Your Network Security Solution – 6 Steps to Evaluate Its Effectiveness

From computer viruses to hackers, with so many lurking security threats, it’s important to have a solid network security solution in place. Whether your company has security software, a dedicated IT team to monitor suspicious activity, or both – threats keep evolving and adapting to their environment. That said, it would be in your best interest to have an integrated network security solution with all the modern tools you need to keep your system up and running smoothly.

So how can you assess your network security solution to see if it’s time to update your security software or procedures? Here are 6 important aspects you should consider when evaluating your current network security.

1. Detection Accuracy. It’s critical to have a network solution that can lower the amount of false positives/negatives and can also design policy controls that map to business processes. Make sure the solution can protect both structured and unstructured data as well as data ranging from simple credit card numbers and SSNs to source code and other proprietary information.

2. Enforcement Capabilities. Since most leaks are internal (or at least start out that way) it’s important to have a network security solution with integrated enforcement capabilities for all data types, vectors, for both internal and external communications.

3. Policy Administration and Updating. Make sure your network security solution is able to set rules based on users, data, vector, and destination. It should be able to tie each of these variables together to say who can send what information where and how. Additionally, since these policies should be created based on regulatory compliance requirements and corporate governance, your network security solution should be automatically updating them as regulations change.

4. Manageability and Reporting. Security software should be easy to deploy and manage. Policy controls should be so easy to create and integrate with existing processes and tools that anyone (not just IT) can do it. Overall, your network security solution should have monitoring, prevention, reporting and enforcement all in one solution.

5. Cost of Ownership. Any solution should have a reasonable cost of ownership, meaning it should possess the ability to integrate with a broad range of security and networking solutions as well as a flexible deployment scheme. Additionally, the solution should have a measurable effectiveness, i.e.
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reporting. That is if a breach or leak does happen your solution should be able to classify the incident(s) and provide remediation in order to have a reasonable cost of ownership.

6. Vendor Viability. Unfortunately, the majority of available solutions are from start up companies with limited funds and product vision. Network security solutions from start up companies can sometimes lack the R&D, global sales and support services organizations need to have guaranteed, long term security for their network. Additionally, due to consolidation in the security industry, these small vendors and ’boutique shops’ are more likely to be acquired by a larger company at some point or even forced out of business eventually. The larger, publicly traded firms however, generally have a more substantial customer base, a well funded R&D program, and a global presence with strong sales and support. Therefore, purchasing solutions from a more viable vendor could mean better results and service in the long run.

For any business present in today’s fast-paced, ever changing web environment, finding an integrated security solution that will take care of everything listed above is imperative. After you’ve evaluated your current security – begin researching security solutions (such as the Websense® Web Security Suite(TM) ) that will fill the gaps left open by traditional security software.

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