What is Real Security?

October 11, 2021
What is Real Security?

At VGS, we say we’re committed to real security. But what does that actually mean? Let’s illustrate it by contrasting ‘real security’ with ‘security theater;’ otherwise known as ‘faking it’ or ‘checking the box’. It’s like leaving a spare key under your doormat — Yes, technically your home is locked, but a thief is likely to find your spare, and make off with your Playstation 5. Security theater is lazy, short-sighted, and high-risk.

What is Real Security?

Real security relies on a more effective, personalized approach. It is tailored to the precise threats and vulnerabilities of your organization and therefore requires a great deal of contextual information. In this case:

  • Where do you live?
  • How many valuables do you keep in your home?
  • How often do you leave?
  • What would happen if someone broke in?

Based on your answers to these questions, you may need anything from a simple deadbolt lock to a 24/7 security monitoring service. Real security means adequately and appropriately protecting your home (or business) according to its precise needs. ‘Security theater’ does not deliver real security and thus, no real value.

Where Do We Begin?

Getting compliant and getting secure are two very different journeys. At its best, compliance involves a meticulous security assessment, as well as a verification of the risk of doing business with your organization. At its worst, compliance means descoping as much as possible from your audit so that the auditor only sees exactly what you want them to see. The latter is what we call security theater: a facade of policies and procedures that no one actually follows in practice, which leads to the type of environment that may appear secure but is actually vulnerable to any ‘weekend warrior’ attacker.

Real security starts with people. It needs to be a cornerstone of your corporate culture, because security is everyone’s problem; and it starts at the top. Those who occupy the C-suite need to actually care about security, including the day-to-day risk management of your business. Everyone plays a role: CEOs must stay vigilant against social engineering attempts, employees have to comply with authentication policies, and the facilities folks must make sure that the doors are locked, and alarms are armed, every night.

“Real security starts with people. It needs to be a cornerstone of your corporate culture, because security is everyone’s problem; and it starts at the top.”

Compliance is a security baseline check; it only gains meaningful value when it’s tied to a mature and evolving security program. The pursuit of real security is critical when you think of a modern online business. With a traditional door, someone must physically go to your house in order to test the lock. However, when you’re online, digital locks are constantly being tested, and a good number of those weekend warriors are looking under the mat.

Ultimately, you want a comprehensive and truthful -- threat analysis. But how you get there may be a long and winding path. One piece of advice is not to ignore or to overlook what you already have on hand. For example, many companies drop the ball when it comes to penetration testing. Good pen tests are not cheap (nor should they be). In order to get your money’s worth, a high level of focused effort, and real-time collaboration with the right team, is required.

You already know that monitoring alone is insufficient. Your organization must enforce its security policies. This is the only way to proactively prepare for information security incidents, as well as to have the capability to mitigate them when something goes wrong. There will be compromises: depending on your security product(s), real-time alerts may be infeasible, and some degree of latency unavoidable, but proactive monitoring is vital, because if your staff is not proactively analyzing your log files, and if you are not getting clear signals from your tools, then security becomes a meaningless checkbox.

“Compliance is a security baseline check, and only has meaningful value when it’s tied to an evolving security program.”

We want to be on your security journey with you. Through Control we work with you to start to assess potential areas for improvement. And then if appropriate we can work with you to adopt VGS's Zero Data model to protect your organization from data loss and data breaches now and in the future. Once real security is in place the path forward to compliance is smooth and quick. VGS gives you powerful tools and integrations that enable you to meaningfully protect your sensitive data -- and to discover what real security is all about.

What’s Zero Data™? VGS Vault

Beyond Control, if you are seeking a whole new level of security options for your business, take a look at the VGS Vault. How would you like to shift the burden of managing sensitive data completely away from your organization? With Vault, you can proxy and alias any type of sensitive information to VGS, and shift the challenge and liability of protecting it to us.

For real security, consider the combined power of VGS Control + VGS Vault. When you use both of our primary solutions in tandem, you can achieve the most efficient compliance possible, as well as completely remove the fear of data loss or breach.

At VGS, we maintain a close relationship with our clients. We share deep insights on technology like web app firewalls, pentest methodology, and lessons learned from the world of compliance. For example, our proxy technology is absolutely unlike an API; your organization never even has to see sensitive data. At the same time, your organization retains full control of its data, without any of the risk. The VGS proxy makes that possible! What does this mean for your company? Now you have the freedom to focus full-time on your business, and leave the security challenges to us.

Make Compliance Work For You.

Get Started

VGS makes real security easy and scalable. First, Control takes you efficiently through the compliance process, by tailoring a security program precisely to your organization. Second, VGS Vault makes it possible to de-risk your entire business: by leveraging our Zero Data™ infrastructure, your organization never has to touch, secure, or be liable for sensitive information. Together, Control + Vault enable end-to-end security.

Ready to get started?

Real security is hard, but real security is necessary. At VGS, we maintain a close relationship with our clients. We share deep insights on technology like web app firewalls, pentest methodology, and lessons learned from the world of compliance, our goal is to help you scale a meaningful security program. We’ve helped over 1,800+ organizations manage their data security and compliance needs.

Here are some critical keys to attacking compliance with a security-first mindset:

  • Reject a pass/fail mentality
  • Learn as much as you can
  • Prioritize securing your public endpoints
  • An audit is similar to a pentest
  • Obscurity does not provide security
  • Start by adopting the best policies
  • Follow up with meticulous implementation
  • Your organization is unique, so you need a tailored security program
  • Ask VGS how to set controls based on your company’s size, maturity, and market
  • Continuously develop your defense-in-depth model

I am ready!

Book a personalized demo with one of our compliance experts today and get instant access to our complimentary Foundations Collection. We give you the tools you need to implement real security and achieve compliance in the most efficient manner possible. In less than 10 minutes, you can stand up a baseline security program that scales as you grow!

  • Prescriptive Tasks so you know where to start
  • Cloud infrastructure and SaaS security scanning
  • Automated security policy creation
  • Automated evidence collection for future audits

Speak with an expert >

Stefan Slattery Stefan Slattery

Product Marketing Lead


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