Carry out a quick web search right now and chances are you’ll be presented with literally thousands of providers offering ‘professional’ information security packages and training courses. The reason being that not only are more people these days, at least partially IT-savvy than ever before, but also because it’s not exactly difficult to launch a website and masquerade as pretty much anything you want to pretend to be. Remote learning has given fraudsters the opportunity to do what they do from behind a screen from anywhere in the world they choose to be, which for the rest of us means having to exercise caution and avoid taking anything for granted.
According to the experts at Perspective Risk therefore, it’s crucial to be prepared to carefully vet and verify any provider you intend to do business with when it comes to information security training and all related subjects. On the plus side, vetting the vendors on the web right now doesn’t have to be particularly challenging as it’s simply a case of ticking a few essential boxes.
So with this in mind, here’s a quick overview of what to look out for if planning to take on a third party to help with anything pertaining to IT and data security in the workplace:
1 – A Manual Approach
First of all, it’s important to find a third party that both accepts and highlights the importance of the manual approach when it comes to security testing. While there are so many automated software packages on the market today that can carry out certain checks, it takes the life-long skill and experience of a seasoned security professional to really put your systems and networks to the test. As such, if they aren’t in the habit of taking the hands-on approach, they’re not working in your best interests.
2 – Experience
There will always be those who swear by education and qualifications, but in this instance there’s actually nothing more important than experience. The reason being that while anyone can head to college and get a certificate in IT, it takes real passion and dedication to spend your whole life honing what you do to the level of a fine art. Do you really believe that the world’s most talented hackers learned all they know in a classroom? Of course they didn’t – they built their skills and knowledge over time, just as is the case with the very best IT and network security professionals. They should make this clear from the get go, but if not it’s important to ask about their experience.
3 – Wide Ranging Services
It’s always reassuring to find a service provider that’s hugely experienced and talented in all areas of business network and data security, rather than another who’s good at one thing but can’t do anything else. There are so many facets to solid data security in the workplace that there’s really no place for the proverbial one trick pony, so it’s a good idea to team up with a comprehensively capable and experienced provider.
4 – Feedback
Something of a be all and end all in most instances that should be considered a deal-breaker – do they have the kind of feedback that paints a positive picture? These days, there’s really no escaping the voice of the people and even if you yourself decide not to share your feedback with the world, others will do it for you. As such, before going ahead with something so crucial it’s a good idea to take a few minutes to find out what’s being said about them by those that have used their services in the past – it could be quite revealing.
5 – Believable Prices
While there’s much to be said for avoiding network security services that charge way too much, you’re just as well off avoiding those promising the Earth for next to nothing. If, for example, they claim to offer world-class pen testing of the highest caliber over an extended period for a one-off price of $19.99, it’s pretty safe to say there’s something not quite right. Don’t pay over the odds, but be realistic with pricing nonetheless.
6 – Guarantees
Last but not least, do they expect you to just take what they have to say at face value, or are they willing to put their money where their mouths are with rock-solid guarantees? There really aren’t that many providers around these days that are still bold enough to do business without offering both price promises and general satisfaction guarantees, which means there’s really no sense in doing business with those that don’t have the necessary confidence in what they’re offering.