Enterprise IT environments today stretch far and wide. Bad actors are multiplying in number, becoming more cunning in their attacks and quickly expanding their reach in — and damage to — enterprises once they find an opening. At the same time, cybersecurity talent is at a premium.

Here’s a look at what led to this situation and how you can address these challenges now.

Enterprise IT Is Everywhere

As businesses began to understand the benefits of connectivity, they used networks to enable communications between their headquarters and branch office locations. Enterprise IT teams worked to secure the connections between these sites with firewalls and site-to-site VPNs.

Then came the widespread adoption of mobile devices and improving broadband networks. This shift signaled that perimeter security alone was no longer sufficient, and it prompted many enterprise IT teams to seek and implement yet another layer of cybersecurity point solutions.
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When Covid-19 hit, it greatly expanded the work-from-home (WFH) population — and the enterprise threat surface along with it. This trend is likely to persist long after the pandemic. At the same time, Covid-19 ushered in the next era of enterprise cloud adoption. Synergy Research said that enterprise spending on cloud infrastructure services in the third quarter of 2020 ballooned by $1.5 billion over the same quarter the previous year, reaching $65 billion.

This expanded the IT threat surface once again, as a greater volume of users — employing both corporate and personal devices — began connecting from more locations, and more enterprise data and cloud applications moved from in-house data centers to public clouds.

Amid this challenging time, some enterprises left their connections and IT resources unsecured. But now that the dust has settled, many are once again looking for new cybersecurity solutions.

Networking Is Fragmented

Because this IT expansion happened over time, enterprises addressed cybersecurity as new trends emerged and evolved. This ultimately left enterprises saddled with a collection of disjointed architecture and siloed cybersecurity components and solutions.

That collection may include cloud access security broker (CASB) software, firewalls, MPLS services, remote access and site-to-site VPNs, SD-WAN solutions, and web proxy servers. Reports suggest that enterprises deploy, on average, 45 cybersecurity tools on their networks.

But this fragmented approach to cybersecurity simply isn’t working. Here’s why:

• Disjointed architectures drive complexity and technical debt. Already-stretched IT teams now have to manage a growing number of point cybersecurity devices and cloud environments, and IT assets generally become harder to operate and secure.

• Separate tech stacks also lead to higher costs in infrastructure and fragmentation in the knowledge and skills for which enterprises need to train and retain.

• Siloed components and solutions lead to blind spots. Different point solutions provide management only for specific concerns. Bad actors find these environments particularly inviting, exploiting enterprises’ lack of visibility due to gaps between point solutions.

Cybersecurity Is Reactive

When cybersecurity teams and their existing tools can’t spot and contain cyber threats, bad actors have more time to expand their reach and greater potential to do serious damage.

Research suggests that it now takes an average of 280 days to identify and contain a breach. Companies that can identify and contain threats in fewer than 200 days spend on average $1.1 million less.

Yet many in-house cybersecurity operations waste valuable time attempting to make sense of a cacophony of alerts from their various point solutions. Despite all the alert noise, they may still lack all of the relevant information they need to identify which events need their attention.

Without a broad data set to provide greater context, artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to spot attack patterns quickly, and human experts to recognize the nuanced details that can signal cyberattacks, enterprises are left scurrying while bad actors escalate attacks.

Get An Edge On Attackers

Pair adaptive security and optimal network connectivity to get a more complete understanding of attacks. Unify cybersecurity and networking into a single service. This will enable your enterprise to simplify its architecture, lower its total cost of operation and eliminate the siloed point solutions that create gaps in visibility — and make you more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Employ a cloud-native secure access service edge (SASE) platform to understand what is connected to the network and why. Implement SASE as close as possible to users to address the new enterprise IT edge, which is expanding with more remote users and cloud-based services.

Understand that perimeter security alone is no longer enough. Eighty-eight percent of organizations use public cloud infrastructure services, says ESG Research. Oracle and KPMG note that enterprises are shifting to SaaS for their mission-critical applications.

Monitor 24x7x365 for threats so you can deter and detect attacks fast and prevent and limit damage through containment and remediation. Consider leveraging a managed detection and response (MDR) service so you don’t have to build and run your own in-house security operation center (SOC), which can be costly and difficult to staff with cybersecurity talent.

Work with your MDR partner to establish a predefined playbook so that your partner can contain threats on your behalf rather than just handing off threats for you to contend with.

Seek out a proven partner that will provide you with complete visibility, enable you to address the expanding enterprise IT edge, simplify your architecture, and allow you to avoid and contain threats that can result in significant financial losses, hurt your reputation, and divert your attention and resources from meeting your business objectives.