IT infrastructures across organizations are now more complex than ever. Given the increasing number of internet-connected devices and the complexity of modern hybrid and multi-cloud environments, trying to manage and protect all endpoints manually is a losing battle. Thankfully, there are cybersecurity tools that can make tasks such as monitoring, managing, detecting, and diagnosing easier.
However, that doesn’t mean that companies should acquire each cybersecurity tool that comes out. Tool sprawl is becoming a real challenge for cybersecurity teams. Security tools should streamline and automate security operations to ease the burden of overworked security teams. Investing in hundreds of tools will practically be impossible for security teams to manage.
But each family of cybersecurity tools available in the market today claims to be an absolute necessity to survive the modern, sophisticated threat landscape. It’s mind-boggling to differentiate one tool from the other and figure out which tools have overlapping functionalities. So, here’s a list of cybersecurity tools that need to be a part of the security stack of every organization:
1. Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS)
BAS tools are emerging cybersecurity tools that can help organizations in evaluating the validity of their security controls. Unlike penetration testing that is typically conducted at intervals that could be as long as 12 months, BAS tools are heavily automated and can run continuous simulations of complex cyberattacks to reveal vulnerabilities before they are exploited.
These tools can also provide specialized assessments about threats and vulnerabilities along with actionable insights about risk mitigation. BAS tools can improve the overall cybersecurity posture of an organization, providing real-time security assessments across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
2. User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA)
Relying on preventative security is not enough anymore; detection and response strategies are equally important. If an attacker has already made it inside, early detection is the only way to minimize the damage done. Unfortunately, even in a sector as critical as the financial industry, threats remain undetected for about 233 days on average. UEBA tools address this issue by utilizing artificial intelligence, deep learning, and statistical analysis to create a baseline of normal behavioral patterns.
Next, these tools continuously monitor user activities and compare them to the established baseline. They alert security teams of any deviations from the norm that cross a certain risk threshold, which is also set by these tools. Timely alerts allow security teams to take quick action and dislodge potential threats before they become catastrophic.
3. Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)
Cloud and remote working have become an essential part of pretty much all organizations. But adding a third-party cloud offering and allowing remote access means that a part of the company’s digital footprint will shift outside the traditional security perimeter. CASB tools act as an intermediary between the users and the cloud applications, extending the organization’s on-prem security policies to the cloud infrastructure as well.
CASB tools or services provide security teams with much-needed visibility into cloud application usage, even when end-users are using unmanaged, personal devices. In addition to security policies, CASB can also enforce security controls like data loss prevention (DLP), encryption, web application firewalls (WAFs), and authentication and device profiling.
4. Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)
EDR tools combine the functionalities of endpoint antivirus software and endpoint management tools into a single, integrated endpoint security solution. If a malware infects a network component, EDR not only detects the infection but also analyses and removes the malware, reducing the risk of system failure or data loss.
EDR tools monitor activities from endpoints to detect suspicious activities. They use heavy automation to investigate these activities to uncover potential threats via analytics and forensics tools. Finally, they perform mitigation actions to remove or contain the threat and notify security teams.
5. Identity and Access Management (IAM)
Modern organizations require a dynamic, context-based approach for access control because of the sheer number of endpoint devices and user roles to manage. IAM tools centralize identity and access control so administrators can manage and update access privileges, enforce password policies, grant temporary or restricted access, and implement multi-factor authentication (MFA).
IAM tools can integrate with other security tools like CASB, EDR, and IPS (intrusion Prevention System) and provide insights regarding users, sessions, and devices. They can also facilitate faster access to resources through single sign-on (SSO) or passwordless authentication.
Organizations must realize that there’s no single tool that can guarantee complete and total cybersecurity. The tools mentioned above are not the only tools a company will ever need. But investing in all kinds of available tools isn’t the answer either.
Companies need to mix and match several security tools to create a comprehensive defense perimeter while ensuring there is minimum functionality overlap. Sure, it can cost quite a bit, but definitely not as much as $3.86 million - today's average cost of a data breach.
Ashley has been writing about the impact of technology and IT security on businesses since starting Parachute in 2005. Her goal has always been to provide factual information and an experienced viewpoint so that business leaders are empowered to make the right IT decisions for their organizations. By offering both the upsides and downsides to every IT solution and consideration, expectations are managed and the transparency yields better results.