As networks become more complex and distributed, seeing and responding to cybersecurity issues have become increasingly difficult. This has led to security sprawl, which complicates management, fragments visibility, and limits the ability of organisations to respond effectively to threats.
This security sprawl is making any sort of centralised management challenging, as many enterprises today are deploying an average of 45 security solutions across their network. In addition, detecting and responding to a cyber incident requires coordination across several tools, leading to complex workarounds that need constant management and reconfiguration every time a device is upgraded.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses had to implement a work-from-anywhere (WFA) strategy, resulting in the rapid expansion of network attack surfaces. As workers begin to return to the office, a hybrid approach to work has become the new status quo.
With the rise of work-from-home arrangements, and as individuals and businesses adopted new technologies to maintain business continuity, the Cybersecurity Agency of Singapore observed that global threat actors had capitalised on these shifts.
As most organisations tend to move first and ask how to best secure and manage changes to their networks later, attackers have been exploiting silos, complexities, and visibility gaps that naturally arise from such complex and distributed environments.
So, it should come as no surprise that Gartner’s Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture (CSMA) – defined as an integrated set of security tools and APIs combined with centralised management, analytics, and threat intelligence – made it onto their list of top cybersecurity trends for 2022. Gartner predicts that by 2024, organisations that adopt a CSMA strategy to integrate security tools to work as a collaborative ecosystem will reduce the financial impact of individual security incidents by an average of 90%.
Understanding cybersecurity mesh platforms
A WFA approach to security requires solutions that can follow and protect users, data, and applications from end to end. Organisations need to ensure that endpoint security solutions can work seamlessly with access controls on the network and in the cloud. WFA requires multiple technologies and applications to work together across a dynamic set of campus and data centre assets, distributed home offices and cloud-based applications.
To safely and efficiently deploy new technologies and services, businesses need a broad, integrated, and automated cybersecurity mesh platform that provides centralised management and visibility, supports and interoperates across a vast ecosystem of solutions, and automatically adapts to dynamic changes in the network.
An integrated security fabric is ideally suited to address the new and complex challenges of an expanding digital ecosystem. By having a wider portfolio of interconnected security and networking technologies, organisations can share threat intelligence, correlate data, and automatically respond to threats as a single, coordinated system.
To consolidate independent security solutions, organisations need to set a roadmap and identify a cybersecurity mesh platform that can integrate as many solutions as possible using a unified set of zero trust, endpoint, connectivity, cloud, and network security solutions.
A true cybersecurity mesh platform should further break down technology and vendor silos by enabling and supporting a broad open ecosystem of technology partners.
With such an open ecosystem, organisations are empowered to be more flexible across their deployments while benefiting from consolidated and converged operations, visibility, and security. It also preserves existing investments in technologies and solutions until they are ready to move towards an even more integrated and automated security fabric experience.
The trend towards a more unified approach to security is inevitable, whether to secure emerging network security challenges like WFA to combat the increasing threat of ransomware, or to reduce the overhead of managing a sprawling set of isolated security solutions.
What to expect from a high-performing cybersecurity mesh platform
Benefits of using a new cybersecurity mesh architecture includes:
- Deep visibility across all edges
- Centrally managing distributed solutions
- Consistent enforcement of policies
- Leveraging anonymised threat intelligence around the world
- Third-party integrations for improved protection against known and unknown attacks
- Automating actionable responses across hybrid environments.
Security must be as agile as today’s workforce, ensuring consistent protection and optimal user experience regardless of where a user or device operates. Disparate technologies with separate management and configuration will always lead to security gaps. Simply bolting consoles together with workarounds can create blind spots that cybercriminals will exploit. Competing securely in today’s digital marketplace requires an integrated cybersecurity mesh platform where every element works together and deeply integrates into the network to ensure that every change and adaptation is automatically recognised and protected.