Why you should build a best-of-breed cyber security arsenal

The security landscape is now so complex, and the breadth of potential threats and attackers so great, that no one vendor can protect it all

Instead, smart organizations are assembling security arsenals that comprise best-of-breed offerings from several suppliers. Cyber security has become the newest team sport.

To be sure, picking and choosing tools and services involves more work than just dealing with a single supplier. It’s about choosing the “players” who can deliver on a strategy that’s far more robust and protective – and that takes some research.

Big stakes

A great deal of money is at stake. Worldwide, organizations currently spend about $10.6 billion a year on managed security services (MSS), estimates analyst firm NelsonHall. According to NelsonHall’s 2018 NEAT report, MSS spending will increase by roughly 15% a year through 2022, nearly doubling to $20.5 billion.

One big reason for all that spending growth is an expected increase in both the number and complexity of attacks. Cybersecurity has become an arms race. MSS vendors will need to add scope and complexity, too.

One approach the industry is taking is adopting machine learning and other artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. These systems can be used to spot network anomalies, then trigger alerts for further investigation. And because machine learning uses automation, it can be used to track the huge number of connected devices expected as part of the internet of things (IoT).

Winning factors

With so many suppliers offering so many cyber tools and services, the task of selecting your best-of-breed solutions may seem overwhelming. To help, NelsonHall has identified six success factors for MSS suppliers. The more of these boxes a potential supplier can check, the higher they should be on your short list:

  • Broad scope: Successful MSS suppliers can add cybersecurity to a wide context, including cloud configurations and DevOps.
  • Understand the client: Common vulnerability scoring systems can be used to build cyber-risk reports — but only if the supplier first understands your unique business, operations and risks.
  • Research power: By analyzing past events, top-flight MSS suppliers can continually strengthen their ability to detect compromises. They can also reduce the number of irksome and time-wasting false positives.
  • Talent matters: Cybersecurity requires practitioners who are smart, well-trained and constantly learning. To build a superior team, the best cyber-suppliers partner with universities to hire good graduates, seek out “white hat” (ethical) hackers who may be willing to work for them, and ensure that current employees get frequently trained and “upskilled.”
  • Regional compliance: Yes, it’s a worldwide web, but security regulations and requirements still exist at the local level. The best suppliers stay close to the action, building security operations centers wherever clients may need them and wherever local laws may require them.
  • Stay current: When regulations change, excellent suppliers keep abreast of them. They also participate in government-industry alliances that help them spot the latest regulatory developments.

The NelsonHall report, which named DXC Technology an “Overall Leader” among MSS suppliers, evaluated vendors on their ability to both deliver immediate benefit and meet clients’ future requirements. To be prepared for both today and tomorrow, it’s crucial for security organizations to avoid vendor lock-in when building their security arsenal, and to instead select a wide range of best-of-breed solutions.

Chris Moyer headshotChris Moyer is vice president and general manager of security for DXC Technology. He has spent more than 25 years building business and technology solutions for clients in several industries, across multiple geographies. In previous roles, Chris led solutioning, transformation projects and delivery assurance. He’s also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Connect with Chris on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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