In recent times, the cybersecurity industry has continued down the path of compartmentalisation when it comes to protecting their extensive networks, writes Guy Golan, CEO of Performanta.

Whether it’s mobile security or network segmentation, what’s clear to see is that companies have siloed their protection methods – intentionally or not.

Although this has created a market opportunity for specialised vendors, focused on specific areas of cybersecurity, this has become a weak point within business networks where criminals can infiltrate the system through gaps left between siloed defensive solutions. When these tools fail to work together, adversaries have a field day.

There is a growing danger that if this trend continues, cyber criminals will only have more opportunities to attack and be successful. Businesses need to consolidate their security measures in a blanket cover fashion to reduce these exposures, ripe with criminal activity.

A way of combatting this dangerous precedent is to adopt a strategy known as cybersecurity mesh.

What is cybersecurity mesh?

CSMA, or Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture, is a theory promoted by Gartner which helps companies consolidate their defences into one, comprehensive strategy. It enables organisations to be more agile and adaptive to potential threats, so, unlike siloed propositions, CSMA allows for protection against the forever changing cyberthreat landscape.

Many have considered cybersecurity mesh to be the next big development in the cyber industry. This is a step in the right direction for organisations looking to improve their Cyber Safety credentials. Agility is everything, being able to adapt to each threat and ‘roll with the punches’ is something that should be at the top of each company’s cyber defence plan. And a change in mindset is the way forward.

Cybersecurity mesh in practical terms

Cyber mesh is still very much in the early stages of development and is currently not a marketed form of cyber defence.

Although this type of strategy may not be developed ‘as a service’ in the immediate future, cyber mesh will undoubtedly impact the mindset of how businesses look at their existing cyber defence plan. As it strengthens its place in the industry, mesh will likely prompt a shift in how we view and approach our cyber architectures.  

The main premise behind the term is driving interoperability between each isolated product to establish a more integrated security stack. It does this through four layers: security analytics and intelligence; distributed identity fabric; consolidated policy and posture management; and consolidated dashboards.  

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Establishing a holistic approach to cybersecurity with CSMA brings several benefits, including greater flexibility and scalability, improved collaboration between security components, easier deployment and management processes for new services, and a general promotion of simple and intelligent security by design.  

The tools to make CSMA possible are already out there. It’s now just a matter of triggering a cultural change within organisations and promoting greater interoperability to replace the remaining siloes. This may be a transitional process that lasts years, but this shift in mindset will begin the trail towards more intelligent defensive designs.

What is the wider cyber mesh impact?

Businesses need to change the way they look at their security procedures. Attacks are becoming more dynamic and technical, so businesses need to respond to this with a more holistic approach to their security infrastructure.

Gartner predicts predicts that CSMA will help to cut the financial impact of security incidents by 90% on average by 2024, as well as support more than half of all identity and access requests by 2025. 

Businesses that continue to silo their security measures will find themselves in a much weaker position against potential threats. Integrating all existing and future tools into a collaborative environment will help to greatly reduce the risk and limit the impact of a breach.

By managing their tools through a single pane of glass, companies can be more prepared for the intricacies of the modern-day cyber attack. Cyber mesh is an exciting opportunity to upgrade businesses’ cyber blueprints, and the benefits will be clear to see in the future.

Real-time analytics provided by a centralised management hub will contribute to the drive of reducing the risk and limiting the impact of a successful attack, targeted anywhere across the ecosystem.

Cybersecurity mesh will also help companies organise, manage and secure data across all systems (cloud or on-premises). And given 69% of CISOs (Chief Information Security Officers) currently consider data theft to be the primary risk to their business – according to research by cybersecurity tech provider, Encore – this level of control is critical.  

Is cyber mesh a more sophisticated form of cyber defence?

The main reason this is such an attractive proposition for many businesses is due to cyber mesh offering a far more comprehensive form of defence.

To a business, that means not wanting to be fiddling around with multiple specialist cybersecurity tools in isolation, but to have an all-in-one strategy. Cybersecurity mesh contributes to the solution of these inefficiencies and means businesses can now establish a more holistic plan of action based on Cyber Safety.

Data is everything for organisations, and deploying multiple layers of protection is one of the most important investments a business could make. McKinsey has stated that the marketplace for web-hosting services is expected to generate $183.18 billion by 2026. As this industry is projected to only develop further, businesses must capitalise new techniques at their disposal to best protect their data.

Businesses focusing on future-proofing their operations and adapting with the times will be the ones that will be best prepared for future attacks. This is not necessarily about who’s got the biggest budget, but more who has the most forward-thinking mindset. Those who get ahead of the curve will be the ones that will reap the benefits of a more comprehensive cyber mesh defence plan.

About the author

Guy Golan is CEO of Performanta. Founded in 2010 with Offices in the UK, North America, South Africa and Australia, Performanta employs over 140 people globally with an amalgamation of over 1,000 years of experience, servicing satisfied customers in more than 50 countries worldwide.