Last updated at Fri, 28 Jun 2024 17:46:45 GMT

Embracing a consolidated security ecosystem

Authored by Ralph Wascow

Cybersecurity is as unpredictable as it is rewarding. Each day often presents a new set of challenges and responsibilities, particularly as organizations accelerate digital transformation efforts. This means you and your cyber team may find yourselves navigating a complex landscape of multi-cloud environments and evolving compliance requirements.

So how does that translate into what cyber professionals have to deal with on a daily basis?

A Day in the Life of a Security Professional

In the Trenches

The responsibility of safeguarding sensitive data and protecting that very same data can create a constant pressure to stay one step ahead – of many things. Teams defending environments often face high stress levels and tight deadlines. Unsurprisingly, the demand for skilled security leaders often outpaces the supply of personnel. This is where an array of tools and solutions are introduced to support those teams. And while there are many positives to be had, security teams are often overrun by an array of solutions and vendors, creating increased complexity and vulnerabilities in their organisation’s risk posture.

Multiple Vendors Often Means More Work

Using different vendors and solutions for various security functions can help keep things fresh, but it can also be time-consuming and cumbersome. And rather than help teams, it may lead to a decrease in performance. With each platform and tool requiring its own resources, the overall efficiency of your infrastructure and processes may suffer. These performance issues can impact critical business operations and hinder productivity. For instance, by the time you receive a threat alert, the attacker could already be hard at work.

Security analysts require a streamlined work environment that enables them to understand the root cause of alerts from any source with a single click. They shouldn’t have to waste time switching between multiple tools to investigate and remediate potential threats. And when belts start tightening and resources become scarce, managing multiple vendors with different payment cycles can become frustrating.

It pays to find ways to create a security ecosystem without sacrificing the efficacy of its components. By reducing the number of disparate cyber solutions, security professionals can optimise effectiveness and efficiency, subsequently enhancing security posture and reducing their risk profile.

What are the Benefits of a Unified Security Ecosystem?

Widening visibility into your entire IT environment strengthens threat detection capabilities, allowing security teams to minimise the impact of potential cyberattacks. In fact, 41% of organisations surveyed by Gartner say consolidating security solutions improved their risk posture. For some organisations still clinging to the status quo of best of breed solutions, consider the following consolidation benefits when trying to gain executive-buy-in.

Identify Systems and Applications at Risk

A robust vulnerability management program should be your first port of call to help identify any systems or applications potentially at risk. It provides your security team with critical insight into potential weaknesses in your IT infrastructure and overall network. Importantly, it will enable you to properly manage and patch vulnerabilities that pose risks to the network, protecting your organisation from the possibility of a breach.

Safeguard an Evolving Landscape with Real-time Monitoring

Continuous scanning and testing of applications are vital components of a robust security strategy. Consolidating your security tech stack into a centralised ecosystem offers the ability to monitor your infrastructure in real-time and receive in-depth reports for better cross-team collaboration. Actionable insight gained will give you and your security team the autonomy you need to stay ahead of evolving risks and proactively address potential vulnerabilities.

Broaden Visibility and Contextual Understanding

Avoid leaving your security team with isolated alerts that require manual investigation and correlation. Integrating data from multiple sources, including endpoints, networks, cloud environments, and applications offers a comprehensive view and analysis of threats across different layers of the IT environment. This holistic approach allows for better correlation of data across various vectors, uncovering complex attack patterns that might otherwise go unnoticed. Consider broadening your context with threat intelligence, providing information about actor groups, typical targets, TTP's, and more.

Automate Threat Hunting and Distinguish Friend from Foe

In the face of ever-evolving threats, automating threat hunting becomes a crucial capability. By integrating automation within your consolidated security ecosystem, you’ll be able to quickly discern whether incoming threats are benign or malicious. Streamlined processes allow for efficient identification of potential risks, enabling you and your team to prioritize your efforts for activities that require human effort.

Prioritize Risk and Simplify Workflows

The sheer volume of security alerts can overwhelm even the most robust security operations. A consolidated security ecosystem mitigates this challenge by automatically grouping related alerts and prioritising events that demand immediate attention. Unifying and visualizing activities in one place more rapidly identify the root causes of threats and their potential impact. Armed with this knowledge, you can assess the scope of an incident efficiently, build a timeline of the attack, and take swift, targeted action to effectively neutralize the threat.

Swiftly Investigate with End-to-end Digital Forensics

Incident resolution demands a thorough understanding of the attack's entry point and the ability to track down any traces left by adversaries. With a consolidated security ecosystem, conduct swift and comprehensive investigations using end-to-end digital forensics and review key artefacts such as event logs, registry keys, and browser history across your entire IT environment — significantly enhancing your incident response capabilities. A full view of attacker activity can help you determine the extent of the compromise, identify weaknesses in your defenses, and take appropriate remedial actions.

Coordinate Responses with Remediation and Policy Enforcement

Enable coordinated responses and future-proof defences by integrating prevention technologies across your entire tech stack. Leverage communication between various security components and take decisive action against active threats in real-time. For example, an attack blocked on the network can automatically update policies on endpoints, ensuring consistent security measures across your infrastructure. This proactive approach to security ultimately reduces the risk of successful cyberattacks.

Consolidate to Mitigate

With a rapidly changing threat landscape, consolidation offers the security improvements your organisation needs to give it the balance of power. Simplifying and streamlining your cybersecurity solutions begins with gaining visibility into your tech stack. This enables your team to identify where consolidation can improve your team’s productivity and effectiveness in detecting and mitigating risk.

How Rapid7 Can Help: Managed Threat Complete

Managed Threat Complete offers a simplified security stack, fuelling your D&R program to give you a 24x7x365 SOC, IR, XDR technology, SIEM, SOAR, threat intelligence, and unlimited VRM in a single service. This ensures your environment is monitored round-the-clock and end-to-end by an elite SOC that works transparently with your in-house team, helping to further expand your resources.

Learn more.