The Fallacy of the Security No-Man’s Land


Mike Rothman of Dark Reading wrote an interesting piece, which Bruce Schneier echoed last week, arguing that security vendors are focused on the top 1,000 enterprises, leaving the meager mid-sized businesses that live beneath the Security Poverty Line to fend for themselves.  Rothman:

“These folks have a couple hundred to a couple thousand employees. That’s big enough to have real data interesting to attackers, but not big enough to have a dedicated security staff and the resources they need to really protect anything.”

I feel this argument is a tad overstated.  Think about what the No-Man’s Land theory says about the business models of security vendors—that they’re collectively and deliberately ignoring an entire forest full of deer and rabbits with hopes of nabbing a few elephants?  Sounds like a surefire way to starve to death.  (My apologies, vegetarians.)

Rothman really nails it on the head here, though:

“What folks in security no-man’s land need most of all is a security program. They need an adviser to guide them through the program. They need someone to help them prioritize what they need to do right now. ”

YES!  This is the secret sauce. But what makes this exclusive to large enterprises?  Despite not having bespoke security, it’s hard to excuse mid-market companies that don’t go after the low-hanging fruit (sorry, carnivores).

Rothman continues:

“They don’t want or need someone to do everything for them. And they certainly don’t need a shiny object to stop the attack du jour. “

The “blocking and tackling” Rothman calls for something every organization can start doing—large or small.  For unstructured data, Varonis has an entire blog series detailing precisely how companies can implement a security action plan, and Varonis will custom-tailor every step around the resources available.

By focusing on the fundamentals, we’ve seen some mid-market businesses with a few ultra-bright security and operations folks implement more comprehensive and successful IT security programs than Fortune 100s with ostensibly limitless budget and staff.

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3 thoughts on “The Fallacy of the Security No-Man’s Land

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