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3 Ways to Achieve Cohesion Across Your Organization's Cybersecurity Simplicity and cohesion are the keys to a better security experience.

By Jason Oeltjen

Key Takeaways

  • Regardless of the organization's size or sector, businesses are always looking for a more cohesive experience across the tech stack, where speed and security are optimal.
  • This year is the ideal time to start paving the path toward simpler, seamless security integrations.
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Data protection and digital privacy have generated significant attention from C-suite leaders, with the Securities and Exchange Commission recently proposing public companies' Board of Directors share the responsibility of IT security supervision, compliance and risk mitigation.

As business leaders begin to educate themselves on the fundamentals of cybersecurity, one of the things they cannot overlook is cohesion. With disparate security tools abound, leaders must ensure the IT security stack is working together — rather than creating additional silos.

Here's how to achieve optimal cohesion across the security stack.

1. Achieve visibility across all systems

One of the biggest benefits of a cohesive IT security stack is greater visibility. During a time when cyber threats are more sophisticated than ever before, organizations cannot afford to have blind spots – nor should security teams be chasing false positives. But a common question business leaders face is how to increase visibility without necessarily reinventing the wheel or replacing several security tools in the arsenal.

One of the ways to maximize visibility and integration across systems is through a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platform. SIEMs consolidate data from various systems to provide a centralized view granting users real-time visibility across the entire IT environment. It's one of the first recommendations I typically make to business leaders who want to better understand their organization's security posture without boiling the ocean.

Related: The 'Mother of All Breaches' Just Happened — Here's the Security Implications for Businesses

2. Strengthen API security

Once visibility is established, you must also evaluate the security of the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) through which your systems, tools and applications interact. In simplest terms, APIs work as a backend framework for mobile and web applications — and cybercriminals often take advantage of any API security gaps as a means to gain access to an organization.

If APIs aren't properly secured, they can become the next big supply chain attack, with malicious actors introducing malicious code during the attack and wreaking havoc on an organization. In fact, recent research found that cyber attacks targeting APIs increased a whopping 400% from June to December 2022, and since then, they have shown no signs of slowing down.

Business leaders must ask themselves: how confident is the organization in its API security? How exactly are these APIs protected? APIs need to have high levels of security; otherwise, they are no safer than a standard password login.

Related: Cyber Threats Are More Prevalent Than Ever — So Don't Leave Your Business Exposed. Here's How to Protect It.

3. Ensure flexible integrations

In addition to gaining visibility and bolstering API security, it's important to strive for flexible integrations across your security systems.

To achieve this, first determine:

  • Are you integrating your systems through custom coding? While coding has its benefits, a major drawback is the long-term impact that will arise when engineers leave the company. The U.S. Labor Department estimates that the global shortage of software engineers may reach 85.2 million by 2030, and the position will likely be a revolving door between now and then. How easy will it be for the new engineer to continue working on this custom code? This creates a major barrier to modernizing infrastructure.
  • What happens when you have to swap out one vendor for another, especially to meet compliance requirements or reduce budget? This is where identity orchestration plays a massive role. Traditionally, identity has become a bottleneck in the integration process, but through identity orchestration, enterprises now have the ability to add or remove vendors – spanning applications and services – with speed and ease. It's like an 'easy button' for the tech stack, ensuring simplicity, flexibility and seamlessness across the entire user experience.
  • Are you factoring in all costs of integration, even those that are hidden or come after the fact? I've come across a new vendor being selected due to cost savings, but then organizations forget to consider the runway to integrate the new system into the ecosystem – and the hidden costs that can come with that. Often, these costs can be up to four times the cost of the new system, along with needing 6-12 months to integrate effectively into the organization. Luckily, identity orchestration can help with integration timing as well as long-term ROI.

Regardless of the organization's size or sector, businesses are always looking for a more cohesive experience across the tech stack, where speed and security are optimal. This year, when all eyes are on security — including the Board's — is the ideal time to start paving the path towards simpler, seamless security integrations.

Jason Oeltjen

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

VP Product Management

Over the last 20 years, Jason has led engineering, support, and product organizations at companies from early startups to Fortune 500. Most recently he has worked on cloud identity solutions, focused on creating simple cloud solutions to solve complex enterprise identity security challenges.

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