How Cybersecurity Broke the Buyer

By Julian Attlee of Field Effect Software

For too long, SMEs have been at the mercy of sizeable cybersecurity vendors who grew up in the enterprise space. And I speak from experience.

You’ve heard the standard cybersecurity sales pitch a thousand times before — probably even fallen victim to it half a dozen times. All without seeing the results you had expected and hoped for. 

Why shouldn’t you be hesitant or wary of buying new security products?  

There’s no doubt that cybersecurity is a growing industry. But buying more products does not guarantee your solution will be secure, cost-effective, or even user-friendly.  

The root of the problem 

Unfortunately, because cybersecurity is so necessary, the industry tends to fall into the ‘sales monster’ trap, where sellers are constantly chasing revenue instead of focusing on what your business actually needs.  

How do I know this to be true? In a previous life, I was on a sales team that viewed revenue as the bottom line and helping our clients as an added bonus. 

Many vendors are trained to absorb as much budget as possible by selling their components of cybersecurity solutions — not always painting the whole picture. Moreover, they focus on individual frameworks within the space rather than the complete system.  

Think of it a bit like buying a desktop computer. Sellers spend years learning how to get you to buy a mouse for the cost of the whole desktop. For the buyer, the result is almost always needing to go and buy the rest of the equipment.  

This type of selling unfairly targets individuals who don’t have a thorough understanding of all the ins and outs of sophisticated cybersecurity technology and techniques (or a designated IT team).  

You know you need to strengthen your network and endpoint security. You know you need to up your game when it comes to threat detection and response. And you know your cloud security could use some work. The challenge is finding a simple, reasonably priced, and all-encompassing cybersecurity solution for your business. 

So, what’s the answer? 

Many believe a complete solution comes down to spending more. We now live in an inherently digital world with more connected devices and networks than ever before. There’s no doubt that a higher level of threat intelligence and robust cybersecurity solutions are needed to protect an exponentially larger attack surface. 

But spending more is not a luxury that all small and mid-sized enterprises have. Plus, while security spending has gone up, security breaches are also on the rise. Clearly, spending more on the same solution isn’t fixing the problem.  

Instead, we need to rethink how we approach cybersecurity, shifting the conversation from individual components to the bigger picture. The sales process should be driven by a mutual goal and result — not just the seller trying to maximize their revenue by squeezing every last drop out of the buyer’s budget.  

What we need to be doing is discussing and educating people to consider cybersecurity as a whole, not just prescribing to analytical frameworks. Those frameworks and quadrants put us in buckets, which is fine for infrastructure, cloud, and SaaS platforms that solve an understood problem. But that structure is clearly not working for the cybersecurity sector; the bad guy is still winning after a quarter of a century. 

Are you JUST another transaction? 

I believe SMEs are currently at the mercy of a numbers game. The enterprise-grown technologies and services HAVE to treat you like a transaction to achieve their desired enterprise-level financial incentives when selling to you and your fellow business owners. 

When it comes down to it, cybersecurity is complex, but that doesn’t mean your toolkit has to be. Solutions that offer complicated or difficult user experiences won’t result in an improved endpoint or network security. This is why tools need to be easy to implement, adaptable to the latest security threats, and mix well with existing tools or platforms.  

Field Effect is passionate about protecting businesses from cyber threats. This is exactly why we designed our Covalence threat monitoring system — to provide enterprise-level cybersecurity at a price that makes sense for SMEs. We provide advanced, integrated cybersecurity threat detection, incident monitoring, and compliance in one platform for small to medium-sized businesses and IT service providers. 

The Field Effect team brings decades of experience in securing complex, ever-changing security environments. I’m proud to say I’m part of a company committed to empowering businesses to build more secure operations by creating stronger networks, improving proactive response, and increasing efficiency through an end-to-end approach. 

Julian Attlee is the UK Sales Director at Field Effect Software, having joined the team in April 2020 with over 20 years’ experience in IT maintenance and services.

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