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As public sector organizations continue to modernize technology and bring citizen services online, cyber hackers and bad actors are designing new techniques to exploit every weakness they find. It’s a cat and mouse game that will never stop, and has never been more challenging to win. For government organizations, this means securing both internal and external networks to protect sensitive data and secure personal information.

 

LISTEN: The Current State of Public Sector Cyber Security Procurement

 

Balancing the convenience of digital services with the security of cyber protections is challenging when deterrents like captchas and authentication protocols add friction to the process. But this is the price we pay for such convenience, and the scales will always tip towards security. However, this doesn’t mean security at the expense of mission outcomes; it just requires that program and contracting teams think through the entire digital experience and be smart about the solutions they procure.
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Adding Value Through More Efficient Market Research

Cyber security is about more than just technology; it requires the right people and processes to protect an organization’s entire digital footprint from attacks and unauthorized access. Even the best staffed IT security departments can’t do it alone. As a procurement professional, you have an important role to play. Listening to your customer’s needs and researching the market to identify emerging solutions can add tremendous value to your agency’s cyber health. But finding top government contractors to support the specific needs of your customer can be difficult.

One of the first challenges is simply navigating the landscape for cyber solutions through market research, but this can take more time than most government contracting professionals have. In our initial research into the public sector cyber security marketplace, we saw that cyber categories do not appear to be standard across available sources. In fact, we found over 50 sourcing options to consider, with limited overlap in how cyber categories are defined across those sources. As part of our mission to connect buyers and suppliers in the public sector to enable more efficient procurement, we used our market research platform, GovShop, to research this market and make it easier to find the right cyber solutions.
GovShop is a free, browser-based search platform built specifically for the needs of public sector buyers. The intuitive user interface and smart keyword search makes it easier to conduct comprehensive market and supplier research through our government-specific search options. With GovShop, you can quickly identify, filter, and find current and emerging suppliers across all cyber security categories to match your customer’s requirements.


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Introducing the Public Spend Forum Cyber Security Supplier Directory

Utilizing the NIST Cybersecurity Framework in our initial research of the marketplace, we organized and identified cyber categories into an online cyber directory for better clarity and easier research. With dozens of categories of cyber products and services ranging from data security to threat intelligence, it is now possible to quickly and easily search for top government contractors that address your customer’s specific requirements.
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Procurement organizations with socioeconomic goals to fulfill will appreciate the supplier diversity currently reflected in GovShop’s cyber directory. In fact, over 41% of the cyber security solution providers in GovShop qualify under one or more socioeconomic “set-aside” certifications. Leveraging these set-asides can help procurement professionals get cyber solutions onto contract faster, and with less lead time than traditional open market buys.
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GovShop also lets you search by existing multiagency contracts like GSA Schedules and cooperative purchasing agreements, saving you valuable time by issuing requests for quote instead of the more labor intensive request for proposals.
GovShop contract vehicle search helps government contracting professionals find contractors and suppliers more efficiently by searching GSA schedules

Understanding “What To Buy” When Acquiring Cyber Security

But identifying the best suppliers is only part of the procurement journey. It’s also critical to understand exactly what you are buying, and why, when you set out to acquire cyber solutions. Whether it’s a patch for existing COTS software or a short-term penetration test to identify digital vulnerabilities, understanding what you are buying is the first step towards getting the right contract outcomes.

For this reason, we are pleased to continue our “How to Buy” webinar series with a focus on cyber security. In How To Buy Cyber Solutions – Getting Started, we’ll survey the various categories of cyber security solutions, explore available sources and opportunities to procure them, and help you develop the market intelligence you need to conduct smarter, more productive market research to support the mission.

Register for this free webinar on October 4th at 2pm eastern, and if you have any questions you’d like us to address, share them in the comments section. We love to hear from you!

 

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