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The shift to integrated cybersecurity platforms: a growing trend among CISOs

New ESG and ISSA study shows nearly half of organizations are shifting towards integrated cybersecurity platforms. Here’s why many CISOs are making the shift.

Less complexity, more security.

The shift to integrated cybersecurity platforms has become a growing trend among CISOs. With security teams managing tens of disparate security tools — some even more than 100 — to protect their infrastructure, CISOs are looking for a simpler solution that protects their expanding attack surface and provides comprehensive visibility.

For years, security professionals have relied on buying best-of-breed (BOB) security products to meet the demands of the ever changing cybersecurity landscape. However, as cybersecurity threats continue to evolve and become more sophisticated in nature, the result has been an influx of specialized, point security products. For every new or greater threat comes a new product or security tool to combat it. This creates more complexities, such as tool sprawl, which limits control and overall visibility as each new tool is only best at solving a particular problem. Additionally, increased training is often required for teams to sufficiently manage a plethora of different security tools and products. Thus, it’s critical that organizations adopt new security tools with a cohesive strategy in mind.

The shift to integrated cybersecurity platforms

The new research report Technology Perspectives from Cybersecurity Professionals from Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) and Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) polled 280 cybersecurity leaders globally and found a growing preference among respondents towards integrated security platforms, as well as a desire to see vendors embrace open standards and APIs for better product interoperability.

Specifically, 38% of respondents said they tend to purchase integrated security platforms rather than BOB products today, and 15% said that they plan to transition from BOB products to platforms in the next few years.

When asked to explain what they consider a cybersecurity platform, respondents offered two definitions:

  • A suite of products from a single vendor (29%)
  • A standards-based architecture which contains products from multiple vendors as an open suite integrated via APIs (67%)

Specifically, the study found that respondents want to see security vendors support more open standards (77%) and believe a product’s integration capabilities are important (84%.)

Currently, 32% of respondents from organizations with 1,000-plus employees use 25 or more different cybersecurity products.

“This data can be seen as yet another cry for help. Security professionals are asking for more industry cooperation and standards to ease their technology integration burden,” the report, authored by ESG Senior Principal Analyst Jon Oltsik, reads.

With thousands of vendors competing against each other in the market across numerous security product categories, organizations are seeking to optimize all their security technologies in their stack at once. According to the report, vendors who support open standards for technology integration are best positioned to meet the demand for integrated cybersecurity platforms.

As the need for security technology consolidation continues to rise, the demand for integrated cybersecurity platforms continues to increase. The report found that 21% of organizations are consolidating security vendors while 25% are considering it.

Additionally, the report identified the most common reasons for vendor consolidation which include:

  • Operational efficiencies realized by security and IT teams (65%)
  • Tighter integration between previously disparate security controls (60%)
  • Improved threat detection efficiency (51%)

Furthermore, for cybersecurity professionals who are evaluating large, enterprise-class cybersecurity vendors that can serve as a “center of gravity” for security consolidation and integration, the most important attributes are:

  • A proven track record in product roadmap and strategy execution (34%)
  • Products designed for enterprise-scale, integration and business process requirements (33%)
  • A commitment to reduce operational complexity and to lower cost of ownership (31%)

Meanwhile, ISSA and ESG recommend that security professionals take the following steps, as they go through this vendor consolidation and product integration process:

  • Push vendors to adopt industry standards.
  • Appoint a cybersecurity architect who can outline the organization’s needs, assess its current security stack and design an end-to-end architecture.
  • Establish a comprehensive process for vendor qualification and security procurement.
  • Create a three-year plan for executing the integration process and deploy an integrated security architecture.

Want more details? Check out this slide presentation from ESG and ISSA.

Learn more

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