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Look Beyond Price When Acquiring IT Security Products

Times have changed when it comes to acquiring IT solutions, according to Cloudflare's chief security officer. Organizations need broad coverage and innovation.

Governments need to check out the big picture when they upgrade their security systems and software, says Joe Sullivan, chief security officer at global cloud platform company Cloudflare.

“Every purchaser of a security product should look not just at the effectiveness of the solution but also the deployment and maintenance requirements and costs. The price of the product might sound low until you figure out that you don’t have the subject matter expertise to deploy and maintain the solution on your own,” Sullivan explains.

He urges agencies to plan their acquisitions with the longer-term in mind. “Adversaries rapidly evolve, and threat vectors change on a daily basis. The company behind the product you purchase should have a history of evolving as quickly.”

Sullivan says times have changed when it comes to acquiring IT solutions. “Purchasing hardware yourself has gone out of style, for a good reason. Cloud solutions provide better reliability and a faster innovation path for local governments, allowing them to focus on delivering core services.”

He suggests agencies consider teaming up with vendors that offer a broad suite of products and a culture of innovation. “They are more likely to partner with you on your overall strategy and be there for you when an issue happens. Make sure your partners are flexible and will work to evolve with you as requirements change.”

Sullivan says the public sector may need to consult outside resources to ensure agencies have the tools to protect government IT operations. “Just like in other sectors, the security teams of local governments have constraints on their own technical staffing and need to rely on trusted partners in reducing security risks.”

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