Security Strategy, Plan, Budget

Why the industry needs platforms that can integrate IT operations with the security organization.

Today’s columnist, Steve Daheb of Tanium, writes about how the industry needs platforms that can integrate IT operations with security teams. (Credit: Stock Photo, Getth Images)

The cybersecurity industry has expanded into a $156 billion dollar sector in just the last 10 years, resulting in thousands of tools and product suites. But today, we have an uncertain economy, tight budgets, and the cyber labor shortage persists. To stay ahead of the curve, companies need to reduce technical debt and get more value from their technology purchases.

Despite such pressures, most security organizations continue to face the deluge of product pitches from a seemingly endless number of vendors, all claiming that they have the answer to cyber threats. It's a more crowded market than ever, and with cyberattacks still on the rise, security professionals continue to maintain a variety of tools and back-up solutions as they try to keep data protected. Many organizations also implement a multitude of technologies to address critical business outcomes such as automation and third-party risk mitigation.

Unfortunately, adopting multiple tools doesn’t necessarily improve security resilience or business outcomes—and may even make them worse. Most large enterprises have upwards of 130 tools, and more tools mean more challenges affecting interoperability, management, governance, and usability. They also mean more problems with credentials, access, patching, and configuration, which leads to more risk. It’s little wonder companies are no safer.

Back to basics

Every organization, regardless of size, should start with the fundamentals—full visibility into and control of all endpoints; proper installation, configuration, and patching of all assets; and continuous vulnerability scans. After all, most (if not all) of those 130 tools rely on trusted data, and few companies have the degree of visibility required to fully trust their information.

Additionally, over-taxed security teams need to stay vigilant, keeping on top of known weaknesses and potential labor shortfalls. They also need to have a well-defined strategy and clearly delineated areas of responsibility to ensure they know what’s running on their endpoints, workers access and use data, and where sensitive information gets stored, shared, managed, and protected across the enterprise.

How can anyone do all of that and reduce technical debt at the same time? Especially since the specialized tools security vendors have been selling for the past two decades will never offer the holistic risk management and security resilience needed to protect against today’s threats?

The shape of things to come

Organizations require a paradigm shift to existing approaches of managing complex risk and security concerns to understand how many endpoints and devices they have, what applications live on each of them, and whether they have the right access controls across them.

We’re at the beginning of the convergence of real-time decision making, management, and remediation across IT, compliance, security, and risk. We’re striving to help organizations build a strategy that will let them reduce tools and invest in a new generation of solutions that cross over operations and security teams, while integrating with most widely-deployed infrastructure and security tools. The right investments will offer a single-pane-of-glass for a shared source of truth, a unified set of controls, and a common taxonomy that all teams can use and understand. Such an approach will improve outcomes, reduce costs, and give organizations the upper hand against threat actors.

Steve Daheb, chief marketing officer, Tanium

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