5 Tips for Building Your Security Toolkit

November 19, 2021 | Cybersecurity Consulting

When it comes to security best practices, security tools that give you visibility into your system are a critical component to any security program, according to Brad Thies, founder and president of BARR Advisory. 

And although every security program needs the right tools, selecting which tools to implement can be a major challenge. Most enterprises use an average of 45 cybersecurity tools to protect their network, according to ZDNet. When determining the number of tools, it’s important to find a delicate balance—too many tools can be redundant and difficult to coordinate, and not enough tools or the wrong ones for your specific network can leave security gaps and give hackers access to your network. 

The cybersecurity tool market is massive, and is predicted to continue growing rapidly as organizations increase security spending and the threat landscape continues to evolve. This further complicates the process of selecting the right security tools—in such a robust market, it can be difficult to discern the shortcomings of products. Debate Security recently published a research report with the apt subheading: “Is cybersecurity the new market for lemons?” The report calls attention to the issue that cybersecurity tools aren’t as effective as they need to be, largely due to economic reasons rather than issues with the technology f. And unfortunately, this issue has led to problems with transparency in the tools market. 

With these challenges in mind, organizations of all sizes face difficulties when building their security toolkit. 

“No tool is going to be your silver bullet. The issue isn’t what tool you’re going to buy—it’s educating yourself to make sure you’re purchasing the right tool,” explained Thies. 

Here are a few things to consider when selecting the right tools for your organization. 

Identify Your Goals and Needs

There’s not one tool out there that will provide a simple solution to every organization’s cybersecurity challenges because every organization has their own unique risks. Set clear, manageable goals for your cybersecurity program that address your security risks and concerns. 

Once you understand your organization’s specific needs and goals, it’s easier to identify the weaknesses that need to be addressed. That way, you’ll be able to appropriately consider how a potential tool can support your organization. 

Take Inventory 

Organize and inventory your current collection of security tools. This will allow you to check that each tool is working correctly and is up to date. When you can review your tools together in one place, you’ll be able to take stock of how well each tool is doing its job, look for any security gaps that may still exist, identify how well different tools complement each other, and get rid of tools that are redundant or ineffective. 

Focus on Visibility 

Once you’ve identified your needs, goals, and potential gaps, the next step is to determine how to get the visibility into your system to accomplish your goals. 

Tools that give you greater visibility into your environment will allow you to detect and address potential security threats. For organizations just starting to build their security program, beginning to layer on tooling to help give you visibility is a great security practice. 

Automation tools can help on this front, too. If you implement automated toolsets to benchmark yourself against some of the best security practices, it can help your security team understand how to react as the threat model evolves.

Consider Integration

How well a tool integrates with your environment is critical—if a tool isn’t well suited to your organization’s security needs, it can’t perform its intended function and can leave you vulnerable. A good start is to utilize tools that are native to your cloud service provider, whether it’s Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP). By looking at the native tools of the cloud you’re using as a playbook, you can save time when selecting the right tools for your organization. 

If your organization is looking for a compliance automation software tool, you have plenty of options to choose from. However, many of those compliance automation tools are really focused on smaller organizations that have very specific integrations. 

First, check how well integrated you are with that tool. Whether you use AWS, Azure, or GCP, does it integrate well with your cloud environment? You may need to further consider how well the tool would be suited for the environments that are built off of the AWS, Azure, and GCP environments. 

Consistently Manage Your Toolkit

Lastly, security is not a benchmark you can reach and then forget about. Continuously evaluating your cybersecurity tools is an important aspect of maintaining your security posture over time. Your toolkit should be consistently managed and updated on an ongoing basis, and reconfigured when necessary. Managing your toolkit also means that the responsibilities around security and tooling are clearly defined within your organization. 

With the right tools, you can efficiently and effectively protect your system and your customer’s data. And when the security of your business comes first, compliance follows. 

Want to learn more about how to use cybersecurity tools to improve your security posture? Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. 

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