Embracing change and resilience became the mantra for business continuity as organizations powered through the pandemic. Incorporating digital technologies were critical to quickly adapt to and address employee and customer needs, economic uncertainty, and competitive pressures. Add in supply chain disruptions, record inflation, and labor shortages, and it’s clear that leading digital transformation initiatives is critical for success as business leaders continue to innovate and excel to fuel long-term growth. Building in security intelligence needs to be part of these digital transformation discussions.
What better time than right now for organizations to assess their security posture and inventory their assets? After all, good security implementations and security intelligence are critical for data transformation to occur. Security intelligence is about having a holistic, centralized view of your security components. Gartner describes this as a cybersecurity mesh architecture: integrated security tools in a cooperative ecosystem. What this does, according to Gartner, is combat the increase in security complexity, position the enterprise for a secure future, and close interoperability gaps.
Organizations must be able to pick and choose the security components that work best but also be able to weave them together into a comprehensive program. Security intelligence needs to fit into an organization’s overall data and security fabric. As governance and accountability both increase across the board — including on-premises and cloud solutions being held to a higher standard — the demand for visibility will also increase.
Moving from siloed to single pane of glass
It’s no surprise that many organizations are struggling with how to best manage their data and secure it, especially when data and systems reside not only in separate siloes, but within different teams, on-premises, and in the cloud. Add to that the distributed nature of public key infrastructure (PKI) and many organizations don’t have good visibility across their security implementations to ensure their parameters and operational expectations are enforced, resulting in technology and management challenges. Visibility is the golden ticket.
What’s happening (or not happening) is organizations often lack the long-term planning that accompanies security implementations, such as a PKI, even though it is the foundation for their entire identity and access management platforms. PKI is built on the scale of years and decades of existence. Not much else in IT is designed for that lifetime!
As a result, documentation, knowledge, and visibility all inevitably erode over time since the day when the PKI was first designed and deployed — including employees who may have left the company. Security becomes the black box of mystery, with organizations lacking the experience and visibility to properly oversee and manage.
A single-pane-of-glass visibility allows for the monitoring and alerting of systems in a centralized platform so IT can answer these types of questions:
- Are systems operational?
- Is there an outage?
- Are there threats within the security systems?
- Are they properly configured?
- Did someone accidentally (or maliciously) misconfigure a component?
- Is there an issue with performance?
- Are best practices being followed?
Visibility is especially important as many organizations are dealing with these common issues:
- Being in fire-fighting mode. Organizations are focused on putting out security fires and might be unaware of risks within their PKI.
- Lacking tools, budget, ability. Organizations are paralyzed about how to solve technical issues.
- Creating fragile solutions. Organizations create solutions based on scripts, custom tools, or try to cobble together off-the-shelf tools. This results in processes that are limited, prone to breaking, and often fade in applicability as people move into new roles.
The root of PKI challenges: Out of sight, out of mind
PKI was designed with the assumption that it is always operated securely and is infallible. We know that that is far from the real world and it’s often the lack of specialized tooling and information that causes the most issues. Better tooling and purpose-built solutions are needed. Especially in the world of PKI, too much attention has been paid to the end-entity lifecycle issue and not enough to the looming issues inherent in the PKI being out of sight. The decentralized design and disconnected nature of PKI means there is little in the way of visibility and monitoring of it, as is the case for the largest, most defined PKIs in the world to the smallest enterprise.
Improving security intelligence will improve an organization’s overall security posture and operational resilience. For successful organizations, change and resilience go together, just like security intelligence and digital transformation. Spearheading digital transformation initiatives by embracing intelligent technology and increasing resilient security intelligence will go a long way in long-term growth for your organization.