Exposure Management: 7 Benefits of a Platform Approach
When it comes to preventive cybersecurity, there have been longstanding debates over whether it’s more effective to operate an array of best-of-breed point solutions or to take a more consolidated platform approach. Here are seven reasons an exposure management platform can help reduce cyber risk.
Cybersecurity professionals have long been discussing the pros and cons of cobbling together a preventive security program built on best-of-breed point tools versus using a consolidated platform approach. Both sides have valid points to make. But as the attack surface gains complexity, just looking at speeds-and-feeds and picking the latest new shiny tool can have serious repercussions on your ability to reduce risk.
Organizations are facing an overload of preventive security solutions and are challenged to analyze the output of all these siloed tools in a contextual way. The result? An inability to effectively answer the question “how secure are we?” Furthermore, history shows that ‘best-of-breed’ advantages are often short-lived. A tool considered ‘best’ right now may not be the ‘best’ in two more years, as new upstarts jockey to replace it.
A July 2022 study from ESG and the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) showed that most organizations have employed or expect to employ a security platform strategy. The study, based on a survey of 280 cybersecurity professionals, revealed that fewer than one fourth of respondents choose to purchase ‘best-of-breed’ security products. The study identified numerous issues with not taking a platform approach, including:
- increased training requirements;
- difficulty in getting a comprehensive assessment of an organization's security posture; and;
- the need to take a manual approach to fill gaps between different vendors’ products.
The survey identified many benefits of a consolidated platform approach. These include greater operational efficiencies, tighter integration between previously disparate security controls and better cyber risk identification.
At Tenable, we believe a platform approach to preventive cybersecurity is essential for any organization looking to achieve an accurate and contextualized view of their exposure. The Tenable One Exposure Management Platform combines a range of functionality, including vulnerability management, cloud security, web app security, identity security and attack surface management. It adds aggregated risk insights, exposure analytics, risk prioritization, recommended approaches, benchmarking and asset inventory data drawn from these different functions.
7 benefits of an exposure management platform
Based on feedback we’ve received from our customers, we’ve identified seven benefits to this consolidated approach:
- Improved security posture: A platform enables cybersecurity professionals to analyze the output of a variety of preventive security tools in context, making it easier for them to gain a better understanding of their overall security posture. Strengths and weaknesses can be more easily identified. Security gaps that may have gone unnoticed in a siloed, multi-vendor environment can quickly be identified and addressed. Trending analysis is more consistent due to a platform's singular cyber risk scoring. KPIs and SLAs are easier to track and measure.
- Reduced complexity: Managing a variety of tools from multiple vendors makes it difficult to integrate security solutions into a cohesive system. The result is a lack of consistency in security policies and procedures. A platform approach reduces this problem, providing a single, unified method of managing the many aspects of your preventive security program. Detection, response and management of vulnerabilities, misconfigurations and other weaknesses can be performed more efficiently and effectively.
- Improved prioritization of exposures for remediation: Context is everything. By combining and then prioritizing vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, identity/privilege issues and other weaknesses, both on-prem and in the cloud, organizations can focus their efforts and resources on those that represent the greatest risk to their operations, rather than spreading their efforts too thin trying to address every potential threat. By combining data about exposures, threat intelligence, asset prioritization, user privilege analysis and attack path analysis, organizations can obtain a more accurate picture of the risk posed to their systems. The most pressing concerns within the most critical assets and information can be identified and fixed first.
- Simplified management: Managing multiple preventive security solutions from multiple vendors is not only difficult, it’s also a drain on resources. A platform approach makes it easier to monitor, manage and update systems. Time to value is improved as users can more quickly become adept on a single platform rather than having to be trained on multiple systems with multiple interfaces from multiple vendors. Technical support is also simplified: one contact point makes it easier to obtain support during initial and ongoing operations.
- Improved integration of tools: The ISSA study showed that when different systems are not integrated the results can include security gaps, duplicated efforts and inefficiencies in the IT infrastructure. A platform approach integrates different cybersecurity systems into one unified solution. There’s no need to switch between different tools — or to try to manually collect and analyze the output of all these tools. Security gaps are reduced, data exchange between different tools is eased and the overall security of the entire organization is improved.
- Unified reporting: A platform enables unified reporting, making it easier for security teams to analyze exposures, track status and measure performance. With unified reporting, all the necessary information is in one place, eliminating the need to switch between multiple reporting tools, dashboards or spreadsheets. Preventive measures can be taken faster when issues can be identified before they become significant problems. A singular cyber risk score drawn from multiple sources allows for clear communication of security status to non-technical stakeholders in the C-suite who need to know the answer to the question “How secure are we?”
- Cost-effectiveness: Relying on multiple vendors for preventive cybersecurity means paying for multiple licenses, subscriptions and maintenance fees. With a single platform and a single licensing model, organizations can benefit from bundled pricing and economies of scale. Time-to-value is also improved as procurement and deployment time is reduced. A platform solution can allow for easier price negotiations as well as reduced overhead costs.
As comprehensive security platforms become richer in functionality, the best-of-breed approach is becoming more and more a thing of the past. The benefits of a platform approach to security are many. Organizations that are taking this approach are seeing the benefits in improved security, operational efficiencies and cost reductions.
- Download the solution brief, The Unique Value of Tenable One: 7 Benefits of a Unified Exposure Management Platform
- Attend the webinar, The 7 Benefits of a Unified Exposure Management Platform
- Read the white paper, 3 Real-World Challenges Facing Cybersecurity Organizations: How an Exposure Management Platform Can Help
- Exposure Management
- Exposure Management
Are You Vulnerable to the Latest Exploits?
Enter your email to receive the latest cyber exposure alerts in your inbox.