Catch the news and you get a pretty clear sense that times are tough and people are still hurting out there. Naturally, all of us respond by looking at our budgets, then cut what we feel are needless expenses. That’s all well and good – we can survive with one less vacation, or outfit hanging in our closet. But when we make short-term cost-cutting decisions – like nixing a gym membership – that affects our long-term health and hurts more in the long run.
That’s what’s happening with IT security budgets. In an effort to do more with less, IT and security managers are looking for ways to cut costs. It’s not surprising to find out that organizations, in evaluating new security systems, are focusing on initial acquisition, licensing and maintenance costs. Which means they’re tempted by low-priced options. But just like not going to the gym turns you into a couch potato, compromising on security for mail servers and endpoints is just short-term gain for long-term pain.
The true cost of any enterprise security solution depends on four additional factors beside upfront fixed cost investments, and these should be taken into serious consideration before choosing any new endpoint security solution.
1. Effectiveness The first measure of a system’s true cost is effectiveness – if it can’t consistently prevent known and unknown threats, what’s the point? No security product can be 100% effective but choose one that lags top performers by even 5 or 10% and you won’t save your organization anything in the long run. During your evaluation process, make sure you have clear answers to these questions:
- What’s the system’s track record?
- Is it innovative?
- Is it fully integrated?
2. Efficiency: This is the second most important factor in reducing cost. While thwarting a threat at any point is better than not preventing it, built-in capabilities that stop it earlier minimize workload on network bandwidth and other areas, saving money and hassles. And course, configuring and monitoring capabilities that are centralized and unified increase efficiency, as is the ability to automatically distribute and implement updates.
3. Breadth of coverage: This is essentially another aspect to efficiency, but an important one. Solutions that provide broad coverage through strategic use of multi-function gateways and well-structured software suites avoid the need to juggle multiple management tools, point products and vendor relationships. This helps reduce the cost of overall security.
4. Adaptability: Security solutions that are tied to a piece of hardware, that are difficult to upgrade or accommodate, ultimately drives costs higher. On the other hand, those that can adapt and function despite changing conditions reduce the need for additional investments in the future. That means it’s important to look for solutions that offer flexible configuration options, broad platform support seamless integration with third-party solutions and virtualization – all of which help make security solutions more adaptable.
Finding ways to reduce costs is commendable, but ignoring the very real total cost of ownership elements beyond upfront licensing and maintenance costs is a recipe for future added complexity and costs. Trend Micro Enterprise Security Suite bundles offer a single, integrated security solution that protects mail servers, files servers, clients and mobile devices, delivering maximum protection from emerging threats while minimizing the total cost and complexity of security management.
What questions do you have about endpoint security? Sound off if the comments below – our team is standing by to help.