Today’s enterprises operate in a distributed manner, with assets and workforce scattered across the world. Owing to this, technology deployment and management have changed over the years. Networks have become distributed; applications are hosted on cloud services and the number of remote employees is rapidly increasing. It is clear that fully centralized IT networks are slowly but surely moving toward extinction. Similarly, the cyberattack vector is growing rapidly, and cybercrimes are finding new and increasingly sophisticated ways to steal data and disrupt business operations. After all, a walled city cannot protect its people when they are roaming outside of it.
Before Cyber Security Mesh
The traditional approach to cybersecurity was to identify and implement specific remedies to defend against every potential danger and attack. To achieve this, organizations have deployed a variety of solutions, such as Web Application Firewalls (WAFs), firewalls for network security and end-point protection for malware. According to an independent study by IBM, today’s businesses have implemented an average of 45 security solutions across their networks. This traditional method creates a security gap in interoperability between tools. Moreover, there are unnecessary overlaps between multiple devices or software each being paid for through its own licensing – simply put, too many solutions from too many vendors.
CSMA provides four foundational layers that make it possible for various security controls and solutions to cooperate with one another and make deployment, configuration and maintenance easier.
The four layers are as follows:
- Security analytics and intelligence
- This layer is responsible for accurately gathering data from threat resources. CSMA will develop a rapid threat response strategy based on data security tools such as SIEM and SOAR that can analyze potential threats.
- Distributed identity fabric
- This layer is responsible for providing identity and access management, an essential component of a Zero Trust strategy.
- Consolidated policy and posture management
- This layer is responsible for managing and enforcing consistent security policies across different environments. CSMA translates the central cybersecurity policy into the foundational framework for every security solution or can offer dynamic runtime authorization services.
- Consolidated dashboards
- Having to switch between numerous dashboards from different security vendors or tools decreases the effectiveness of security operations. Using an integrated dashboard, CSMA provides a composite view of the complete security architecture e platforms.
How different vendors approach CSMA
Several cybersecurity vendors have “CSMA-like” approaches that can provide benefits of scale and cost to an extent. However, they have the potential for vendor lock-in due to a lack of interoperability.
- Fortinet Security Fabric: Designed to manage the entire digital attack surface, while reducing risks by eliminating vulnerabilities and gaps in security.
- Checkpoint Infinity: Provides consolidated security across an organization’s entire IT environment, enabling centralized security management and integrated threat prevention and response.
According to Gartner’s strategic assumption, “By 2024, organizations adopting a cybersecurity mesh architecture will reduce the financial impact of individual security incidents by an average of 90%.”
It is clear that traditional security approaches are failing to fulfill fast-evolving and demanding cybersecurity requirements. However, many enterprises remain stuck with traditional cyber security methods. Larger enterprises with complicated IT systems (such as banks and government organizations) have invested heavily in several security solutions to individually protect each asset in their environment. Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture (CSMA) contributes to the creation of a unified, integrated security framework for all assets, whether on-premises, in data centers or on the cloud. Through standardizing the communication between security solutions, CSMA enables standalone security products to coordinate and interoperate, increasing overall security.