard their digital assets.

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Media Sonar Digital Risk Assessments provide organizations with an analyst-generated summary of identified risks and exposures.

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