Enterprise security tools: types and key considerations

What features and services should you look for in enterprise security tooling?

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In today's highly connected and digital world, security threats are constantly evolving, becoming more sophisticated, and posing ever-increasing risks to organizations. 

Consider the outcomes of a large corporation storing confidential customer data on its servers without adequate enterprise-level security measures. The consequences of a security breach would be disastrous, ranging from reputational damage to financial losses and even the loss of sensitive data.

Enterprise security tools are solutions and technologies designed to help organizations defend against malicious actions, safeguard data, and mitigate security risks. 

Keep reading to discover:

What are enterprise security tools?

Enterprise security tools are software solutions that protect large organizations from cyber threats like malware, data breaches, and hacking attempts. 

These tools specifically address the security challenges businesses face, which may include managing large volumes of data, multiple devices, and numerous network endpoints. 

Security tooling is a financial investment and an investment of time and resources to deploy, maintain, and manage. Therefore, organizations must carefully evaluate and prioritize their security needs to choose the best tools for their unique needs.

10 Types of enterprise security tools

It typically takes a combination of enterprise security tools to protect an organization's network, devices, and data from potential threats. Here are ten of the most common types of enterprise security tooling.

  1. Vulnerability Scanners. Detects flaws in software coding or system misconfigurations which attackers can exploit to gain access to a system or network.

  2. Cloud Security Tools. Secures cloud-based applications,  infrastructure, and their configurations (IaC)  before deployment and maintains security. Cloud security tools also assess and prioritize issue in addition to tracing the issue to the development owners and providing  fixes in the code

  3. Antivirus. Detects, prevents, and removes malicious software, such as viruses, worms, and Trojan horses.

  4. Firewalls. Network security that controls and monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic.

  5. IDS Intrusion Detection Systems. Spots and remediates suspicious client-side behaviors to prevent unauthorized access or malicious activities on computer networks or systems. IDSs monitor network traffic, system logs, and other data sources for signs of suspicious activity or attacks.

  6. Identity and Access Management (IAM) Tools. Manages user identities and controls access to systems, applications, and data. 

  7. Encryption Tools. Encodes data so it is unreadable to anyone without the key to decode it. Encryption tools protect sensitive data, such as personal financial and confidential business information.

  8. Endpoint Security Tools. A set of software applications and tools designed to protect network endpoints, such as servers, workstations, laptops, and mobile devices, from cyber threats. These tools safeguard against various cyber attacks that can compromise the security of an organization's endpoints.

  9. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) Tools. A type of software that provides real-time security monitoring, threat detection, and incident response capabilities for computer networks and systems. SIEM systems collect and analyze security-related data from various sources, including network devices, servers, and applications, to identify and respond to security incidents.

  10. Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Tools. Prevents sensitive data from being lost, stolen, or exposed by monitoring and controlling the flow of sensitive data across an organization's network, systems, and endpoints. These tools also enforce policies to prevent data loss or leakage.

8 Key considerations for choosing enterprise security tools

Choosing the right enterprise security tools is crucial for protecting an organization's network, devices, and data from potential cyber threats and requires careful consideration of several key factors:

  1. Comprehensive coverage. Security tools should cover an organization's wide range of potential threats and vulnerabilities, including protecting against known and unknown threats and protecting from internal and external threats. In order to decrease tool sprawl, teams often prefer to use a platform solution that can cover all or most of their needs.

  2. Usability. Usability refers to the ease of use and deployment of the tools. A security tool may have many features, but it may not be a practical choice if it is difficult to use or requires extensive training. Usability is important because security tools are often deployed across many systems and devices within an organization — and if a tool is difficult to use, people just won't use them. Security teams need to be able to quickly and easily deploy and configure the tools to ensure that they are providing adequate protection. The same goes for the developers that will be using the tools while they code. If it slows them down at all, it's likely to become shelfware.

  3. Integration with existing tools. Choosing tools that easily integrate with existing security technologies and systems is essential. Organizations should evaluate how well the new security tools will work with their existing infrastructure, such as network architecture, hardware, and software. This will help streamline security management and ensure all security tools work together effectively.

  4. Support and maintenance. Choosing tools backed by reliable support and maintenance services is critical to ensure functionality. Look for support and maintenance services that provide timely and responsive technical support, including installation, configuration, and troubleshooting assistance. Additionally, ensure the vendor offers regular updates and patches to address new security threats and vulnerabilities.

  5. Scalability. As organizations grow and evolve, their security requirements will likely become more complex, requiring more advanced and sophisticated security tools. Therefore, it is important to choose tools that can easily scale to meet these changing needs without requiring significant modifications or replacements.

  6. Regulatory compliance. Organizations comply with various regulatory requirements, like data privacy laws, industry standards, and government regulations. Security tools must support compliance with these requirements to ensure that sensitive data is protected and security controls are in place. Failure to comply with regulations typically results in financial and/or reputational consequences and legal penalties.

  7. Vendor reputation. The vendor's reputation provides valuable insights into the quality and reliability of their product. Organizations should conduct due diligence on potential vendors, including evaluating their history of security breaches and how they responded to these incidents. This can help organizations determine the vendor's commitment to security and ability to respond effectively to security incidents.

  8. Cost / ROI of investing in a tool or solution. When evaluating the cost of security tools, organizations should consider the initial purchase price and ongoing costs such as maintenance, upgrades, and support. Organizations should also assess the potential ROI of the security tools, including the potential cost savings from avoiding security breaches and the potential benefits from increased productivity and efficiency.

5 Challenges to enterprise security tooling

While enterprise security tools offer numerous benefits for organizations, there are also several challenges to consider 

  1. Tool adoption. One of the main challenges with enterprise security tools is ensuring the successful adoption and usage of the tools within the organization. See our tips for developer adoption of security tools here.

  2. Complexity. Enterprise security tools are often highly complex, making them difficult to configure, manage, and use effectively.

  3. Cost. Implementing enterprise security tools can be costly for many organizations, as the expenses associated with acquiring, deploying, and maintaining these solutions can quickly add up.

  4. Limited visibility. Some enterprise security tools provide limited visibility into an organization's network, impeding threat detection and response efforts.

  5. False positives and negatives. Often these tools generate false positives and negatives, leading to inefficient security operations and missed security incidents.

Snyk and enterprise security

Snyk’s tiered plans offer a combination of solutions that answer the challenges of enterprise-level security and provide comprehensive coverage. 

Snyk has solutions for application security and supply chain security, including:

  • Snyk Code: Developer-first SAST tool to make fixes easy and efficient.

  • Snyk Open Source: This is a software composition analysis (SCA) tool that dinds, prioritizes, and fixes vulnerabilities in open source dependencies.

  • Snyk Container: Helps secure containers from base image to runtime.

  • Snyk IaC: Helps developers secure  IaC configurations from IDE to running cloud environments

Enterprise security use-case: An engineering-centric approach to AppSec

Rally Health (a digital health experience that helps you make simple changes in your daily routine) sought a comprehensive AppSec (application security) solution their engineers would want to adopt.

  • The problem: Despite having security tools in place, Rally Health needed enterprise-level visibility and insights for its stakeholders. 

  • The solution: Rally Health partnered with Snyk to integrate security seamlessly into engineering workflows and natively scan their Git repositories to detect vulnerabilities in their application source code and infrastructure as code (IaC). 

Today with Snyk Open Source and Snyk IaC, security vulnerabilities are detected before code gets merged so that Rally Health’s IT teams know the application is secure when it gets to staging or production environments. By analyzing and validating their code during a pull request, engineers catch issues early in their build pipelines to quickly and proactively undertake remediation efforts.

Since implementing Snyk solutions, Rally Health can tie the information they’re gathering to specific security policies and have irrefutable proof that they’re scanning for potential violations. This audit trail is critical for maintaining compliance with healthcare industry regulations and data privacy laws.

To learn more, read the Rally Health + Snyk case study

Ready for Snyk to help you with your enterprise security needs? Start with this guide, or schedule a live demo to see Snyk in action!

Next in the series

What is enterprise-grade security?

By embracing an enterprise-grade approach, businesses can ensure end-to-end security throughout their software development journey

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Snyk is a developer security platform. Integrating directly into development tools, workflows, and automation pipelines, Snyk makes it easy for teams to find, prioritize, and fix security vulnerabilities in code, dependencies, containers, and infrastructure as code. Supported by industry-leading application and security intelligence, Snyk puts security expertise in any developer’s toolkit.

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