Most IT security functions have accrued multiple point products over the years. Some were acquired through M&A activity. Others may have been brought in by successive CISOs. The idea is not in itself a bad one – find a product that does one thing really well and integrate it with the rest to deliver “best-of-breed” security. For many years that’s what enterprises aimed for. But too often the promise didn’t match the reality. Best-of-breed often translated to “worst of both worlds”: security that was disjointed, and expensive to manage and maintain.
Yet as IT leaders look to the new year, increasingly they’re also looking to simplify and enhance security by converging onto fewer platforms and more compatible products.
The Road to Convergence
A few trends can explain this growing desire for convergence. The first is financial. With interest rates and inflation rising, the era of “cheap money” at an end, and geopolitical tension compounding business uncertainty, much of the world is predicted to slip into recession in 2023. Now, smart boardrooms would never think about cutting budgets, even in this climate. They understand that security is more vital now than ever – to support critical digital transformation initiatives which can provide much-needed resilience and cost-efficiencies. In fact, mean cybersecurity spending rose 60% over the past year, according to one estimate.
However, in this new climate, the C-suite will want IT bosses to do more with less. That means rationalizing what they have. There’s certainly ample room to do so, with the average enterprise running an estimated 76 different security tools. Getting rid of point solutions can help to reduce spending on unnecessary software licenses and help out increasingly stretched IT security teams by reducing the management burden. With a global shortfall of 3.4 million workers, that’s increasingly important.
But it’s not just about reducing costs and enhancing staff productivity. Converging security products is also an opportunity to enhance protection by reducing the information silos which can lead to poor decision making, and allow visibility and coverage gaps to thrive. It is threat actors, of course, that gravitate to these blind spots. It’s also a chance to bring siloed teams like security and IT operations closer together around a single version of the truth delivered from a unified platform of solutions.
Breaking Down Data Security Silos
When it comes to data security, the challenges associated with point products are even clearer to see. Given that data travels through a potentially large number of heterogeneous systems as it’s created, accessed, edited, saved, copied, backed up and/or archived, it’s understandable that separate vendors have sprung up to deal with specific use cases. Some may handle security for data stores, others for users and data access, and different ones still for networking components and cloud services.
Yet if there’s no centralized control over enterprise data and clear visibility into who’s using it for what purposes, silos inevitably form. These could ultimately put that data at risk if it means it’s not properly managed and protected. Or it could render data inaccessible to those who need to use it, depriving the business of valuable growth opportunities. Data security point products also saddle IT functions with those same old problems of extra cost and complexity.
One Platform to Rule them All
This is why many organizations are looking to build cybersecurity mesh architectures that focus on modular elements which can be easily integrated and work hand-in-hand with each other. Although the concept is still in its infancy, it would seem to offer the prospect of finally delivering on those “best-of-breed promises that were mis-sold for so many years.
It’s also why platform-based security is gaining traction among many CISOs. Data security platforms (DSPs), for example, are quicker and easier to deploy and manage, and deliver the end-to-end visibility that’s so important across the entire enterprise data ecosystem. In so doing, they help to eliminate security siloes and apply consistent and highly effective controls to all enterprise data depending on how it is classified.
This is what comforte offers with its own Data Security Platform. Crucially, it:
- Delivers data discovery, classification and inventory; defines the optimal policy; applies strong protection; and integrates seamlessly with data flows and applications
- Does all of the above across the entire enterprise data ecosystem, eliminating silos
- Offers multiple methods for data protection at rest, in motion and in use – so there’s no need for additional solutions