By Trevor Bidle, VP of technical strategy at US Signal
As the world becomes more connected, one of modern businesses’ most prominent challenges is effectively securing their networks and data. That’s because hackers are becoming more sophisticated day by day, and security breaches can cause exposure of sensitive company or customer information, reputational damage and even business disruption.
In fact, a recent survey showed that 83% of organizations have experienced a cyberattack within the last two years and that cyberattacks cause 12 hours of downtime on average, causing major revenue losses for companies.
While searching for cloud security, IT security or network security online will bring up a plethora of results, hardly any of them will provide any new insights or concrete solutions for tackling security risks. The reason for this? The majority of the authors online are vendors who see the articles as a way to promote their own security solutions without giving away too much.
However, some vendors do pride themselves on transparency and providing the information needed for you to make an informed decision on your security solutions, and this has made for some interesting reads and listens.
One of the best resources to find ways to solve common security issues is case studies. Through case studies, vendors tend to speak on the ways in which they solved a problem that was brought to them by a client. If your problem is similar to that of the one mentioned in a case study, then it is an easy way to see if the vendor could actually handle your problem.
Webinars are also useful ways to get to know a security company you are considering working with. Vendors often host these educational webinars to display a new service or product and demonstrate their knowledge of the industry they operate in. The format and extended length of a webinar allows listeners to hear not only in-depth technical information on its security products but examples of real-world solutions for real companies. Plus, most webinars have time for questions, which allows you to participate in the conversation and get a better idea of if an investment in that provider is something you’d like to pursue seriously.
It’s important to seek out actual use cases because sometimes when theory meets real-world usage, it doesn’t always work out as predicted. A great example of this is the WannaCry ransomware. Even though cybersecurity solutions were quite robust in 2017, when the real-life situation of a malware strain that could self-replicate emerged, the majority of cybersecurity vendors were unable to catch it due to outdated technologies. Doing your due diligence when searching for your next security provider could prevent your company from falling victim to a similar attack.
When a security company is transparent with its audience, it increases trust and helps users understand how the solutions are applicable to their businesses, as well as what gaps they may still need to fill in their overall security infrastructure. Offering a public platform allows customers and prospects to learn about companies, sure, but this also allows the security provider to learn from them as well. This can influence their product portfolios, staff and future growth plans, so they can best serve the businesses that need them most.
As VP of technical strategy at US Signal in Grand Rapids, Trevor Bidle directs the strategic and tactical goals for the company, providing foresight into product offerings. Bidle has 18 years of telecommunications experience and has held technical and management positions with SBC Communications, including responsibility for outside plant engineering, Choice One Communications and US Xchange, where he was responsible for escalations and network engineering.