Not even a decade ago, security was much simpler. Companies were defined by the perimeter of their corporate network and protected by a firewall and antivirus tool that could withstand just about any security attack. Then came the cloud, mobile devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT), and the attack surface overflowed far beyond the network, making security not-so-simple.
Adversaries hungry for money and fame quickly jumped at the opportunity to exploit these new endpoints. Passing straight through traditional security measures, attackers were able to find security holes that companies weren’t even aware of (or prepared for). Companies quickly realized they needed to up their game to stay ahead of the attackers, and security entrepreneurs eagerly stepped up to the plate to offer a solution. This began the explosion of point security solutions.
Last year, PwC estimated that organizations boosted their information security budgets by 24 percent. The VC community responded by pouring $3.3 billion into security companies (up from $2.5 billion the previous year). Everyone is vying for a piece of the pie. But with thousands of solutions available in the market today, how can companies possibly know which one is right for them? For small and growing businesses in particular, the time and expense of identifying and integrating multiple solutions adds up fast, and how can you be sure they’ll scale to withstand the test of time?
In this post, we’ll take a look at how point solutions are causing companies to become less, not more, secure, and offer a solution to each scenario.
1. Lack of Visibility Across the Entire Network
Consider a mall surveillance system: In order for it to be effective in detecting theft, vandalism, and misbehavior, cameras both inside and outside the building must be recording at all times. The same is required in the cloud when it comes to security. But as networks began to expand in the cloud and encompass a growing mobile workforce, security needs grew far beyond the network, with companies trying all types of new point solutions in an attempt to maintain visibility, but this was not scalable or efficient. That’s because security teams are already overworked and don’t have the time (or budget) to manage all the point solutions required to monitor every part of their environment.
The fact is, the cloud isn’t going anywhere; it’s only becoming more critical to business operations. In response, companies should plan for long-term success with a single cloud security platform solution that can seamlessly monitor across the entire network, even as it grows.
2. Operational Inefficiencies
Fast-growing companies thrive on efficiency. When you add dozens of security point solutions that need to be configured, implemented, and managed, efficiency can quickly tank. Even more, if these point solutions need to integrate with existing DevOps and IT tools and systems, may the force be with you. Not to mention the fact that many of these tools need to operate across on-premise, private, and cloud environments. What to do?
To ensure operational efficiency, companies need to find ways to simplify complex deployments, automate manual processes, and alleviate costly operational bottlenecks. As you can imagine, point solutions solve none of these. What’s needed is a comprehensive platform that integrates across environments and scales with you as you grow. This means less overhead and more results.
3. Decentralized Ownership
Think about all the security tools used within your organization. Is there a single owner across all of them? If yes, you are one of the lucky few. If you’re like the large majority, security tools are often purchased and managed by the individual or team affected most by a pain point, not by a single, centralized owner. With various owners of dozens of tools, the diffusion of responsibility spreads so thin that tools are no longer maintained, alerts get ignored, and costs and issues spiral out of control. This is a perfect storm scenario for attackers.
If this sounds all too familiar, it’s probably time to reign in ownership of your tools. First, designate a single owner to oversee all security technology. Then, cut out the tools that are unnecessary — or even better, select a single platform that can combine all the key functions of security your organization requires to streamline visibility, management, and response.
4. Lack of Content Correlation
If the tools you employ don’t talk well to each other and are unable to correlate data amongst each other (because most don’t), you’re left manually comparing apples to oranges, hoping you make the right decision on whether to respond. Even more, the way one tool detects and categorizes alerts can vary from the next, meaning you may get conflicting information about the same issue. Then what?
By automating the data collect and correlation process under a single cloud security platform, one that encompasses threat intelligence, vulnerability management, infrastructure and workload monitoring, and more, teams can be confident in the data they receive. Eliminating the tedious task of correlating data across tools, teams can better focus on responding to the threats their organization faces to ensure the security of their business and their customers.
While point solutions do play a crucial role in driving security innovation, companies need to first ensure that the technology they use simplifies and streamlines security, not the other way around. A single comprehensive solution that coordinates security monitoring, giving you a single pane of glass view into the security of your cloud environment, can significantly minimize the time needed to monitor, thus freeing up time to respond.
To see how Threat Stack’s Cloud Security Platform™ enables security teams to do just this, contact us for a demo today.