The average enterprise uses about 75 security products to secure their network. Apart from the operational overhead of monitoring and managing these products, the greater challenge is integrating them to create a seamless security framework. Many of these are point products which solve specific security pain points, but they do not talk to one another, thereby creating gaps which are then bridged by adding more security products.
Furthermore, digital transformation and cloud migration are rendering the traditional perimeter security strategy ineffective. The business landscape today demands multi-device, multi-vendor connectivity across hybrid data center environments. Maintaining a consistent security policy in these environments using rigid perimeter security is a challenge. Security teams have to do a lot of heavy lifting to get minimal visibility using perimeter solutions. This limited/incomplete visibility puts pressure on the admins, resulting in misconfigurations and security postures that are inconsistent.
How to Achieve Consistent Security Posture?
The answer to better security is not more products but putting into place an infrastructure that spans across the enterprise – both on-premise and across the cloud – allowing you to orchestrate and enforce policies even in dynamic environments without inconsistencies. Here’s how enterprises can achieve a consistent security posture.
Most security solutions provide little to no visibility into cross-segment, server-to-server traffic. This is one of the main reasons why attackers can launch APT-style attacks. Once inside the network, attackers can remain undetected for months while they move laterally scouting for data and intel. With deep visibility into all network communications, enterprises can decipher how critical applications and corporate assets are accessed and from where. Security teams can further leverage flow data statistics that provide granular visibility and threat traversal for forensics and reporting.
A software-defined security infrastructure allows enterprises to micro-segment their data center – both on-premise and cloud – to implement policies down to the host level. Security is no longer a rigid construct limited to the capacity of firewalls and VLANs. It is flexible and can follow a resource, application, or workload. Micro-segmentation essentially allows enterprises to “firewall” their workloads, applications, and users distributed across bare metal, VMs, or multi-cloud data centers.
Secure Access to Protected Micro-Segments
Compromised endpoints and subsequent identity thefts remain a major cause for successful cyber attacks. This is why user trust is one of the cornerstones of zero-trust security which advocates a ‘never trust, verify first’ approach. Having multiple levels of user authentication is a great first step towards implementing a zero-trust model within your security framework. Advanced user access solutions allow you to control access to critical business applications at device and user level using host, ports and protocol authorization, thereby limiting exposure and providing deeper visibility into user behavior. This allows for faster detection in the event of an attack, and better forensics for investigations.
Apart from improving the overall security posture of the enterprise, software-defined micro-segmentation has the added benefit of helping enterprises achieve industry-mandated compliance requirements like PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and more. With data storage moving from on-premise to the cloud, maintaining consistency is a challenge. The tools that work on on-premise infrastructure do not work for the cloud. Micro-segmentation policies cannot only secure data but also isolate environments to deny communications to specific systems within the network thereby preventing unauthorized data access and exposure. Micro-segmentation also reduces the scope of audits which in turn reduces costs and compliance overheads.
Endpoints are one of the weakest links affecting an organization’s security posture. Though EDR, SIEM, and antivirus solutions add a layer of security, they are essentially blind to network data which is crucial to providing context. Integrating endpoint and data center security into a single platform simplifies security while providing a holistic understanding of what’s happening in your data center. Furthermore, adding process whitelisting and blacklisting capabilities to your security arsenal delivers complete control over endpoints by allowing only the known good.
Though there are specific security products to cater to each of the points mentioned above, enterprises need to think beyond point products to create a proactive, zero-trust architecture. A unified platform that gives you a 360-degree view of your network and the capability to create and implement policies directly across multi-cloud, multi-user network environments helps achieve consistency in security and significantly improves the overall security posture.
The ColorTokens Xtended Zero Trust Platform takes a ‘one agent, one platform’ approach to deliver consistent security across your hybrid data center. Learn more.