Helping Your Customers Minimize Security Sprawl and Achieve Defense in Depth

By Lief Koepsel | November 08, 2017

Today, your customers’ IT teams have to be aware of the movement and storage of valuable data across multiple applications, networks, devices, and virtual environments. In order to ensure data security and achieve defense in depth, there are many processes they must carry out, such as:

  • Monitoring the movement of data to ensure that only authorized users are accessing it.
  • Watching out for unusual behavior that might indicate a breach.
  • Staying aware of the latest vulnerabilities, malware strands, and other attack vectors to ensure that none of their systems are open to exploits.
  • Gathering and correlating available threat intelligence to create actionable security insights.

At one point in time, network and overall IT infrastructure might have been simple and condensed enough, and cyberattacks infrequent and unsophisticated enough, that IT teams could monitor potential incidents and anomalies in data use and movement on their own. That is no longer true. Today, manually monitoring data movement and security will simply result in an unsecured network.

Modern networks are complex, with undefined perimeters and elastic architectures. At the same time, modern cyberattacks are more frequent and sophisticated, identifying and targeting specific vulnerabilities and incorporating code into their malware that can detect and evade security. As technology use by consumers and organizations has evolved and cyberattacks have become more threatening, IT teams have had to incorporate additional security solutions along the way to protect data across their distributed networks and virtual environments. This sort of organic sprawl results in what many security professionals refer to as an accidental security architecture.

What many of your customers may not realize is that their gradual implementation of separate security platforms across each networking layer, including the Cloud, has actually limited their visibility and control and hindered their ability to implement an effective security strategy.

Security Sprawl

When your clients implement multiple, non-integrated solutions, they create gaps in the security protocols between each tool. On average, enterprises employ eight different security solutions across their IT environment. Each of these tools, especially when they come from different vendors, has to be managed differently through a separate console. High numbers of security solutions give way to security sprawl, which can have negative impacts on the ability to manage and maintain consistent cybersecurity protocols at your customers’ organizations for multiple reasons:

  • Lack of standardization: When organizations deploy tools from different vendors throughout their IT environments, there is a lack of standardization with how each tool has to be managed and the kind of information produced. They will each have different protocols for how updates are administered and produce threat intelligence in varying formats and degrees of readiness to be used and shared.
  • IT team strain: Having to manage each of these tools and hand correlate data between them, especially as networks become more decentralized, puts significant strain on IT teams, which are generally already understaffed due to the current IT skills gap. As a result, they are more likely to miss important threat intelligence, as they do not have the time to adequately analyze and crosscheck data collected from multiple sources. The complexity of many SIEM protocols means that far too often IT is simply unable to respond to even the incident alerts they know about. While many IT security professionals recognize that SIEM protocols can provide valuable benefits, 68 percent say they would need additional staff to maximize its value.

Security professionals are coming to realize that the solution to an overly complicated security suite is not to continue to deploy more security tools, but rather to take an architectural approach to security that integrates tools together into a single system and incorporates machine learning and automation to achieve real defense in depth and dramatically shorten the time between detection and response.

Simplify Security for Your Customer’s with Security Fabric

The Fortinet Security Fabric offers your customers a unique resolution to security sprawl with its connected end-to-end security architecture.  

The Security Fabric offers integrated tools that cover your customer’s entire IT infrastructure, including application protection, and security for public, private, and multicloud, endpoints, networks, data centers, and more. Each tool is interconnected, allowing IT teams to see and manage data movement and track and respond to security incidents through a single pane of glass approach, reducing the resources necessary to achieve true defense in depth.

Security Automation to Mitigate IT Strain and Build Security Standardization

The architectural approach taken by the security fabric makes it uniquely capable of automating threat intelligence and response, thereby reducing both dwell time and incident response times at your customers’ organizations. An architectural approach refers to leveraging common operating systems and open APIs, standards, and protocols in order to weave traditionally individual security platforms into a single, centrally managed security fabric.  

Each security tool or platform within the fabric shares actionable threat intelligence with all other devices in real-time, allowing for increased visibility into the threat landscape, and enabling a coordinated and automated response to detected threats. This approach reduces IT strain by standardizing threat intelligence and response across security devices as they communicate. An integrated security architecture allows your customers to quickly leverage the insights gathered from their security tools, and use machine learning and AI to automatically distribute actionable threat intelligence and coordinate a systemic response.

Fabric-Ready Partner Program

In addition to integrating its own family of security products into the Security Fabric, Fortinet also offers the Fabric Ready Partner Program to ease Security Fabric deployment for both our Channel Partners and their customers by allowing tools from third party vendors to interoperate across the Security Fabric. This program leverages Security Fabric APIs to deliver pre-integrated, end-to-end security offerings from a variety of leading security and network vendors. Building a security ecosystem with Fabric-Ready solutions improves threat awareness and intelligence and broadens coordinated threat response and policy enforcement.

Fabric-Ready integrated solutions are pre-validated and ready for deployment. This approach allows Partners to deliver solutions with faster time-to-deployment for customers, while reducing technical support burdens, while customers can make purchase decisions with greater confidence and get faster time-to-deployment while realizing reducing their own technical support burdens and costs. The result is improved overall security structure with integrated, automated security.

Final Thoughts

As networks become more decentralized, the isolated security solutions your customers’ IT security teams have been deploying to have actually reduced security visibility and the level of actionable threat intelligence, while putting an unnecessary strain on IT resources. Fortinet Channel Partners can mitigate these security challenges for their customers with the automated and integrated security solutions provided through the Fortinet Security Fabric.

Learn more about the Fabric-Ready Partner Program or watch the Fabric-Ready Partners NSE Insider.

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