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What Is Centralized Management?


Centralized Management Definition

Centralized management refers to managing cybersecurity processes across the organization using a single, central set of tools, procedures, and systems. Central management differs from traditional management models in that it removes siloes between cybersecurity departments and uses a centralized network to keep everything under one umbrella. 

In a centralized management system (CMS), admins have to plan, assess, implement, authorize, and monitor all tools and systems used to defend the organization.

Necessity of Central Management

Central management is a necessity for many organizations because it unifies all visibility, documentation, and compliance issues, while easing the burden on firewalls. With central management, miscommunications and costly, unhelpful redundancies can be avoided.

To Gain More Visibility

Visibility is essential to the jobs of everyone involved in an organization's development, infrastructure building, maintenance, and security processes. With a centrally managed architecture, you can give all parties the same pane of glass to see the various nodes their work impact.

To Document Network Activities

The activity on your network provides insights into: 

  • How systems are operating in comparison to expectations
  • Root cause analysis

With a centralized management system, you can maintain documentation that keeps track of anomalies and events. You can then refer to it to diagnose problems and discover new ways to enhance the efficiency and safety of your network.

Hybrid Data Center

To Ease the Burden on the Firewall

With centralized network security management, you can control all your security features using a single server. If your organization’s firewall only has to handle streams of data going to and from a single server, it may not have to work as hard to ensure data passes through as required. 

Therefore, with a centralized management structure, you can increase the throughput of safe traffic. This structure also makes central firewall management simpler.

To Ensure Compliance

Whether you have a single-site network or multiple sites connected with a software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN), a centralized management system can make conforming to compliance standards much simpler. 

A centralized system makes it easier to control who has access to sensitive data and how data is routed as it exits the system. This helps satisfy even very stringent standards regarding which individuals are allowed to interact with data. In addition, you can apply one set of security policies to cover all areas of the IT system that fall under the jurisdiction of a specific set of compliance standards. Not only does this serve to streamline compliance management, but it also makes the auditing process faster and easier.

Benefits of Central Management

With centralized management, you benefit from a single agent and security console. Further, you can reduce the amount of effort you have to invest in managing and streamlining your virtualization and directory services. This all adds up to a more unified security posture.

What are the Benefits of Centralized Management?

One Agent for Any Environment

With centralized network management, you get a single agent that can handle your security over a variety of environments. Armed with threat intelligence and mitigation tools, the centralized system is able to prevent a wide range of threats that can impact different kinds of ecosystems. 

Consequently, you can use the same centralized management system to safeguard multiple kinds of networks for your organization. This makes it easier for one person or team to facilitate security across your entire company.

Single Security Console

With one security console, it is easier for a single admin or a small team to keep track of alerts, events, and the progress of mitigation efforts using a single pane of glass. Maintaining a solitary security console also minimizes the chances of someone entering a setting within a different console that could inadvertently complicate things for others.

Least Management Effort

A centralized management system can consolidate all your cybersecurity into one workstation and under the control of a single set of processes. This takes significantly less time and effort to manage than bouncing from one console to another and trying to remember disparate settings, configurations, and deployment details.

Virtualization and Directory Services Integration

Virtualization and directory services can be integrated into a centralized management system, increasing both visibility and overall security. 

Virtualization connects several IT processes and the machines running them to a single set of physical resources. Directory services manage these connections. When both are integrated with a centrally managed cybersecurity environment, you can more easily monitor the entire attack surface.

Unified Protection

Centralized management ultimately provides unified protection, ensuring your entire IT architecture is adequately guarded against threats. In addition, because everything is under the watchful eye of the same system, there is no question as to whether certain elements of your network are better protected than others. Case study

How a Leading E-Commerce Company Leveraged Centralized Management

Read the case study and how they leveraged centralized management and automated threat response to manage their security infrastructure. 

Read the Case Study

How Fortinet Can Help

With FortiManager, you get comprehensive protection in a centralized architecture. Because FortiManager also provides workflow automation, admins can spend less time on repetitive tasks and more time finding innovative solutions. FortiManager gives you 24/7 support and can protect as many as 10,000 devices. 

It also comes with FortiCare Technical Support and Advanced Services, providing you with tried-and-true protections.


What is a centralized security system?

Centralized management refers to managing cybersecurity processes across the organization using a single, central set of tools, procedures, and systems. Central management differs from traditional management models in that it removes siloes between cybersecurity departments and uses a centralized network to keep everything under one umbrella.

What are the advantages of centralized management?

A centralized management system gives you more visibility, makes it easier to document activities, eases the burden on your firewall, and aids in ensuring compliance standards are met. With centralized management, you have one agent to manage any environment and a single security console. 

Because multiple features are unified and the attack surface is condensed, centralized management enables you to manage your IT infrastructure with less effort. It is also easy to incorporate virtualization and directory services within a centrally managed environment.

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