5 good practices for a successful cybersecurity tool purchase

20 July 2022

Procuring and onboarding a new cybersecurity tool can be complex, extending beyond the deployment of the new technologies. Without clear policy and supporting processes, you may adversely impact your security posture and increase business costs. Appropriate investment in planning, resourcing, maintenance, and operations can deliver successful operational and financial returns and protect you from purchasing duplicate or unsuitable tools for your organisation.

Here are five things to consider before your next cybersecurity tool purchase:

1. Business strategy alignment

Effective cybersecurity cannot be achieved without clear direction that supports the business’ strategy. Without direction, the business lacks key information to determine, prioritise and purchase cybersecurity tools that may benefit its objectives, requirements, risk appetite, and resourcing.

Things to consider

  • Are new technologies and future cybersecurity risks addressed by the cybersecurity tool?

  • How will the cybersecurity tool improve the organisation’s security posture?

  • Does the cybersecurity tool remediate our risk?

2. Clearly defined requirements

Failure to meet important business and security risks during the assessment of a cybersecurity tool will be detrimental and indicate its unsuitability. Procurement should focus on the tools suitability to reduce cybersecurity risk and provide organisational.

Things to consider

  • Does the cybersecurity tool align to the information security policy?

  • Are there mandatory requirements and are they addressed by the tool?

  • What is the impact on your cybersecurity posture if the tool cannot address a requirement or risk?

3. Effective and inclusive procedures

Understanding purpose, ownership and ongoing management of the cybersecurity tool is essential and key staff need to be involved early in the procurement process.

Things to consider

  • Who will be owning and maintaining the cybersecurity tool?

  • Do staff understand their roles and responsibilities?

  • Are there any monitoring requirements for the cybersecurity tool?

4. Appropriate resource allocation

Cybersecurity tools require additional investment in time, resources, and staff training. Organisations need to ensure that affected staff can manage the cybersecurity tool effectively and efficiently throughout its lifecycle without negative consequences.

Things to consider

  • Do staff have capacity to manage and operate a new cybersecurity tool?

  • Are staff trained and proficient with the cybersecurity tool?

  • Does the cybersecurity tool impact other tasks?

5. Procurement compliance

A cybersecurity tool procurement policy and process should be clear, immutable, and inclusive of validation and approval steps. Without this, the risk of purchasing tools that are unsuitable for an organisation increases.

Things to consider

  • Are affected staff involved in the design of the procurement process able to provide feedback, to ensure its success?

  • Does the feedback process include staff from IT, architecture, and risk teams?

  • How often is the procurement policy and process reviewed to achieve business and security value?

There is no ‘golden rule’ for procuring new cybersecurity tools. However, a structured approach that is ‘end-to-end’ is vital to the success of decreasing risk and raising security operational effectiveness. Thorough procurement processes ensure value is at the heart of the business without compromising efficiency.

Complementing this with an independent opinion provides a fresh perspective, exposure to industry trends and can validate the cybersecurity tools suitability for current and future state environments.

How can McGrathNicol help?

Our Technology and Cyber team have extensive experience in designing and developing strategic and operational initiatives for consolidating, procuring, and onboarding new cybersecurity tools. We can assist you by providing leadership, process review, enabling operating model improvements to maximise investments and improve your organisation’s security posture.

For further information, please contact a member of our team.