By: Jessa Mikka Convocar on July 20th, 2022
Does Your Security Stack Slow Down Your Business Operations?
Every company needs sufficient cybersecurity–you’ve probably heard this one too many times before.
As a business owner, having a robust security stack is critical to ensure protection from all categories of data theft and damage. If you’re unfamiliar, security stack is a term used to visualize the complexity of a business’ cybersecurity layers, particularly the tools that businesses use to detect and counteract threats. The stack could include:
- Remote access security products such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and Zero Trust,
- Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) technologies,
- Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms, and
- Penetration Testing tools, among others.
Often, businesses “stack up” multiple layers of these services to achieve total network security, which is integral to long-term growth. However, as with all matters of the heart and human affairs, too much of anything is good for nothing.
The same applies to your network.
As a Managed IT Service Provider, Intelligent Technical Solutions (ITS) has been helping hundreds of businesses strengthen their network defenses by managing their technology and providing them with adequate knowledge about cybersecurity. Hence, we’ll go over the following key points:
- How does your security stack affect your business efficiency?
- What steps should you take to optimize your security stack?
And by the end of this article, you will learn the potential gaps in your security stack and the ways you can fill them up to grow your business further.
How does your security stack affect your business efficiency?
Overstacking your network defenses gets in the way of your business operations and may even be counterproductive.
Think of it as having a skincare routine. You wash your face with a cleanser and then apply toner, moisturizer, eye mask, nose pack, and the list goes on. Of course, all these can help your skin stay in good condition. But regularly using too many different products on your face as part of your 15-step skincare routine can cause irritation and breakout.
Here, the skincare products are the security stack, and your face is your business network. When you let multiple products run at the same time, it may cause complications and do more harm than good to your business. This is due to three reasons:
- Overlapping functionality of the tools, which can cause interference in the flow process
- Demanding system management that needs 24/7 attention from an IT expert
- Poor tool integration that may work well individually but may clash when put together
International Business Machines (IBM) recently published a study showing how companies with a more comprehensive security stack seem to have a more challenging time detecting and responding to an attack than those with a smaller suite.
One instance where an excessive security stack could be a potential issue is when checking system logs.
System logs are important to a network because it gives the ability to troubleshoot or debug errors. It makes it easier for you and your team to investigate and resolve any problem that may arise.
Now, imagine if there’s an unusual activity detected in one of your devices and you have to check over fifteen security systems, and each one takes more or less thirty minutes. It will take you one workday to finish the task. It will cause interruptions in your organization which leads to costly downtimes.
What steps should you take to optimize your security stack?
Surely, no business owner would want to spend money on software or program that could only mar their business operations. Therefore, streamlining your security stack is essential to make full use of the benefits without compromising network protection. Here are the steps you can take to make sure your security stack works efficiently:
1. Map out your threat attack surface
Know your environment’s weak spots and obtain only the products that will fix those vulnerabilities. You may determine these threat attack surfaces based on two parts: digital and physical threat surfaces.
- The digital threat surface consists of things like cloud services, software, and web applications. It may also include confidential and sensitive data such as intellectual property (IP) and personally identifiable information (PII).
- On the other hand, the physical threat surface consists of tangible equipment such as desktop computers, laptops, phones, tablets, servers, and routers. Basically, it is anything that can be damaged through human or natural disasters.
2. Create a tools inventory and review the value of each one
Once you identify the risks in your business, list down all the tools in your security stack and do an overall assessment. Evaluate how each tool works for you and see if there would be redundant or unnecessary products. The tools that serve the same purpose (or no purpose at all) need to go immediately as they will only create clutter.
In addition, assess your ability to manage your security stack. Weigh the situation and decide whether your in-house IT can do the job or you will need to outsource help.
Need help balancing your security stack?
Simply by eliminating the tools you don’t need in your security stack, you can be confident that your network is protected and your business runs smoothly. As a recap, here are the possible flaws of a security stack:
- Overlapping functionality
- Demanding system management
- Poor tool integration
And these are the ways to guarantee that your security stack works efficiently:
First and foremost, map out your threat attack surface by identifying the digital and physical risks. Secondly, create an inventory of the tools you currently have and review the value of each one.
But let’s face it, this process may be imposing on small businesses that would rather focus on their growth than network protection. In such cases, hiring a Managed IT may be the smartest option.
At ITS, we’ve been helping clients bolster their cybersecurity to avoid any business interruptions. If you want to learn the smart ways to optimize your growing business network, this e-book can be a huge help. Click the link and download it for free.