To stay competitive and meet user needs, organizations are adopting new technologies and architectures — such as software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), software-defined branch software-defined (SD-branch), Internet-of-Things (IoT), multi-cloud, and untrusted access (ZTA)—which has resulted in network infrastructures becoming increasingly complex and fragmented .
To help reduce this operational complexity, businesses are adopting the simplicity and efficiency of an integrated architecture. Network integration enables zero-touch provisioning, centralized management, real-time security analytics, simple compliance audits and reports, and automation of manual workflows and network activity.
Network integration solves complex problems
When it comes to securing infrastructure, complexity creates challenges for network engineering and operations leaders. First, visibility and control of network defenses is reduced due to the accumulation of disconnected network and security point products. Second, the worldwide shortage of security talent means that most organizations lack the skills to manage these tools. Third, new compliance requirements often require manual compilation for reports and audits — adding to the burden on already stressed teams.
The first step to addressing these critical issues is to use an integrated cybersecurity infrastructure that connects all deployed solutions across the organization. This concept, referred to by Gartner as a “cybersecurity mesh architecture,” provides the foundation for important capabilities such as simple provisioning, centralized management, security fabric analysis, and seamless compliance reporting. circuit and operate automatically.
According to Gartner, by 2024, organizations that adopt a cybersecurity grid architecture will reduce the financial impact of personal security incidents by an average of 90% by 2024.
An integrated network security architecture can enable enhanced security orchestration for provisioning and configuration. These can alleviate many complex challenges for growing organizations — all while improving efficiency or operations and reducing the workflow burden on limited staff. As a business expands or adds new offices, automatic integration enables fast and seamless security scalability to all areas of the organization’s expanding network.
An effective cybersecurity grid architecture supports capabilities like zero-touch deployment to help organizations simplify and accelerate the introduction of new locations online. Zero-touch deployment allows a security appliance — such as a next-generation firewall (NGFW) — to be plugged in at a branch office or remote location and then automatically configured at the main office via broadband connection to avoid rollover truck time and costs.
Operations must be able to monitor data movement and identify anomalous activity, but security complexity obscures this ability. Stacked devices in a segregated security architecture do not communicate with each other or share threat information. When network engineering and operations teams have to combine multiple management dashboards from different vendors, this limits a clear, consistent, and timely understanding of what’s happening within the organization. .
Integrated security architecture with centralized management simplifies visibility and control by consolidating multiple management consoles of point devices. An effective management solution should provide a single pane of glass view to track all deployed solutions to secure the network and apply policy-based controls easily and consistently .
Virtually all compliance regulations require documentation with due diligence. Depending on the industry and organization, compliance management is often a manual, labor-intensive process that requires months of work with multiple full-time employees. This is most likely why 85% of IT compliance and risk management professionals plan to evaluate new tools by 2022 to streamline and automate their compliance processes.
For organizations with multiple point security products, data must be aggregated from each product and then normalized to ensure that regulatory controls are reported accurately. To do so, network operators must monitor security controls using individual vendor testing tools and then correlate that information to demonstrate compliance. . These complex and unwieldy audit processes are inefficient and often inefficient due to human error.
Automating compliance tracking and reporting at the network activity layer can streamline these processes, allowing limited security and network staff to focus on more critical operations. An effective security management solution should provide compliance templates for both regulations and best practices to help reduce the cost and burden of complexity.
Effective security management should also include tools to help network leaders assess their environment against industry best practices. Part of this process includes aggregating and collating threat data from multiple sources. Network operations teams can then apply recommendations to protect against threats.
Network Automation and Real-Time Security Analytics
As the number of branches grows within an organization and the edge attack surface expands, network engineering and operations leaders increasingly need to rely on real-time analytics for immediate measurement and identification. network and security risks. To address this, an integrated security architecture can orchestrate data across all deployed parts of the infrastructure to provide comprehensive reports combining network, application, and network traffic. and overall network status.
Features such as enterprise-grade configuration management and role-based access control (RBAC) can help network operators and technical leaders easily track changes and minimize errors caused by caused by humans. It can also provide service level agreement (SLA) logging and history monitoring, and customizable SLA alerts.
Shortage of cybersecurity staff
According to the International Information Systems Security Certification Organization, there are currently more than 4.07 million unfilled cybersecurity positions worldwide. As a result, analyst investigations take longer, remedial steps are missed, and issues may be handled inconsistently from day to day. The longer it takes to remediate the breach, the more damage and expense an organization will incur.
Step into security integration, unlocking the power of network-wide automation — coordinated responses to threats that help organizations protect their networks with limited staff. Automated workflow optimization eliminates manual steps that require human intervention to bridge the gap between detecting and responding to threats. It also eliminates operational irregularities caused by human error. The ability to automate and share intelligence is now critical to data protection and operations.
Evolve into Network Management towards automation
An integrated architecture can help address complex challenges and reduce risk around key causes of network breaches through what is sometimes referred to as automation-driven network management. . This includes simplified provisioning capabilities, tile-by-panel management, analytics, advanced compliance reporting tools, and network-aware responsiveness across all parts of the network (on-premises, cloud and hybrid environments).
When evaluating solutions, all teams should consider how best to invest to improve efficiency, reduce risk, and reduce total cost of ownership (TCO). An integrated cybersecurity architecture that prioritizes network automation can address the persistent challenges of infrastructure complexity.
Find out how Fortinet security fabric platform that provides broad, integrated, and automated protection across an organization’s entire digital attack surface to provide consistent security across all networks, endpoints, and clouds.
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