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Do It Yourself? Could be a Painful Experience

June 20, 2018

Mike MacIntyre

No one builds their own firewall! Well, someone did, but these days if you need a firewall you simply pick up your catalogue of security tools and choose one. Not so with security data analytics products though, but why?

I’ll get to some thoughts on that in a moment, but more generally, there is a decision that organizations need to make as they plan and develop their security programs – do I build [insert control/technology of choice] or do I buy one from [insert trusted vendor]?

Now security folks have egos and many times those egos scream, “we’ve got smart people, we should just build this ourselves!” As we will see, there are many factors that such an ego driven statement sweeps away too quickly, not least the fact that you hired those smart people to do a specific role, not to build and support a product.

Vendor trust and transparency
Let’s start with what might be considered the elephant in the room: a decision to buy will always be affected by whether or not you trust a vendor. There is an entire universe of security products and vendors to choose from that you need something to help make a selection.

It’s therefore not uncommon to draw on your own experience, and you will undoubtedly have been burned by a vendor (or a few) in the past. Alternatively, you receive hundreds of marketing emails on a daily basis all claiming to solve all of your problems.

What you and the vendors both know (but the latter often choose not to acknowledge) is that an ‘off the shelf’ product cannot meet all of your needs. If a vendor is transparent with this information upon hearing about your needs (assuming they chose to listen), then this can be the basis for establishing trust. It allows you to ask more questions about how customizable or configurable the product is and whether you can make it meet your needs.

It’s still not going to address 100%, and so ultimately you are left to decide whether that’s ok or not?

Check out InfoSecurity to see the full take on the DIY question.