The world of data has, without a doubt, become a co-evolutionary arms race between cybersecurity professionals and threat actors. Threat actors create attacks, the cybersecurity community figures them out, and then the threat actors go back to work to figure out how to once again hide or shield their actions.
Cybersecurity teams trying to stay ahead of this game engage email security tools, network security solutions, a range of endpoint protections, and secure outside experts. If they're able, they create enough budget to purchase a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tool.
Then — when they finally feel they have achieved an adequate security posture for their company — another incident happens. Their concerns about doing enough and staying ahead were thought to be in the rear-view mirror. But when it's unclear why the incident occurred or how a similar incident could be prevented in the future, those concerns come storming back. How can these tools be configured to stay ahead of the threat actors and assure the organization is doing enough?
A common answer is a centralized cybersecurity platform. But, you may ask, "Isn't that what my SIEM is? Isn't that what we got this budget to be able to do?"
Well yes, to a point. Ingesting data from the various security tools deployed, along with logs, etc. into a SIEM centralizes events within the organization. Understanding the events is the baseline benchmark and is a requirement from regulators/auditors for certain lines of business. However, being able to take actions upon those events and evaluate the success of those actions is what allows security operations teams to stay ahead.
Dissecting a centralized cybersecurity platform
With a central platform, we move beyond simply seeing all events (as with a SIEM). Seeing all events is important and needed, but getting to the point of full confidence incorporates more.
Structurally, a central platform addresses the inefficiency caused by analysts utilizing multiple tools throughout the day. Switching back and forth between those tools leaves gaps in both coverage and expediency in addressing alerts. To meet security policies and posture objectives, they can't be losing time against the attackers by:
- Waiting to digest threat intelligence
- Searching around to construct context on:
- What is happening
- How it is happening
- And if it is even being contained
An inventory of vulnerabilities, other risks across the infrastructure, and the effectiveness of the controls against those items creates a cohesive toolbox that a SIEM collection of data lacks in and of itself. Factor in an implicit means of collaboration and communication dedicated to cybersecurity, and the outcome of this effort is providing members of a security operations center with a single source of truth to communicate and take action in one interface (i.e. centralized cybersecurity platform). Having one interface delivers:
- Full visibility monitoring
- Past and present analysis
- Automated control deployment
- Correlated ingestion of external intelligence
- Threat coverage and control effectiveness
- Current security posture status
- Rapid incident response capabilities
Staying ahead in the arms race and knowing you are doing enough can be extremely difficult to accomplish without a centralized cybersecurity platform.
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