By Graham Bushkes, Country Manager for Canada, Fortinet
One of the biggest security threats organizations face is a reliance on outdated practices. Cyber criminals may be getting more creative with each passing day. But given that far too many companies use a combination of aging software and a patchwork of isolated point solutions to defend themselves, the best thing they can do is to cast a critical eye on their security infrastructure.
The answer lies in one word: platform. It’s a word that is as overused as it is all-encompassing in IT circles. But it’s critical to successful cybersecurity. At a time when attack surfaces are growing in number, deploying and then building an integrated security strategy around a true security platform is an effective way for companies to revamp their security footing. That’s because successfully defending the network and enabling digital innovation depends on achieving three things: broadness, integration, and automation.
A security platform must not only be able to run different security tools simultaneously, but also run on as many different environments as possible – while accounting for the variety of requirements that govern physical network perimeters, data centres, and branch offices. Add to that the complications that come with securing public multi-cloud environments that each have their own unique requirements, and things get murky fast. A security platform must be broad and flexible enough to account for all these factors, track and comply with regulatory requirements, and still move at the speed that today’s businesses (and the consumers they serve) require.
Although it must account for running consistently in a variety of form factors across a diverse environment, a true security platform must also ensure that the tools running on it function as a single, integrated solution – both on the platform itself, and between connected platforms, regardless of where or how each platform has been deployed. Forcing users to deal with separate management, configuration, orchestration, and analysis consoles is counter-productive. Combining them gives users the power of shared, open threat intelligence, and the ability to quickly formulate and coordinate a unified threat response.
All this should be made viewable through a single pane of glass that provides “a single source of truth” for all threat intelligence and policy enforcement, and the platform should also feature APIs that enable third party solutions to seamlessly connect with it. Finally, a true platform brings together every platform deployment in an organization, no matter where it is located, enabling seamless communications and consistent policy enforcement – even between platforms deployed as unique, native cloud solutions. Bringing together a network of platforms like this, including third-party solutions, creates a unified security fabric that works as a single, holistic solution that spans the entire distributed network.
Then there’s automation. At a time when skilled security professionals are in short supply and IT teams see growing pressure on their budgets, it’s important to implement efficiency and automation wherever possible. The patchwork of point solutions that many companies have come to rely on were never designed to cope with a digital world. Instead, they actually limit visibility and rely on teams of expensive – and increasingly rare – security analysts to hand-correlate the threat intelligence and log files they generate. Opting for a platform that takes advantage of machine learning and artificial intelligence not only enables the detection of threats and a coordinated response with lightning speed, it also helps remove pressure on IT professionals, freeing them up to focus on other, higher-order areas of the business.
Bringing it all together – with a platform that’s broad, integrated and automated – will enable any organization form a security bedrock for their growing network and support efforts to benefit from a world rapidly undergoing a digital transformation without compromising on either security or performance.
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