How to avoid vendor lock-in and get more flexibility

avoid vendor lock-inTraditionally, customers, and security teams have worked with a single major technology provider, like IBM or Symantec, to build out their entire security stack. Layers that include antivirus, DLP, VRM, malware detections, pen testing, application scanning and all aspects of enterprise cyber security protection. With one provider offering the entire toolset, organizations are not provided with a best-of-breed approach, and are instead forced to settle for portfolios with some above average and some below average solutions.

More adventurous enterprises have sometimes tried—and often failed—to build out their own custom stack with their own limiting resources. This can result in developing a few great point solutions but no holistic cyber security platform. Additionally, updating, orchestrating and general up keep of a full security stack takes IT resources away from focusing on proactive remediation and incident response.

Avoid vendor lock-in with BYOT

The most sensible approach today, and likely tomorrow, looks more like Bring Your Own Tool (BYOT). Much like BYOD, large and small organizations are recognizing the freedom of utilizing a multitude of different cyber security solutions from antivirus to pen testing and remediation, and cobbling together what they consider to be the best-of-breed approach from many offerings. This BYOT approach helps avoid vendor lock-in and gives customers the most flexibility today and in the future.

A relevant analogy is the process one goes through when remodeling a bathroom or any other home DIY project. Rather than buying all Black & Decker tools or all DeWalt items, customers are more likely to buy a handful of each and specialized tools depending on the scope of the project from smaller or less established construction vendors. You’ll end up integrating all of the tools into your project eventually.

Define your security stack

To help enterprises break up their relationships with major technology providers and focus on the best of breed approach it’s important to first define your security stack and determine what you need and what you don’t. By rationalizing based on the end goal, rather than the tool itself, your real needs will quickly become apparent.

The second step is to determine what tools tie in the most effectively with your current portfolio and include data/analytics to help you make informed decisions in the future.

Finally, your solutions should all be proactive-leaning, rather than focused on incident response. Much like a lifetime of healthy eating, exercise and preventative measures in our personal lives, determining a security weakness actively before it becomes a fully established problem will result in cost, resource and credibility advantages for your organization.

Today we have access to the best cyber security tools available. And no single technology provider is responsible for each one of them. By leveraging a BYOT-approach, enterprise security teams are ensured a best-of-breed approach, avoid vendor lock-in and can take advantage of all the latest updates from solutions that come online every day.

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