CISOs Differ on Security Solutions But Put Quality on Top

Indian CISOs give an insight on pros and cons of both best-of-breed and single vendor security solutions.

Security officers do not seem to agree on any one approach of buying a security solution. Some are of the opinion that a single vendor approach is better while some feel that it not at all possible for one single vendor to provide all security solutions.

Best-of-breed is an ideal solution. It is not possible for one single vendor to cover all aspects of security. One needs to have checks and balances and from that perspective it is better to go for best-of-breed security solutions, said Parag Deodhar, chief risk officer, CISO, VP-Process Excellence & Program Mgmt. at Bharti AXA General Insurance, India.

Expecting a complete end-to-end security solution from one single vendor may not look realistic. Security has many aspects, and it is difficult for one vendor to master them all.

I am yet to come across a single vendor who covers all aspects of security. Talking about security, right from identity management, to firewalls, to anti-versus, to SIEM, to encryption, the entire gambit, I do not think one single vendor can provide all, Deodhar said.

But Mannan Godil, vice president & head-information security, CISO, Edelweiss Financial Services doesnt agree. He believes that buying security solutions from a single vendor may prove to be better.

If a vendor offers a high quality solution on one single platform and if the vendor is somebody I would love to work with because of high quality delivery, then I will go for that one vendor, Godil said.

Single vendor has advantages too important to be ignored. One advantage of single vendor solution is that it will be a complete story. One does not have to look for adaptors which will translate one vendor log into another. Single vendor solutions are known to be more in tune with each other. Ashish Chandra Mishra, CISO, TESCO, said.

Mishra also said that integration is better when it comes to single vendor product but best-of-breed provides more intelligence. Risk can be more in multi-vendor products.

Amid all these differences, there is one thing all CISO seem to agree on. Be it best-of-breed security solution or provided by a single vendor, quality cannot be compromised.

Quality is of paramount importance, but it cant be compromised. If it so happens that best in class is far more superior, then I would definitely go for it. Godil said.

But it is important to decide what addresses and meets the business risk of an organization and then decide whether to go for best-of-breed or single vendor security solution.

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