23 Questions to Ask Before Selecting a Network Security Provider
Any business that hasn’t begun thinking about cloud-based IT services will soon be the minority. There are many business drivers encouraging enterprises to move to the cloud including the opportunity to enhance their business model, drive business growth, and fuel efficiency. While all signs point to the exponential growth of cloud-based services, security is becoming a focal point of the conversation.
Despite the rapid growth of security solutions, network security coverage for most organizations isn’t adequate enough to protect their business assets. We’re seeing a surge in cybersecurity attacks, targeting sensitive information, and enterprises are concerned. The need to secure their data and applications is beyond critical.
Not only is a breach extremely inconvenient, and we can guarantee that it will lead to unhappy customers, it’s extremely expensive. IBM reports in their 2018 study that the global average cost of a data breach is up 6.4% over the previous year to $3.86 million.
With this much at stake, enterprises are turning to network security vendors for support. While this is great, we cannot emphasize enough, the importance of finding the right security provider. That’s where our experience comes in. We’re here to help you decipher the offerings provided by network service providers and help you analyze how they might fit into your solutions.
We’ve learned a lot over the years and want to help you prepare for making this decision. Below, we’ve gathered some of the key questions you should ask potential security providers before signing the dotted line:
Category #1 Business Security
Before diving in head-first into the security vendor pool, you should take a step back and examine your security goals. Evaluate what is important for your business and what requirements are necessary to keep in mind. The vendors should provide you with solutions that are unique to your needs and meets the network requirements for your business.
Some questions to consider:
- Is my business ready to migrate to a cloud-based security service?
- What security solutions should I invest in to protect my business?
- What are the related network performance, storage, and monitoring requirements?
- Do I need to hire a third-party to install and optimize my security hardware or security service?
- What type of remote monitoring and management will deliver the best ROI?
Category #2 Managed Security
Running a business requires time, human capital, and expenses. We’re seeing many enterprises struggle to keep up with the innovation, productivity, and ongoing security threats. Companies with compliance regulations are looking for more support as well, especially those that require the separation of personal data.
With that said, more are turning to Managed Security providers to fully support their needs. Taking an industry point of view, the global managed security services market is expected to more than double by 2023! If you’re looking for a security provider to completely manage your systems, here are some questions to consider:
- How do you keep up with the latest security technologies?
- How will you educate our team on the latest security trends?
- How often do you run testing and monitoring of the environments you manage?
- How can I ensure sensitive business data is secures as it moves through the IP network?
- What network monitoring services do you offer to proactively identify threats?
- How easy is the process to add or remove properties, equipment, or users?
Category #3 Professional Services
You are continuously tasked with the need to design, deliver, operate, and control services to support your internal and external customers. Your security provider should help you fill the gaps, as needed, and augment their strategy to stay aligned with the security needs of your business.
Some questions to consider:
- What is your stance on transparency, and sharing analytical data and performance of my systems?
- How do you ensure that my network is designed with my unique needs in mind?
- What are your standard service level agreements (SLAs) for each quoted service?
- How are repairs, technical support, and tuning needs handled?
- What options do you have for remediation services?
Category #4 Mobile Security
Mobile security has recently become a hot topic as well, as businesses embrace digital transformation, and make mobile devices an integral part of their workplace. It’s predicted that the global mobile security market will reach $24.17 billion by 2023.
While the opportunities that come along with this movement are great, there are various issues to consider. Mobile apps can be a prime point of entry for malicious activity and it’s important that you discuss the topic of mobile security with potential security providers to know if this is of priority.
Some questions to consider:
- How do you approach mobile security?
- How do you control mobile leaks and/or patches?
- How do you protect the user data that is collected using the mobile device?
Category #5 Reputation
In the end, businesses are run by people, and you should take the time to research their past and get to know what their reputation is in the industry. Look at their past relationships and history to gather a better look at where they come from. One of the best indicators of future performance is past performance. There is no harm in asking clients, suppliers, or partners their feedback. Check and confirm their references and aim to gather a transparent look at their experience.
- How long have you been in business?
- What regional or international companies have you serviced?
- Do you have any public references we could refer to?
- Do you have customer success stories you could share with us?
Choosing a security partner may just be one of the most significant business decisions you will be make for the future of your business. Ensure that you are investing an appropriate amount of time and research in finding the right security provider to protect your business information.
One of our many strengths is helping you decipher the offerings provided by network service providers and help you analyze how they might fit into your solutions. We have extensive relationships beyond the carrier spectrum that enable us to bring in partners who are leaders in their particular security niche. Let us be your additional layer of support, and help you find the best partner to secure your business assets.