Compiling the right set of security solutions to meet your company’s unique requirements is no easy feat. The security needs of each company can vary widely depending on compliance regulations, the industry threat profile and types of data processed, among many other factors. So while the security solutions you ultimately go with may fit the bill for what you need, they often:

  • Don’t communicate or integrate well together
  • Overlap in functionality — and not in a good way
  • Cost more than a single platform solution

Rick Holland at Forrester hits the nail on the head with the conundrum many security teams now face: “Many of us in the information security space have a proud legacy of only purchasing best in breed point solutions. In my early days as an information security practitioner, I only wanted to deploy these types of standalone solutions.” He also sums up the pitfalls: “This bloat adds unneeded friction to the infosec team’s operational responsibilities.”

So really, the only reason you would have a bunch of security point solutions is that you simply don’t know how a single platform approach could replace what you’re currently doing.

Considering the sophistication of today’s threats and attackers, as well as the explosion of BYOD and the IoT, companies need to make some smart decisions; they need to figure out how to keep the good, get rid of the bad and optimize for collaboration and integration. In an effort to help companies understand how to develop a comprehensive, top-down approach to cloud security, here are a few best practices we’ve learned throughout the years that help companies develop a more strategic and integrated security posture.

Plan For Your Company’s Unique Security and Compliance Needs

The security and compliance needs of your company are unique, requiring a dedicated strategy for how to develop the right cloud security toolset. But with the rapidly expanding threat landscape and growing compliance needs, organizations instead end up cobbling together various point solutions to tick the boxes or to respond reactively to security incidents. More often than not, this is done in haste without developing a real strategy. This results in gaping holes in organizations’ cloud security and compliance postures, leading to serious consequences if an attacker chooses to take advantage.

This is why we encourage companies to think about their complete security and compliance requirements — everything from the types of systems (AWS, Rackspace, Azure, etc.) to the data (healthcare, credit card, company IP, etc.) being monitored. From there, you will know the levels of access control, file monitoring and alerting required, among other important factors. This way, you can better select a more comprehensive security solution that meets your specific needs instead of trying to fit the latest solution into an already bloated security toolset.

Minimize Ownership and Workflow Complexities

Think about your company’s existing security toolset. About how many point solutions can you count? And who is in charge of each of those solutions? If you’re having trouble nailing down exactly how many security point solutions your organization is using and, worse, are unsure who is in charge of each, that should be a signal that you need better integration among those solutions. But given that many security solutions on the market today don’t play well together, the best approach is to leverage one complete platform that includes all the key components of a solid security posture in one.

A Single Comprehensive Platform Is Kinder To Security Budgets

If you’ve ever stepped foot in a Costco or the like, you know it’s far more cost-efficient to buy a whole case of water from them than it is to buy one-off water bottles from 7-Eleven every day. The same goes for security solutions. It’s far more cost efficient to combine all solutions into one platform to reap the benefits of scalability than it is to purchase a bunch of disparate (and often costly) point solutions. It’s simple economics.

Even better, trimming down expenses is a great thing to report up — especially to your CEO and CFO.

Overlap Isn’t Always a Good Thing

Chances are the more security solutions you employ, the more overlap in functionality you’ll have. But, this isn’t always a good thing. The way data is collected, analyzed and reported can vary widely from tool to tool. So the results one tool produces could be wildly different from the next. Whereas one may designate a threat as Severity 1, another might call it Severity 2. And the response for a Severity 1 versus 2 can be quite different, so when a real threat comes in, how can you ensure it’s serious?

What if you could consolidate all security monitoring, alerting and analysis into a single solution that combines all of the key ingredients to an effective cloud security posture:

  • Workload insights
  • Infrastructure monitoring
  • Vulnerability management
  • Threat intelligence
  • Compliance reporting

After hearing this request time and again from customers, Threat Stack built the Cloud Security Platform™ to incorporate all five of these.

As threats become more sophisticated, so too must an organization’s capacity to monitor, alert and respond to them. By adopting a platform approach to security, you’ll be far better prepared to act fast when the time comes, while having more time to focus on the real job at hand — protecting your company and your customers.