Internet intelligence is at the heart of any successful cybersecurity strategy. Whether you’re proactively searching for suspicious activity or reacting to a CVE that just dropped, you can’t do your job well without if you don’t have a full view into today’s evolving threat landscape.
However, sometimes security teams and stakeholders within the organization aren’t on the same page when it comes to what this best-in-class internet intelligence looks like – and disagree on whether “good enough” is actually good enough. To stay ahead of increasingly sophisticated threat actors, teams need data that’s comprehensive, fresh, and accurate. They need data that’s easy to search and parse, and that provides maximum coverage.
The reality is that not all internet intel is created equal, and if your team is stuck with subpar data, you run the risk of facing gaps in your security strategy.
So how can you help your stakeholders understand that access to better internet intelligence is a must, and increase your chances of getting their buy-in?
Approach the ask strategically with a business case that’s built on the following pillars.
Winning the Buy-In You Need
1. Identify the business challenges you’re trying to solve
Focus on framing access to better internet intel as a solution to your organization’s most pressing cybersecurity challenges.
Common challenges of subpar intel can include:
- Failing to discover a critical vulnerability that leaves your organization exposed
- Failing to take action on a potential threat due to lack of actionable insight and context
- Inability to identify emerging and real-time attacks
- Dealing with tools that are cumbersome and difficult to use
- Spending more time on manual, redundant tasks and less time on strategy
2. Identify your stakeholders and what they care about
Getting buy-in for new tech solutions rarely means a thumbs up from one person. In fact, the average tech purchase (across all tech types) involves between 14-23 people. At Censys, we find that typical stakeholders can include: Security Manager, VP/CISO, Finance/Procurement, and the CEO.
Think about what each stakeholder prioritizes in their role and how the challenges you’re trying to solve with best-in-class intel should be relevant to them, too. Creating a matrix chart can be helpful here. In the case of a CEO stakeholder, you might identify:
What they care about: Upholding and improving the integrity of the brand to advance customer loyalty, new customer acquisition, and competitive positioning.
How to tailor your ask: Underscore the connection between a strong cybersecurity posture – which requires good internet intel – and the overall health of the business. Just one cybersecurity breach can result in significant loss of money, customers, and brand reputation, as well as introduce legal complications. Help your CEO understand the complexity of today’s evolving threat landscape by leveraging third-party data and insights that shed light on the risks that orgs who do not modernize their cybersecurity strategy face.
3. Do your vendor homework
Even if you have a preferred solution in mind, you’ll want to demonstrate to stakeholders that multiple options have been considered, and that there’s clear rationale for your recommendation.
When researching vendors, questions to consider include:
- Is data refreshed continuously?
- How many ports does the internet intelligence solution scan compared to other vendors?
- Do you have the ability to parse and filter data?
- Do you have the ability to download the data?
- Will you have detailed access to historical data?
- How can you integrate this data into your existing tools?
4. Showcase value and prepare for objections
Highlight what your recommended vendor will bring to the table. The idea here is to draw a connection between the challenges you identified at the outset to the specific value the vendor provides.
Challenge: Our data isn’t refreshed continuously, which means that when we try to learn if we’re impacted by a zero-day, we’re looking at outdated information.
Censys Search: The set of internet data accessible from the Censys Search tool is provides the most complete, accurate, and up-to-date available, which means that we count on it to quickly and reliably inform our reaction to a zero-day. Censys conducts daily scans on the top 137 ports and the top 1440 ports in the cloud, which is twice as many ports scanned as the nearest competitor. Censys also continuously scans IPv4 hosts on over 3,500 ports from multiple perspectives, offering 99% visibility of the Internet. Additionally, maintains the largest X.509 certificate repository in the world containing 9.5 billion certificates.
After pitching your ask for access to better intel, you might face follow-up questions and maybe even a few objections. For example, you might hear something like:
Objection: “This sounds great and all, but you know that we’re tightening our budget this year. We need to focus our spend on the essentials.”
How to respond: “Best-in-class data is essential to the org’s overall health (helping to prevent a cyberattack with catastrophic consequences). This is a long-term investment that we should think of as a cost-prevention measure. If we don’t keep up with today’s complex and evolving threat landscape, we put ourselves at risk to lose much more than the cost of good internet intel.”
5. Address implementation complexity and timelines
When it comes to implementation and onboarding, win stakeholder trust by making sure your business case is transparent about potential complexities and timelines. Ideally, if you’ve done your vendor homework well, you’re recommending a solution like Censys, concerns should be minimized.
Be patient, but persistent
As with any new solution, convincing stakeholders to invest in best-in-class internet intel could take time and mean multiple touchpoints with a vendor. Think about the different ways to familiarize your stakeholders with the value of better intel. Maybe your ongoing efforts start with passing along vendor collateral, then progress to an in-depth demo, and then to a demonstration of what you’ve been able to accomplish with a free trial.
Learn more about how to win stakeholder approval, and access a free business case template, in our ebook: How to Build a Business Case for Better Internet Intelligence.