April 18, 2024

Can simplification through consolidation help combat increasing cyber security threats?

Richard Dornhart
National Practice Manager - Security at Data#3

We can all agree the threat of cyber security incidents grows every year as attacks become more sophisticated and our environments get more complex. Is there a correlation between threat sophistication and environment complexity? Perhaps, but even if there isn’t, cyber security is an arms race in which neither side can rest on their laurels.

The increasing complexity in cyber security warrants further investigation. In our experience, complexity is the enemy of security. Complexity leads to oversights, unintended gaps, mistaken configurations, and an environment that no one person can easily understand. But in an arms race, complexity is an unintended consequence of organisations looking to plug holes in their security posture with a ‘best-of-breed’ solution, in the hope that they’ll stay safe.

A quick web search reveals the average number of security solutions deployed in an enterprise varies between 45 and 76. Regardless of the actual number, the building consensus is that organisations have too many. This results in environments where solutions are not integrated, visibility is diminished, and control is spread across multiple consoles with no unified view. What, then, becomes the ultimate source of truth?

The solution seems to be obvious – consolidation.

This became evident when I surveyed my security team recently, asking them what questions they were most often asked. The most common answers were all a variation on consolidation:

When we think of consolidation in cyber security terms, it’s synonymous with simplification. It’s considering:

Simplification through consolidation does seem to be top of mind, but the key follow-up question we get is, ‘is consolidation a practical objective in our predominantly multi-vendor environments, and if so, how do we do it?’

To answer this, you only need to look at the fact that every IT vendor seems to now position themselves as a security vendor, in some form.

We recently wrote about Cisco’s simplification in this respect, where they have recalibrated their brand strategy ‘to securely connect everything to make anything possible.’ They’ve backed this up with technology acquisitions and significant internal development, resulting in a security portfolio rivalling the best in the industry. But it goes beyond having a large solution portfolio. The real power and value come from bundling solutions together into a suite that addresses specific security problems, building tight integration between the solutions for practical and beneficial consolidation.

Some areas of security are easier to consolidate than others, depending on the make-up of your existing solutions. Consider which areas you feel are the most challenging for you to get right, or where you think you are exposed. That’s when engaging with a Data #3 security consultant helps. We work with you to review and audit your security environment, identifying areas suitable for consolidation. This could extend to scoping out a high-level design, building a business case, developing a risk assessment, or even a Proof of Value/Proof of Concept.

If you need assistance with any aspect of your security tech stack, please request a consultation with one of our security experts.