In anticipation of generative AI-based cyber threats, cybersecurity firms are increasingly looking at integrating their platforms to provide security solutions. Consolidation of data has also spurred the development of integrated cybersecurity platforms by both large organisations catering to a wide range of customers and startups.
The main reason that cybersecurity companies give for focusing on development of integrated platforms is that they make it easier for companies to provide a comprehensive solution to a problem that is “categorised by its complexity and constant evolution” says Kartik Shahani, Country Manager, Tenable India.
What are integrated cybersecurity platforms?
The rise in number of remote employees, some of whom may be using legacy systems with varying levels of access, speed, customisation and performance, has created a need for an overarching system that can cover multiple points without focusing on just a particular network segment.
Integrated platforms provide solutions to this problem. A 2020 IBM survey found that organisations deploy approximately 45 solutions on average, with most requiring coordination across 19 security tools.
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Integrated cybersecurity platforms “equip security teams with a holistic view of the entire attack surface and amalgamates diverse elements, including vulnerability management, cloud security, web app security, identity security, and attack surface management,” Shahani says.
Essentially, integrated platforms are better equipped at identifying threats, filling gaps in security, and mitigating threats due to the ability to collate and use information gathered from different areas of a network.
These platforms offer consolidated risk insights, exposure analytics, prioritises risk, recommends remediation strategies, and quantifies the reduction of cyber risk, he added.
Use of cloud-based computing has further allowed cybersecurity firms to provide access to their integrated platforms without requiring users to upgrade their systems. Integrated platforms from most firms have been designed to be easily integrated into organisation’s existing tech stacks, while also allowing customisations based on the user’s needs.
In some cases, “customers are beginning to pay on consumption basis rather than a subscription,” Binod Singh, CEO and Chairman, Cross Identity said.
Why are enterprises increasingly shifting to integrated platforms?
Integrated platforms are also increasingly finding takers in businesses due to their economic advantage, the lack of skilled personnel to manage security apparatus, and improved visibility of gaps in security for enterprises.
Businesses looking to cut costs may pivot to integrated platforms as there is minimal overlap in the implementation and identification of security products. Further, the use of integrated platforms also allows enterprises to sidestep the problem of hiring cybersecurity experts, which can be a problem due to the lack of skilled personnel in the domain.
Are platforms the future of cybersecurity?
With the benefits of integrated platforms, B2B organisations with complex IT environments are increasingly adopting unified platforms for monitoring and responding to security threats.
“B2B organizations are embracing integrated cybersecurity systems because they provide robust protection, simplify management, offer cost savings, adapt to changing needs, support regulatory compliance, and enhance the ability to respond to threats quickly and effectively,” Ritesh Chopra, Director Sales & Field Marketing, India and SAARC Countries, Norton, said.
Small and medium-sized enterprises in India with a view to restrict expenditure, which earlier involved adopting multiple points solutions on individual licenses or subscriptions, are now increasingly turning to integrated platforms. The adoption of these platforms is aimed at bolstering security posture in accordance with the laws of the land without the overwhelming costs and complexities associated with managing multiple standalone security tools.
However, while adoption of integrated cybersecurity platforms has its benefits for enterprises, it poses a challenge for startups in the cybersecurity space which may struggle to finding the right constellation of cybersecurity experts to develop all the features needed be truly comprehensive. “Most often, the best experts are specialized in topics such as threat intelligence, malware analysis, application security, data loss prevention, network security, vulnerability management, AI, privacy, etc. Thers is also a shortage of these experts on the market, which indeed presents a challenge to startups,” Chopra said.
For the end users, integrated platforms allow cybersecurity companies to present users with an all-round security solution, which while may not be a silver bullet, ensures protection across devices which may not be possible with point security solutions.