Firms would prefer to use fewer infosec vendors, but don’t expect to

17 October 2018

Though companies would like to work with a single information security vendor across security domains, various demands force the use of multiple vendors. Infosec leaders surveyed by strategy firm EY-Parthenon don’t expected the situation to change anytime soon, however.

Through information security, or infosec, organizations attempt to prevent the data and info breaches that can be ruinous to a company’s reputation, customer relationship, and bottom line. Infosec professionals have to protect against viruses, worms, Trojans, phishing attacks, and the risky practices of employees that open the business to such threats.

As firms have become more digitalized, the infosec landscape has become more complex, with an explosion of systems and applications needing to be secured – as well as a requisite swelling of the amount of infosec vendors on the market.

In a new survey from strategy consulting firm EY-Parthenon – which queried 251 enterprise infosec leaders – the consultancy found that while companies would like to use an integrated security suite from a single vendor, they instead have to patch together services from multiple vendors. Though the desire is there, firms don’t expect their currently complex and fragmented infosec environment to change for the simpler.

EY-Parthenon’s survey found that, on average, companies use two to three vendors for each of the four infosec domains – network security, endpoint security, identity and access management, and vulnerability management. Companies which had a previous security breach were almost twice as likely to use multiple vendors per domain.Consolidation OpportunitiesReasons cited for using multiple vendors included a constantly shifting regulatory environment (e.g. GDPR) which means turning to yet another vendor; the fact that different vendors might be better suited for cloud versus on-premises systems; and the reality that no single vendor supports all of the company’s systems and applications that require protection.

Most respondents in almost every category, however, said that they would prefer an integrated solution from a single vendor – meaning less management overhead, lower costs, and lower complexity. Unfortunately, respondents are underwhelmed by current integrated solutions, which are often disparate products that loosely patched together.

Respondents don’t expect to realistically be able to consolidate infosec vendors, with 30% believing that they will actually increase the number of vendors used in the next three years. With new threats arising and more systems to protect, IT professionals are under intense pressure to keep their organizations as secure as possible.

“While companies desire an integrated solution, they consider it infeasible for achieving the caliber of security program they require,” notes the report, co-authored by Barak Ravid, Clark O'Niell, Spencer Lee, and Adele Young. “Where the suite solution offers benefits, they currently are outweighed by the risk of letting a breach slip through the cracks.”

Scarcity of R&D and engineering resources means that vendors have a tough strategic choice on whether to work on new products and functionality, or whether to effectively build products into an integrated suite. While customer success or renewal teams might favor better integration, engineering teams will favor work on new products, while sales teams will also push for new products as a more appealing sales motivator.

Even customers, though, are split, with EY-Parthenon’s survey revealing a tie between enhanced product capabilities and better product integration as the best avenues for vendors to improve their offerings. 


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Cybersecurity consultancy Crypsis adds directors in New York and Austin

01 March 2019

Mclean, Virginia-based The Crypsis Group has hired two forensics experts as directors to bolster its consulting capabilities. Billy Evans Jr. joins the firm’s Austin office as a director, while Stephen Ramey joins the New York office. 

Founded in 2015, Crypsis provides public and private sector clients with incident response, risk management, and digital forensics services. The firm’s incident response offering helps clients identify how attackers infiltrated, eliminate threats, and determine breach severity. The firm also helps companies effectively handle ransomware and crypto-extortion.

In the risk management service line, Crypsis helps clients strengthen security operations and programs, covering areas such as cybersecurity planning and cloud architecture review, as well as GDPR compliance.

The firm’s digital investigations service line delivers forensics, analysis, recovery, and reporting from digital sources. Services include expert witness advisory to support clients with digital evidence in courtrooms, as well as internal investigations into malicious employee activities such as data leaking and embezzlement.

Cybersecurity consultancy Crypsis adds directors in New York and Austin

With the threat of cyberattacks increasing, as digitalization continues to expand, the demand for cybersecurity services is likewise rising. It’s a good gig to be in, unlike, say, print journalism or department store retail.

Evans Jr. is an expert in computer forensics and digital evidence analysis. A certified Department of Defense Cyber Crime Investigator, Evans has more than 15 years of experience in managing and conducting cyber incident response, cyber counterintelligence, investigations, and security projects.

He was previously a director of global cyber risk services at consultancy Alvarez & Marsal for more than two years. There, he led global teams that helped Fortune 500 firms ensure cyber-readiness and regulatory compliance.

He also seven years at the Air Force Office of Special Investigations as a leader of Cyber Flight, a multiagency task force that includes the FBI and NSA. In the role, he oversaw 60 cyber professionals, neutralized numerous cyberattacks, and orchestrated incident response to insider threats.

Evans additionally spent two years as a senior security analyst in the computer forensics lab of financial services company USAA, managing digital forensics, litigation support, incident response, and e-discovery. Before USAA, he spent another 10 years at the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, first as a special agent and cyber team lead, and then as a cyber operations and investigations manager.

Ramey, meanwhile, will lead investigations and support clients dealing with information security events. He has more than a decade of experience helping clients protect against, respond to, and investigate cyberattacks.

Ramey was previously EY’s global digital forensics and incident response coordination leader for just under a year. Before that, he spent over a year as a partner at AI consulting firm Vista Analytics, where he built the company’s digital forensics practice. Prior to Vista, Ramey spent three years as a director at management consultancy Navigant, where he led the firm’s East Coast digital forensics and incident response team.

He also spent more than a year as a manager at Big Four accounting and consulting firm PwC, where he led a team of forensic analysts in investigating a suspected nation state-sponsored breach of a client’s network. Ramey started his career at Deloitte, where he spent more than seven years and worked on issues related to mobile device forensics.

“The addition of these highly acclaimed specialists to help lead our Austin and New York offices is further evidence of The Crypsis Group’s determination to respond to the growing need for cyber security expertise by building the most qualified and accomplished team anywhere – and to strengthen our presence from coast to coast," Bret Padres, Crypsis CEO, said. 

Related: US businesses turning to consulting firms amid cybersecurity fears