How to Choose the Best Data Security Solution for Your Enterprise

August 21, 2018 Eric Dosal Eric Dosal

4 Min Read

One common misconception about enterprise cybersecurity is that simply grabbing the “latest and greatest” security devices from the most well-known cybersecurity companies is a sure-fire way to protect a business from online threats. While top-rated data security solutions can help, there’s more to choosing the best one for your needs than how shiny and new the solution is.

The question is, “how can you make sure you’re choosing the best data security solution for your enterprise?”

Well, like many important business decisions, there’s a process that you can use to optimize your decision so you get the best protection without it impacting your day-to-day operations:

Step 1: Assess Your Cybersecurity Risks and Vulnerabilities

Before you go marching off to pick a data security solution, be sure to thoroughly evaluate what you need to protect, what your risks are if your protection fails, and how attackers are most likely going to breach your current cybersecurity measures.

This typically means using three different cybersecurity assessments:

  1. Asset Audit. An asset audit takes a look at all of the various components of your network to determine what all of your network endpoints are, what data and software programs are on said endpoints, and what your overall network looks like. This is the first step in determining what your cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities are since it provides you with the complete picture of what’s on your network.

  2. Risk Assessment. Here, you evaluate what’s on your network to determine what risks you face—such as what would happen if your primary data center were to shut down or if someone were to gain direct access to your database illicitly. Establishing your biggest cybersecurity risks and what their impacts would be can be vital for prioritizing your cybersecurity efforts.

  3. Vulnerability Assessment. After determining what your most significant risk factors are, it’s important to assess how well-protected your network is from various types of cyber threats. Here, you’ll check for things like out-of-date security patches in software, assess the level of cybersecurity awareness in your organization, and even run penetration tests that simulate attacks against your network to expose previously-undetected weaknesses.

After running all of these assessments and organizing the findings into a comprehensive report, you should have a solid grasp of what’s on your network, what needs the most protection, and how vulnerable your network is to attack. This will help you in your search for data security solutions by letting you know what kinds of protection you need.

Step 2: Consider Your Plans for Future Growth

Scalability is a major concern when choosing cybersecurity solutions. A scalable solution can grow along with your company without significantly impacting your resources, while a non-scalable tool might start to lose efficacy or impact your business network’s performance as you scale up your operations.

So, when choosing a data security solution, consider your plans for growing your business. Where do you plan to be a year from now? How about five years? Consider your long and short-term goals for growth and how that might impact your cybersecurity needs before settling on any one enterprise security solution.

Step 3: Consider How the Data Security Solution Will Impact Your Regulatory Burdens

Many enterprises have to meet numerous regulatory standards for data security. Yet, these regulatory burdens may differ from one enterprise to the next. For example, hospitals and healthcare providers frequently have to adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which sets rules “for the protection of individually identifiable health information by three types of covered entities: health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers who conduct the standard health care transactions electronically.”

Meanwhile, many retail organizations have to follow the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which sets forth guidelines to:

  • Build and Maintain a Secure Network and Systems
  • Protect Cardholder Data
  • Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program
  • Implement Strong Access Control Measures
  • Regularly Monitor and Test Networks
  • Maintain an Information Security Policy

Whenever you’re assessing a data security solution, it’s important to consider how that tool will contribute to your ability to follow any of the regulatory standards that your business falls under.

Step 4: Consider Your Existing Security Tools

Before adding a new security solution to your business network, consider how that solution will integrate with your existing data security measures.

Is there already a data security tool that accomplishes a task that the new one is designed to address? If so, does the new security solution improve on the old tool in some way? If you already have a tool that does the same thing, and the new solution doesn’t improve on it in some way, then you may want to reconsider spending time and money on integrating a new tool.

However, if support for the old security solution is being discontinued, then replacing it with another tool that does the same thing makes sense.

Step 5: Consider the “User-Friendliness” of the New Tool

Adding a new data security solution will likely have a significant impact on your existing security procedures—which can improve or detract from the user-friendliness of your business network.

The problem with negatively impacting the user experience (UX) of your business network is that it can make tasks more time-consuming for employee users. Worse yet, if you have customer-facing applications that run on your network, a bad UX can drive them away. Because of this, it’s important to consider how the new data security solution will impact your current security procedures. Some questions to ask include:

  • Will the new solution add steps to or remove steps from my current security processes?
  • What new information, if any, will employees/customers with user accounts have to memorize?
  • How will the new security solution impact network performance (will it cause slowdowns or other issues that make logging into and using assets on the network more difficult/time consuming)?
  • How might employees try to work around the new security solution?
  • What training might need to be implemented to familiarize employees with the new solution?

Ideally, you want to make sure that your new data security solution doesn’t impact your current security processes too heavily and doesn’t put a heavier load on your business network than your existing solutions. However, there may be occasions where you have to balance your need for security against the need for user-friendliness.

These are just a few of the considerations that you might have to make when attempting to choose the best data security solutions for your enterprise. For more information about how to protect your business network, download our guide, Back to Cybersecurity Basics, at the link below, or contact us to discuss your cybersecurity needs and arrange a security policy audit & assessment.

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