Cybersecurity has emerged as one of the most acute threats to businesses and economic systems worldwide. The reason is simple: Online breaches in security, regardless of whether they are successful, eat up resources, halt systems, and prevent business from being conducted.
One part of the arsenal IT security professionals have at their avail is comprehensive reporting, but what do the ideal cybersecurity reporting tools possess?
Let’s take a look at some tips for choosing the right cybersecurity reporting tool to meet your business needs.
Cybersecurity Reporting Tools
When choosing cybersecurity reporting tools to meet the needs of your business, points to consider include the product’s customization options, report generation, the business context, expenditures, and training.
Highly complex reporting functions end up rarely being modified to meet emerging needs. Reports must be easy to generate and, if necessary, moderate to give report readers the data they need to see.
Every report the cybersecurity system generates must be able to be easily modified to present a current snapshot of your cybersecurity posture. The easier it is to modify a report, the more responsive and revealing the reporting function can become.
Simple Report Generation
In addition to being easy to modify, reports must be simple and quick to generate. Reports generated two days ago, or that take a few days for staff to produce them, are outdated before they ever get used.
Relying on older reports means managers making decisions based on data that is not only older but might be irrelevant. When the topic is cybersecurity and the ever-changing nature of cyber threats, old data can make a business vulnerable to crime or attack, lead to bad decisions and even contribute to a sense of complacency.
Obvious Business Context
The need for cybersecurity to be able to relate to business goals is a given. Making that case, though, while equally important, is often overlooked. Showing business employees why cyber policies and regulations are in place is critical. If employees do not understand why policies and rules exist, violating them becomes much easier, especially if the policies are complex.
Any cybersecurity reporting tools must clearly show how those tools align with business objectives and explain why certain policies are necessary, the risks they address, and how to mitigate those risks as quickly and effectively as possible.
Business Context Affects IT Expenditures
If you have ever had to pitch non-IT personnel on making IT purchases, you understand how difficult it can be to make a clear and convincing case. Generally speaking, most business personnel make IT purchase decisions based on four sources of input:
- News (so-and-so company had a data breach and lost customer data)
- IT personnel recommendations (You should buy this)
- Scuttlebutt (So-and-so says your competitor is going in this direction)
- Cases made by IT and proven by data backup
Of those four avenues of information, the two most effective are IT personnel recommending actions and presenting data that makes their case. The only way a presentation is effective, however, is if your data gets presented in a way that someone that understands the importance of cybersecurity but not the details can understand what the data means.
A case for more policy rules or expenditures, especially when everyone seems concerned about future economic prospects, must be in a way that business decision-makers can quickly grasp:
- Why something is critical to maintaining cybersecurity
- How a purchase will help the bottom line of the business
- How a purchase will benefit non-IT employees (if it will)
Justifying the request becomes much more difficult if a report is overly detailed or if the data is indecipherable to all but those who work with it daily.
Training Must Be Simple
Because non-IT personnel often need to run various reports, any cybersecurity reporting tool must be simple to learn. Generating a report with many complex steps or industry jargon only tech personnel get means those reports will either not be run or not run properly.
In either case, because business and project decisions get made partly based on that data, personnel not learning how to generate the reports means that decisions will be made with only a partial picture of reality. The risk of faulty decision-making is especially acute if getting the report generated means relying on IT personnel to do the production.
All training for a reporting tool must be intuitive and simple to learn, no matter the experience of the person generating the report.
Let Your Cybersecurity Needs to Dictate Your Purchases
There are a lot of cybersecurity reporting tools on the market. Some will match up with your online systems, some will offer too little, and some will be much more than you need. The only way you can ensure you get the type of tool you need is if you take the time to define your requirements before you start shopping. It’s important to keep customization, report generation, expenditures, and training in mind when choosing cybersecurity reporting tools.