Chapter 3: Selecting security tools: A comprehensive guide

Effective cybersecurity hinges on making well-informed choices in the face of an ever-changing threat landscape. In this chapter, we explore the practical advice from experts on selecting the most fitting security solutions for your organization. We emphasize the importance of a supplementation approach, wherein new tools complement your existing security stack rather than attempting to replace it. Additionally, we delve into the key capabilities to consider in an email security tool and how these solutions can enhance your security posture while simplifying the complexity faced by security teams.

The supplementation approach: Strengthening your security arsenal

Security innovation is at the forefront of every organization’s agenda, driven by recent events that have exposed vulnerabilities in email security. Many security teams are now seeking to bolster their email security providers with additional capabilities to meet the growing threats head-on. These capabilities encompass a range of essential features, and the challenge lies in finding a provider that can deliver them effectively. By supplementing your email security stack strategically, you can ensure your organization is equipped to combat advanced threats.

In a world where cyber threats continually evolve, relying solely on a single security tool is akin to wielding a single, silver bullet against a horde of adversaries. To effectively protect your organization, the supplementation approach is paramount. Think of it as fortifying your security stack where it might be lacking. For instance, consider the challenge of guarding against unknown, evasive, and sophisticated malware and phishing attempts. A well-rounded strategy involves supplementing your email security system with specialized tools designed to combat these specific threats effectively.

Required capabilities: What to look for in an email security tool

Jess Burn, senior analyst at Forrester Research suggests that when selecting an email security tool, it’s imperative to focus on a set of fundamental capabilities. AI and machine learning are valuable, but they should not be the sole reliance for thwarting phishing or Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks. By mastering the basics, such as implementing email authentication like DMARC, performing content analysis, sandboxing malware, and employing content disarm and reconstruction, you can fortify your defenses. These foundational elements should always be part of your security strategy.

When selecting an email security tool, it’s also crucial to delve beyond the surface and consider a comprehensive set of capabilities. This includes sandboxing, not only for malware but also for emails and URLs. However, the sandboxing solution should not stop at the superficial; it must possess the ability to analyze the entire lifecycle of malicious emails, URLs, or attachments. Threat actors are becoming increasingly adept at crafting sophisticated delivery chains and concealing malicious activity. Therefore, the sandboxing solution you choose must follow these elements through every step of their execution, from inception to the end.

Prioritizing security teams over tools

In the pursuit of cybersecurity excellence, it’s easy to get caught up in the allure of advanced tools. However, it’s essential to remember that products are only as effective as the people using them. Joel Fulton recommends getting the basics right first, establishing a strong foundation that includes DKIM, DMARC, SPF, and other critical elements. Once your foundational security practices are in place, you can tailor your approach to address your organization’s unique requirements. The goal is to ensure that your security team has the right tools and the expertise to use them effectively.

It’s imperative to prioritize the people within your security teams over the tools they wield. Security is not solely a technological endeavor but a collaborative effort. As the security landscape grows more complex, security teams must be equipped with the right tools and expertise. However, these tools should not add layers of complexity; instead, they should provide clarity within existing complexities. An effective security investment should ultimately boost the productivity and efficiency of your Security Operations Center (SOC) team, streamlining their ability to safeguard your organization.

In the forthcoming chapter, we’ll explore the importance of improving the security team’s productivity and its profound impact on the ROI of security investments. Understanding how to harness your team’s capabilities efficiently is integral to achieving comprehensive security while maximizing the value of your security tools.