Non-Technical Cost Justification for CyberSoft's VSTK and VSTKP Products
Peter V. Radatti
September 5, 2001
One of the hardest tasks for a computer security professional to do is cost justification. It is often not part of the training but it is always part of the job. To be fair, it is an essential skill. Companies need to know not only if a product will fulfill their needs but if the price for the product is justified. This paper answers some of these questions for the VFind Security Tool Kit (VSTK) and the VFind Security Tool Kit Professional (VSTKP). In fact this paper is true for the entire VSTK family of products, VSTK, VSTKP, VSTKCW and VSTK+W.
It is actually easy to cost-justify CyberSoft products. The reason for this is that we design our products and prices to be easily justified. One of the most important features of our product pricing is that we price on a “per system” basis, there are no “per user” costs. Along with that are significant “cost of ownership” factors that were engineered for the customer’s benefit. Some of these benefits from a non-technical stance are:
- Per system pricing. No “per user” costs. Great for servers and email systems. Servers/email 1 to 1,000,000 users the price is always the same and easy to budget.
- No CPU or size costs. Add several CPUs, or faster CPUs, no change in price.
- No system upgrade charges. Move from a small system to a big system, no change.
- Platform independence. We support just about every Unix system and some Microsoft Windows 32 systems. If you decide to change platforms, there is no charge unless you also change hostname. In fact, most of the platform executables are on the standard distribution disk. If you want to move from/to Sun Micro, HP, IBM, SGI, SCO, DG, Nixdorf, Linux, Windows NT/2000 or any of many others, no charge.
- Perpetual License. Your license never expires. You don’t have to repurchase a license every 2 to 3 years. In fact, if you don’t want maintenance, you will never need to spend another cent.
- Maintenance, Upgrades and Support is free for the first year!
- Paid Maintenance includes Upgrades and Support for no additional charge. As long as you have a Maintenance contract you will always have the most recent version of the product available for no additional charge. Some companies don’t allow this. If you buy Version 5 of their product you have to pay additional money to upgrade to Version 6. Not here, it’s included in the Maintenance price.
- Unlimited Support with Maintenance contract. Unlike some companies that only allow 3 free calls then charge for every call thereafter.
- VSTK/P is a tool kit not just Antivirus. It is also used for anti-hacker, baseline configuration control and many other functions.
- Proper configuration of VSTK/P can save many man hours of System Administrator’s or Security Officer’s time. Using CIT can help an Administrator cleanup after a break-in or repair a system that was damaged. Avatar can be used for automated response to unauthorized changes in a system. This can stop many of those 1:00 AM returns to work to correct a problem caused by a hacker or unauthorized changes by an authorized person.
- Using CIT can help management determine work progress. Depending upon your configuration, you can tell what users have done by looking at the CIT File Report. This report details all files that have been added, modified, deleted or duplicated. Normally, this is enough data for a line manager to understand project progress.