A holistic approach to securing your cloud solutions prevents cyber-attacks more effectively than point solutions. Are you sufficiently protected?
With the rise of ransomware, phishing mails, vishing (voice phishing), DDoS attacks, data breaches, nation state sponsored cyber-attacks, it is becoming more important than ever before to have strong Cybersecurity protection. Even the largest of enterprises across all industries are suffering daily data breaches, ransomware attacks, or theft of intellectual property. A point solution is not enough to handle complex cyberattacks. Today’s cyber-attacks occur across wide areas of IT operations with Compromised Credentials, Cloud Misconfiguration, and Vulnerability in 3rd Party Software being leading causes. Holistic Cybersecurity Posture is the idea of protecting all of IT operations from all angles. Not just from within, but from the outside as well.
What is an ideal holistic Cybersecurity Posture?
The concept of an ideal cybersecurity posture is to have a holistic approach to cybersecurity. The holistic approach of a cybersecurity posture looks at your entire business, your entire IT infrastructure, and everything that can affect your security. A cybersecurity posture is to know the threats, know the vulnerabilities, determine the risks of each of them, and an actionable strategy of mitigating each risk and vulnerability to improve your defensive and offensive security. Today, there are solutions for network security, solutions for database security, solutions for web application security, solutions for cloud security, solutions for identity management, solutions for access control, solutions for information classification, etc. These are all point solutions for specific parts of your business. While it is always good to have point solutions for different parts of your business, it is better to have a holistic approach that covers all of these points.
What are the problems with point solutions?
In the cybersecurity field many vendors are trying to target specific security needs of the end customer, be it a bank, a retailer, a healthcare organization or a government agency. The typical approach is to select a cloud or a network security platform, a database security product, a server security agent, a password manager, a specific firewall and so on. This is a very common strategy, especially for small and midsize businesses. But the problem is this: this approach does not really work. It is not sustainable from a long-term view. I have been working in cybersecurity for over 20 years and I have seen a lot of point solutions. In most cases they do not improve the overall security posture of the organization, as the protection is not centralized, the security tools are not integrated, and the approach is not holistic.
- Point solutions lead to defender fatigue: point solutions require significant time to understand the data/logs they generate, as point solutions don’t necessary create the full picture, the defenders need to spend extra effort making sense of the data and correlate to other information to get the root cause and details. When defenders are fatigued, attackers will surely win.
- They lead to lengthy time to remediate incidents: point solutions require a lot of time to correlate the data from numerous points, analyze the data, and then determine the leak/intrusion points. In some cases, according to research, it takes 280 days on average for some organizations to completely remediate an incident from start to end.
- Cyber attackers don’t work from the perspective of point solutions: cyber attackers attack an organization across its full breadth and depth of technology, data, people, third parties, and processes – aka the total operations and interaction points of technology on a day-to-day basis.
- Attack types are numerous and attacking has become a thriving industry easily accessible to professionals and amateurs alike, therefore point solutions which do not provider protection across all attack points, do poorly in protection an organization’s data and intellectual property.
- They don’t take into consideration the people, third-parties or processes: having protections that do not extend into monitoring the interaction between technology/data and people/third parties, are not adequate protection.
Why is a Holistic Cybersecurity Posture better?
Using a holistic approach to cybersecurity posture can help you realize the following benefits.
- It helps you understand the full scope of your security posture.
- It enables to quickly identify security gaps.
- It allows to continuously monitor your security posture.
- It prepares you to respond to new threats in a timely manner.
- It reduces costs associated with managing multiple point solutions.
- A holistic approach means that you are adopting defensive in-depth security with multiple layers of protection. You do not rely on a single point solution or product to protect your organization. You do not rely on a single vendor for your security. You do not rely on a single technology for your security.
What can you do to get a Holistic Cybersecurity Posture?
- Reducing your attack surface: you need to make your system less vulnerable to hacker attacks by reducing the number of entry points for hackers. This would include application hardening, patch management and network segmentation.
- Reducing the amount of time hackers can spend on your infrastructure: this will help you detect and quickly respond to cyberthreats.
- Having the right security tools and processes: having automated security solutions in place and having an efficient security incident response plan in place.
- The right cybersecurity culture: to have a holistic cybersecurity posture, you need to have a culture that promotes cybersecurity and an attitude that everyone in the company needs to be part of it.
- The right separations of data and access: separating business critical data from non-critical data allows for reduction in impact of business operation when certain data is breached. This assumes the company has classified its data appropriately. Such separation also helps in preventing the wrong type of data falling in the hands of third parties.
- The right intelligence: It is important to know your enemy and what kinds of cyber weapons they use against you. The cyber attackers take time to gather intelligence on you, so you too should gather intelligence about them.
- The right team of experts: finding external experts who can augment and enhance your defending team’s skill set and knowledge is very important. After all, if you are not in the business of cybersecurity, you likely need experts in the space to equip you with latest and greatest standards, practice, tricks, and tools.
Cybersecurity is no longer an afterthought nor just an IT problem. Today, business leaders and C-level executives are fully aware of the risks and threats their organizations face daily. Organizations must start by creating a solid foundation of security before they can effectively defend against advanced threats and attacks. They must do it by adopting a holistic approach to security that encompasses all layers of the enterprise.
Founder|CEO, BrillianSe Group