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To Optimize Risk-Based Security – Keep It Simple 

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Organizations across the world are engaged in a never-ending war with cybercriminals, and this war only seems to get more complex year after year. The more software, tools, and processes that IT professionals create to prevent cyber-attacks; the more way cybercriminals come up with to circumvent these types of preventative security measures. As a result, the cybersecurity infrastructure of many organizations, especially corporations that have been around for decades, can be overly complex to the point it can become a liability.  

For years, many organizations have added more and more layers of cybersecurity solutions, systems, and services to their existing IT infrastructure in an attempt to maintain an edge over potential cyber-attacks. Because of this, it is estimated that the average security team oversees and manages approximately 165,000 IT assets within their organization. Having that many IT assets in any given organization can create an almost endless number of points of infiltration for cybercriminals to exploit.  

Couple a large number of assets with other factors like distributed endpoints connecting to a network to facilitate remote access and large international digital supply chains, and the goal of keeping an organization and its data secure can be monumental and extremely expensive. That is why there has been a push by industry leaders to go back to the basics and to begin to simplify the cybersecurity apparatuses of large organizations. The process of simplification is not easy, however, there are a number of developing solutions that can help with the process.  

Let us discuss some of the reasons it is important to begin simplifying cybersecurity within an organization and some of the steps that are currently being taken by IT professionals to simplify entire cybersecurity infrastructures.  

Why is it important to simplify cybersecurity operations? 

There are a number of benefits to simplifying cybersecurity that should be considered by IT professionals and the organizations they work for. For example, among other things, cybersecurity simplification can help to reduce costs while limiting the number of weak points that cybercriminals can exploit.  

Let’s discuss in more detail the importance of simplifying an organization’s cybersecurity infrastructure and some of the benefits that can be enjoyed as a result.  

  • More cohesive threat protection: With a simpler cybersecurity infrastructure containing fewer layers and fewer tools, threat protection, detection, and response can be more cohesive and more efficient. It can help a security team take a more proactive approach to cybersecurity by being able to prioritize real threats rather than drown in the noise of constant security alerts. It is estimated that the average organization of 10,000 or fewer employees runs approximately 29 different cybersecurity solutions and operations tools. Organizations with over 10,000 employees can run closer to 46 different tools and solutions. With all of these tools and solutions running at the same time, the number of non-critical cybersecurity alerts that an IT team needs to comb through can be overwhelming and detract from their ability to identify true cyber threats across a network. 
  • Less room for error: The more complex a system is the more likely the people in charge of managing it will cause mistakes. It is estimated that nearly 99% of all firewall breaches are and will be caused by misconfiguration. Even a simple error like typing in a single wrong character in a line of code can create problems or make a system vulnerable to attack. A simple and strong cybersecurity system can reduce the likelihood of human error. 
  • Less IT staff needed: There is already a massive labor shortage in the cybersecurity industry, and it is only expected to increase in the near future. Complex cybersecurity systems that consist of several security tools and products require more training and more highly skilled IT professionals, both of which can be expensive. A simpler system requires less staff and less training.  
  • Faster analysis: Complex cybersecurity systems take a long time to compile data from all of the various tools and security solutions. Additionally, the data is then denser and may contain more non-essential information that takes time to sift through. A simpler cybersecurity system can compile data quicker from fewer sources and the information is easier to understand.  
  • More effective use of resources: With a simpler cybersecurity system, organizations can get data faster, spend less time on training, help prevent costly human errors, and can more easily automate specific processes. All of these factors can free up time, personnel, and resources to be used more effectively across the organization. 

These are just a few of the benefits that can be enjoyed by IT professionals and organizations that simplify their cybersecurity systems. 

How to Simplify Cybersecurity Efforts

There are many ways that organizations are working to simplify their cybersecurity infrastructures. By taking steps like implementing more process automation, integrating all security solutions into one easy-to-use platform, and improving communication and education across all departments, organizations are starting to see the fruits of their efforts.  

Here are some of the ways that organizations are currently simplifying their cybersecurity systems.  

  • Shrink the stack: Eliminate unnecessary security tools and solutions to get to a core arsenal of simple and effective tools that can easily integrate with one another. Having fewer tools can reduce system complexity and save time and resources by working with fewer vendors. 
  • Process automation: Any task or process that is repetitious can and should be automated. Automation can not only save time, but it can also help to limit the number of opportunities where human error can create misconfigurations that ultimately create vulnerabilities within a system.  
  • Integration: Finding an effective security solution that integrates with other security operations to create a single platform system has many benefits. Having a single platform reduces the amount of training needed to run a system. A single platform that is seamlessly integrated with all of an organization’s security tools can also collect data faster and make it easier to understand and act upon.  
  • Improving cross-department communication and education: Cross-department communication and education are vital to staying ahead of potential cyber threats and preventing information silos in large organizations. By having a simple and well-integrated cybersecurity system it is much easier to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to cybersecurity education and the sharing of critical information and data to help prevent future attacks. 
  • Outsource security services: Some companies may want to consider outsourcing certain cybersecurity services, such as malware protection or vulnerability management. This can save costs while also providing access to specialized expertise and the latest cybersecurity technologies. Organizations looking to simplify their cybersecurity systems have plenty of options to start making changes that can help improve security while reducing costs, time, and personnel resources. 

Overall, simplifying your cybersecurity system provides many benefits to businesses of all sizes. By reducing costs, streamlining processes, and better-equipping personnel with the knowledge and tools needed to identify potential threats, organizations can ensure their systems are more secure and protect their valuable data from malicious actors.  

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About The Author

CISSP - Certified Information Systems Security Professional
CEH - Certified Ethical Hacker
CISM - Certified Information Security Manager

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