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Jonathan Crowe
May 2016

New eBook Preview: Endpoint Security Buyer's Guide

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This post is a preview of our new Endpoint Security Buyer's Guide, which you can download here. I'd love to hear your feedback, so take a look then come back and let me know what you think in the comments below!

With the rise of threats like phishing and ransomware, your users and their workstations have become the #1 target for cyber attacks, and the most likely foothold for hackers looking to break into your network.

Protecting them is as crucial as ever, but as you’ve probably heard by now, relying solely on antivirus to do that isn’t enough. More and more security and IT pros are reevaluating their current endpoint protection and exploring other options. You may already be one of them.

Whether you're researching endpoint security options for the first or the umpteenth time, it's probably safe to say there are things you don't like about it. Buzzword-filled vendor websites. Incessant calls from salespeople. A boss who just sees security as a cost. 

No, there's not much about the buying process that's objectively "fun". But the truth is it really shouldn't have to suck so much, either.

Sounds like livin' the dream! Take me to the guide.

In a perfect world, here’s how it plays out:

You have a clear need, so you research potential solutions. You find a handful that are promising, so you dig deeper to narrow down your options. You try one or two out, and then you pull the trigger. Simple!

In reality, things don’t always go smoothly (stop me if you've heard this one).

Maybe your antivirus license is set to expire and you want to see what else is out there. Your current solution has been bogging down workstations and you’ve heard a lot about new malware getting around antivirus altogether. Your boss has been asking whether what you have blocks ransomware, and honestly you’re not so sure.

You set aside time to research new solutions, but vendor sites are full of jargon and it’s hard to tell what really sets any one approach apart from the others. You’d like to learn more, but you also don’t want to get harassed by a salesperson, so you head to a forum looking for peer recommendations. After digging through a bunch of conflicting suggestions you finally settle on one solution to take for a spin and you sign up for the free trial.

By now you’ve spent way more time on this than you’d anticipated. You’ve got other fires to put out and you really can’t put them off any longer. By the time you come back up for air, though, your trial period is almost up, and so is your antivirus license. There are more tests you wanted to run, more questions you meant to ask, more features you wanted to try out, but now you really just need to make a decision, because time is running out.

To top it off, now there’s this email from one of your users. Something weird is happening to their computer. None of their files will open and there’s a message saying they need to pay something called Bitcoin…

Sound familiar?

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Here are three ways this buyer's guide can help: 

1) Get up to speed on new endpoint security options — fast

For years, antivirus has been the cornerstone of endpoint security, but thanks to new threats that bypass traditional AV, more and more companies are feeling the need to explore additional options. In fact, nearly 9 in 10 security professionals have come to the conclusion their current endpoint protection isn’t enough to protect their users.

Looking at the breakdown below, we can see there are three primary categories of solutions designed to pick up where antivirus leaves off:

  • Antivirus enhancement
  • Antivirus replacement
  • Alternative endpoint security approaches (focused detection & response instead of prevention)

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One way to make better sense of the many endpoint security solutions out there is to first decide how you want to address your current reliance on antivirus.

  • Do you want to continue using it to stop known malware, but enhance its effectiveness with complementary solutions that address its blindspots? If so, you may want to consider antivirus enhancement solutions.
  • Do you want to replace it completely with a product that performs the same function but with new technology? Check out some of the latest antivirus replacement options.
  • Or do you want to move away from prevention altogether, and focus your efforts on detecting and responding to attacks instead? That's where alternative "detection and response" security options come in.

For a closer look at these three categories of solutions, along with a list of pros and cons to consider for each, download the full Buyer's Guide here.

2) Translate vendor jargon into plain English

As you can see, there’s no lack of new endpoint security solutions out there. It can be difficult to tell what does what, especially after a few visits to vendor websites leaves you with more questions than answers. 

Part of the problem is that the sheer volume of security solutions out there makes it difficult for vendors to stand out without coining or co-opting their own jargony terms. Trying to understand the differences between what one vendor calls “threat prevention” and another calls “endpoint detection and response” is enough to make your brain BSoD.

You’ve got better things to do. That's why we've included a handy list of “vendor terms, translated” in the guide to help clear things up. See the full list by downloading the guide here.

3) Figure out your own endpoint security needs (so a vendor doesn't do that for you)

The truth is, you’re going to come across a dizzying variety of new approaches and technologies designed to tackle endpoint security. Each vendor is going to use a lot of words and stats to convince you theirs is the one that tackles it the right way. Your challenge, then, is taking in all that information and filtering it so you can determine which is the right solution for you.

That’s exactly what we developed this guide to help you do.

Inside the guide you'll find a series of simple checklists and worksheets that can help you cut through the noise and get the information you need not only to make the right buying decision but also to defend it.

Here's a list of some of the great, actionable stuff you'll find inside:

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  • 3 Questions to Ask Yourself First (Worksheet): Answering these questions will help you determine what your top needs actually are.
  • 5 Must-Have Endpoint Security Features (Checklist): Find out what features are crucial to protecting your users and their workstations from the latest threats without slowing them down.
  • 10 Questions to Ask Potential Vendors (Checklist): Get the information you need to start assessing a solution up front, before you sink more time into evaluation and a trial.
  • 10 Trial To-Dos (Checklist): Dot your i’s, cross your t’s, and make the most of your trial by following this 10-step checklist.
  • Restoration Costs Calculator: Put a clear number on how much you’re spending to keep your machines up and running and virus-free.
  • What Your Boss Should Know (Executive Worksheet): Need to get buy-in or present your recommendation to your boss? Translate the benefits and your need for endpoint protection into business terms.

If these checklists look useful you can access all of them in one PDF by downloading the guide below.

Buying security shouldn't have to be such a pain. By figuring out your top needs and questions ahead of time, not only can you shorten the process, you can also go into it much more likely to walk away with a product that actually makes your life easier. That sure beats the alternative.

Jonathan Crowe

Jonathan Crowe

Jonathan covers the latest threats and cybersecurity trends from a practical perspective.

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