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Editor's Desk: 2007 Readers' Choice Awards

The Real World

We've all seen the product demos, but how well do these solutions really work? Readers' Choice answers that question.

Whether you realize it or not, you wrote this issue. The reason: the entire issue is dedicated to the products that you believe work well in your enterprise. All told 1,595 readers weighed in on 341 products and your votes helped us determine the 45 winners of the 2007 Readers' Choice awards.

Month in and month out we review newly released products in our Products section, and four times a year we provide a comparative review on a particular product set you may be considering to deploy. But with the Readers' Choice awards we're asking you to rate how well these products actually work in real-world heterogeneous environments.

You may have remembered this feature as Products of the Year. This year we decided to devote more space to products you recommend, provide an overview of the market and typical user pain points in deploying the particular technologies. Refining this feature was an eight-month process in which we looked at our product category listings, asked our Editorial Advisory Board and technical editors to weigh in how they categorize the products and changed some of them to reflect the evolving security marketplace.

We also fine-tuned the methodology and weighted the criteria based on the particular product set. For more, see Methodology. Furthermore, we customized the criteria to reflect the particular product set and increased the number of respondents by 40 percent.

One question that we did believe was applicable across the board was ROI, or more simply put, do you believe you are getting your money's worth?

What's more, we partnered with the SANS Institute and its WhatWorks program. With this program, more than 100 user organizations have begun sharing lessons they have learned deploying security products. In this issue, SANS' Alan Paller talks about new investments users are making including log management, SIMs, laptop and mobile data encryption, application security testing and secure coding, and some of the best practices and lessons learned from those already deploying these technologies.

This article, (SANS Institute WhatWorks), provides some very useful information. For instance, the What-Works program has found that organizations that use log management solutions to produce regulatory reports are missing an opportunity to improve security. Organizations that have deployed enterprise laptop encryption have incurred added costs because vendors do not include bottom-line prices. Web vulnerability scanning should be required prior to accepting software from any vendor.

As you begin particular deployments we hope this issue and SANS WhatWorks will serve as a starting point for your product search.

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