I am very excited to announce the launch this week of Security Scoreboard - an online resource for researching and reviewing information security vendors. Security Scoreboard features over 600 vendors and aims to become a valuable resource for CISOs, CIOs, system administrators, and anyone who is in the market for information security products and services.
Why Security Scoreboard? As an information security executive at a mid-size company in New York City, I constantly face the challenge of trying to quickly identify and assess the security vendors who offer solutions in a given space. While there is a ton of available vendor content - webinars, press releases, whitepapers, etc - I have always found one vital resource to be missing in the purchase process. Until now there hasn't been one convenient and objective place to see side-by-side profiles of all the vendors addressing a specific security challenge. Security Scoreboard fills this gap by providing a starting point to get oriented about all available solutions before doing a deep dive on those vendors that seem the most promising.
CENTRALIZING RELEVANT INFORMATION
Let's take the example of a security manager looking for an enterprise privileged access management solution. Searching online will lead him or her to some of the larger players. But finding a comprehensive online list of all the players in this field is surprisingly hard, and involves plowing through an overwhelming amount of irrelevant information.
And once the main players are identified, finding basic objective information on each vendor can be tough. The average vendor publishes numerous press releases that then get picked up and replicated on multiple other sites. Independent opinions and information about the vendor get buried at the bottom of online search results.
That's where Security Scoreboard fits in the picture. Security Scoreboard is meant as a time saver - a quick way for security consumers to orient themselves and separate the wheat from the informational chaff.
This is especially useful for buyers in the SMB market. One of the things that strikes me every time I go to conferences like RSA is the sheer number of security vendors with unique and innovative approaches to various security challenges. At the same time, there has been a distinct lack of freely available resources for researching these vendors. Potential buyers lack an easy way to put a vendor in context, research its competitors, and objectively assess whether a vendor's solution will work for them.
The information imbalance is less of a problem for security pros in larger companies that have access to analyst and other services to research the competing claims of a large number of vendors. But security managers and CISOs at smaller companies usually do not have extensive access to such services. For them, even identifying who the main players are in a space can be a time consuming process. Security Scoreboard is of particular use for these often-overlooked consumers of IT security.
Security Scoreboard provides more than just a comprehensive directory of security vendors. Users can also leave reviews describing their good or bad experiences with security vendors they have worked with. Of course, like any public review site, there is no reliable way to verify that online reviews correspond to actual customers. But security pros by nature are sophisticated enough to process information accordingly and to spot obvious attempts to game the system.
RESOURCES FOR VENDORS
Most information security vendors will find their company listed with its own company page on Security Scoreboard. Vendors who are not yet listed can submit a request and will be added if they meet the basic requirements (a focus on information security and an active market presence). There is also a form vendors can fill out to get free monthly Google Analytics reports showing the search terms that are leading users to their company page.
Security Scoreboard will also be offering vendors the ability to convert their page to a "premium page" and expand on the very short summary currently in place for each company. This will give vendors who want to spruce up their company page an opportunity to get their message across next to the user reviews and other links related to their company. In keeping with the transparency that is at the heart of Security Scoreboard, this structure will be clearly described on the website.
To celebrate our launch, Security Scoreboard will be sponsoring some great prizes at the Security Podcasters and Bloggers Meetup at ShmooCon this coming weekend in DC. Come by and say hello if you are going to be at the event.